With Travellers hitting the shores of Thailand from around the globe life in Thailand seems like a never ending party.People can be seen lazing around beaches,visiting Buddhist Temples,experiencing its exotic wildlife and enjoying the night life.However for reasons unknown Kanchanaburi which is the third largest province of Thailand has largely been left unexplored.
Kanchanaburi is known not only because of its historical significance but is also a paradise for nature lovers.The fascination of visiting this place had been lingering on in my mind since the time I had seen the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai".Finally I was on my way to the place I had dreamt of visiting since childhood. Kanchanaburi lies around 130 kms away from Bangkok and is easily accessible by bus and train.My first destination was Kanchanaburi war cemetery built in memory of those prisoners of war who had lost their lives during the construction of the Bridge over river Kwai during Second World War.During the Japanese occupation of Thailand in 1942-43 more than 1lakh prisoners both allied and Asian prisoners died in the course of construction of the bridge due to the horrific working conditions.A plaque commemorating Indian soldiers is also at the Entrance of the War memorial which made me feel proud as a Indian.
It is a tribute to the Prisoners of War who had died here during Japanese Occupation.Also known as JEATH which stands for the soldiers of Japan,England,Australia,Thailand and Holland who had lost their lives during the Construction of the famous Bridge over River Kwai.The display of old maps ,photographs,arms and ammunitions in the museum is at once impressive.One can walk over the Bridge after vsiting the museum which is just nearby and is still functional.Shops selling gemstones can be seen outside the museum but be adept at bargaining as shopkeepers fleece the tourists to the maximum extent possible.A trip to Kanchanaburi is incomplete if one does not take train ride from Knachanaburi to Nam tok also known as Death Railway which passes the Bridge on the River Kwai and is one of the most popular train rides in Thailand.
Tiger Temple or Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua is another important place of tourist attraction where one can shoot pictures with tigers.By paying an extra amount one can even get pictures clicked with tigers on the lap.Apart from tigers other wild animals are also found there and taken care of.
Sai Yok National Park is a delight for nature lovers.It was also a former Japanese Camp during World War 2 and one can even find a Old locomotive engine from World War 2 in the park.Apart from that the Sai Yok National Park is home to the rare Kittis-hog nosed bats considered to be the worlds smallest mammal weighing around 2 grams and found only in and around the park.
Erawan National Park is the place where one can enjoy the day in leisure swimming and laze around .The major attraction of the Erawan National Park is the Erawan falls named after a 3 headed elephant from Hindu mythology.The top tier of the falls resembles an Elephants head.
Taweechai Elephant Camp is on one of the largest camps in Thailand.It offers Elephant rides and one can even bathe with the elephants.Bamboo rafting is another attraction here.Photo frames made from Elephant Dung are also sold with your pictures riding on the elephants.The camp is well maintained and the staff is friendly.
Kitti Raft was a nice place to stay.Though was a little away from the city on river kwai noi it is recommended for its scenic ambience and natural beauty.