Kanchanaburi and Erawan Falls from Bangkok


February 20, 2022

If you are in Bangkok a good getaway plan is to go one day (or more) to Kanchanaburi and the Erawan Falls. If you have little time and you just want to spend the day in the National Park, the ideal is to go with a tour as it is located approximately 265km from Bangkok. If you have a little more time the ideal is to go on your own and spend the night in Kanchanaburi, a small town that has several things to do. Here we explain how to get there, what to do in Kanchanaburi and how to go to the Erawan Falls.

Crossing the bridge you will find a market with food stalls and places that sell things. In front of the market there is a beautiful Chinese temple.

How to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok?

By bus

Buses depart from the Southern Bus Terminal station approximately every 30 minutes to Kanchanaburi. It costs $120 baht ($3.75 USD) and takes 3 hours.


The train is another possibility, departing from Bangkok Noi Station in Thonburi. It takes 3 to 4 hours and costs $100 baht ($3.10 USD).

Private excursion

If you prefer to have it all arranged and go more comfortably you can book a private private excursion here.


The second time we visited this place we did it by car. We rented a van at the Bangkok airport and went one day to Kanchanaburi, from there to Ayutthaya and then to Bangkok. The route is in very good condition and if you dare it is a good way to tour the area.

What to do in Kanchanaburi?

It is a small city that is crossed by the Kawai River and is an ideal escape from the chaos of Bangkok. It is also a good place to visit places such as the Erawan Waterfalls, the bridge over the Kawai River, ride the famous death train and visit temples.

1. Erawan Falls

The 7-tiered waterfalls with light blue water is a must-see during your stay in Kanchanaburi.

There is a bus every 40 minutes from Kanchanaburi Bus Station that takes you to Erawan National Park. You can take it at the station itself or at the various stops along the route. Ask at your hostel, they will be able to advise you well. We stayed in a hostel 3 km from the station and they told us that we could also take it on the road 1 block from where we were.

The first bus leaves at 8am until 5:45pm and runs every 40 minutes. The journey takes 1.5 hours and costs $50 baths ($1.5 USD).

erawan falls couple
erawan falls waterfall

The entrance fee to the national park is $300 baths (almost $10 USD). The park is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

As we told you, it is a waterfall that has 7 levels and has a two-kilometre path that guides you through them. It is very well signposted and it is impossible to get lost. We recommend you wear comfortable shoes, a swimming costume, a towel, water and a snack. We also recommend you to visit all of them as each one has something different.

It is possible to sleep in the national park in bungalows or tents. We leave you this link in case you are interested: accommodations in Erawan National Park. There are also a lot of nice lodges on the river before arriving to the park. We recommend this option only if you have a car or motorcycle.

TIP: Go as soon as they open and avoid weekends as it tends to get crowded.

smooth waterfall erawan falls
girl erawan falls jungle

2. The bridge over the Kawai River

The famous bridge over the Kawai River, also known as the Bridge of Death, was built by the Japanese during World War II.

It was built to connect the capital of Thailand with the capital of Myanmar and thus to communicate and supply the Japanese army with materials and troops. The railway line took a year to build and used Thai and Burmese prisoners of war as labour. The working conditions were so bad that around 100,000 people died during its construction, hence the name "Bridge of Death".

Crossing the bridge you will find a market with food stalls and places that sell things. In front of the market there is a beautiful Chinese temple.

kawai pagoda

Wat Tham SueaTemple

Also known as the tiger cave, it is the most famous temple in Kanchanaburi.

It features a giant Buddha image. Admission is free and it is located 17km from the centre of Kanchanaburi.

Credits to @viajaentusofa
Credits to @thevisualbackpacker

4. Travelling on the Death Railway

As we explained earlier, its name is not because it is dangerous, but because of the deaths caused by its construction. Today, the railway runs from Bangkok to Nam Tok. Given the landscapes it passes through, completely green, rice fields and gentle hills, it is a tourist attraction. The entire journey (Bangkok-Nam Tok) takes 5 hours.

You can take the train from Kanchanaburi and get off at one of the following stops. From Kanchanaburi you can get off at Kanchanaburi Central Station or River Kwai Bridge Railway Station.

Most tourists taking the train in Kanchanaburi get off at Tham Krasea Bridge, about 1 hour and 45 minutes from the Kanchanaburi exit. From this station you can take the train back, a taxi or a bus. Many people get off here to walk across the famous Tham Krasae Bridge.

It is also advisable to continue to the last station, Nam Tok. This way you can visit the Sai Tok Noi waterfall and the Hellfire Pass.

The train fare is $100 baths ($3.50 USD) regardless of the train section.

  • Schedule from Kanchanaburia: 6.07 am, 10.35 am, and 4.26 pm.
  • Hours from Nam Tok: 5.20 am, 12.55 pm, 3.30 pm.

TIP: Sit on the left side when going in the direction of Nam Tok, so you can better enjoy the amazing views.

5. Hellfire Pass

Hell's Pass, as it is aptly named, was the most difficult part of the railway to build. Day and night, the prisoners worked in the harshest conditions.

It is 80km to the centre of Kanchanaburi. If you took the train and decided to get off at Nam Tok station you are only 20 minutes away from the Hellfire Pass. You can take a tuk tuk or a shared taxi. From there you can take a bus back to Kanchanaburi.

6. Wat Ban Tham

This temple inside a cave is located on top of a mountain. The best part, to enter you have to climb a staircase in the shape of a dragon. The tour continues through a cave and you can climb to the top of the mountain.

Admission is free and it is located 13km from the centre of Kanchanaburi.

Photo: @thailand

How to get to Ayutthaya from Kanchanaburi?

It's super easy to get from Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya. You'll have to take a bus and a minivan.

First from Kanchanaburi bus station you have to take a bus to Suphanburi Province, 80km from Kanchanaburi. It's a public bus so don't expect air-conditioning or very comfortable seats, but it's a very local experience that we love. The bus costs between $80 and $100 baths ($2.5 and $3 USD) and takes 2 hours. Yes, it takes a long time for only 80km!

From Suphanburi station you have to take a minivan to Ayutthaya. So look for a local and tell him where you want to go and he will help you find the minivan to take. Suphanburi is 40km from Ayutthaya and luckily the minivan goes much faster than the bus, it takes about 30 minutes to make the journey. In theory the minivan fare is $50 baths (1.5 USD) but we couldn't get it down to less than $100 baths ($3 USD). The minivan leaves the station every 1 hour.

IMPORTANT: From Kanchanaburi you must leave before 1pm in order to take the minivan to Suphanburi.