Kanchanaburi Sightseeing - The River Kwai Yai.

Touring around Kanchanaburi on a Bike.

The best way to visit the war cemeteries and other sites is by taking a cycling tour - bikes are quite readily available to hire at Kanchanaburi and your hotel or guesthouse will either have them or will know where to find them for hire.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

The Don Rak Kanchanaburi War Cemetery - Thanon Saeng Chuto (near the Death Railway Museum).

This P.O.W. Cemetery is open daily from 0800 to 1600 daily and is of course free to enter. The cemetery is situated within immaculately kept grounds with lawns and flowering shrubs. The 6982 graves are laid out in straight lines with many of the headstones giving name, age, country and regiment. Other graves are simply inscribed with "Man who died for his country" since sadly identification was not possible. The Cemetery contains the remains of Australian, British and Dutch POWs many of whom were under the age of 25 and died during the building of the Death Railway. The Cemetery is one of two cemeteries which are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Chinese Cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Chinese Cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Adjacent to the above cemetery is the Chinese and Thai Cemetery. This cemetery contains the remains of many of the "Romusha" - Asian forced laborers who were also involved with working on the Death Railway. The cemetery has a mixed style of graves with the Chinese graves made as mounds and the Thai graves are topped with small chedi. There is also a memorial in the grounds which is for all the Asian's killed by the Japanese during the railway's construction and whose remains have never been found. The cemetery is in quite an unkempt condition - unlike the Commonwealth Cemeteries which are financially supported, this cemetery depends on relatives and families for upkeep.

The Chung Kai Cemetery on the outskirts of Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

To reach the Chung Kai Cemetery take the Rattanakarn Bridge over the River Kwai Yai and then continue over a second smaller bridge to reach a t-junction. This Location of Chung Kai Cemetery may be helpful in showing where it is.
River Kwai Noi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Chungkai War Cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Turn right on the 3228 road and the cemetery is just over a kilometre along on the left. Some 1750 Commonwealth and Dutch prisoners of war are buried here and the grave stone inscriptions once again give name, country, regimental and the prisoner's name. This cemetery is built on the site of a prison camp hospital and those interred are actually prisoners who died in the hospital. The so-called living accommodation was in huts on the opposite side of the road. The cemetery is immaculately kept and situated in a peaceful setting which is not too far from the River Kwai Noi - therefore the cemetery can also be reached by boat.

Wat Thavornwararam Monastery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Several Wats which are worth looking around in Kanchanaburi.

Located within the town near to Rattanakarn Bridge i.e. close to the river there are several Wats and temples to stop off and look around whilst cycling around the town.
Wat Thavorn Wararam - this is a large complex located at the back of the Chinese Cemetery. Things are can be quite busy around the main entrance but by going across the forecourt and parking aeas and then down a narrow bendy road on the far side there are quite extensive grounds with beautifully decorated Wats and Chedi situated on and around a lake. One of the most beautiful of these is situated next to the river and closely resembles The Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Built in several layers, the bottom has carvings round it's walls and on the first level which is reached by one of the three stairways.
Wat Thavornwararam chedi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Thavornwararam entrance, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Yuan, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Yuan Lake, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
The stairs have carvings on the way up containing mythical animals and there are more colourful beasts in between. On the first floor there are lots of carvings of dragons and other mythical beasts in really bright colours - brightly coloured walls and quite a few golden Buddha statues. Note this area down by the lake and river seems to be exceptionally humid so it's worth ensuring you have some water with you.
Wat Yuan area, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Yuan staircase, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Yuan dragons, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Yuan sculptures, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
Another Wat which is situated near to the above is Wat Thewasangkharam (Wat Nua)- this Wat is also worth a look round with it's beautiful buildings and excellently shaped roofs.
Wat Nua, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Nua chedi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Nua, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Wat Thewa Sangkharam, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
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