Kanchanaburi today

The major regional town of Kanchanaburi contains some heritage from World War II.

Some sites—such as the house of the Thai trader Nai Boonpong Sirivejabhandu who smuggled food and medicine to the POWs, and the Japanese headquarters—can be found in the old town, which was the extent of Kanchanaburi during the war. Other sites—including the ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and the 1944 Japanese memorial—were some kilometres north of Kanchanaburi during the war (at Tha Markam). They have now been absorbed into the expanding town. Kanchanaburi also contains two Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries (Kanchanaburi/Don Rak and Chungkai) and several museums (the JEATH Museum on the bank of the Mae Khlong River, the JEATH and World War II Museum near the Bridge; and the Death Railway Museum (Thailand Burma Railway Centre) near the Kanchanaburi/Don Rak cemetery. [Map data source: ©2013 Google, Map data ©2013 Tele Atlas]

Map of Kanchanaburi—detailed description

This map of the major regional town of Kanchanaburi locates sites of interest relating to the Burma-Thailand railway. Among the central features of the map is Highway 323 which runs through the town from the north-west (towards Hellfire Pass) to Bangkok. The highway runs roughly parallel to the Kwae Yai/Mae Khlong river which flows through the town. At the centre of the map is the major river junction with the Kwae Noi which is shown flowing from the south-west corner.

In the north-west corner the 'Bridge on the River Kwai' is shown spanning the Kwae Yai as it carries the rail line from the south. Near to the bridge is the site of the former Tha Markham POW camp and the 1944 Japanese memorial on Maenamkwai Road. On the river bank nearby, the World War II & JEATH War Museum and site of the wooden bridge are located.

Once over the bridge, the rail line loops back south-east through Kanchanaburi—running close and parallel to Highway 323. Just off the highway a couple of kilometres south-east is the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre. Across the street the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is located and, next to this the monument to rǒmusha (Chinese Cemetery). Nearby on the other side of Highway 323, on the rail line is Kanchanaburi Railway Station.

Less than two kilometres further south on Pak Prak Rd, (near to the junction of the Kwae Noi and Mae Khlong), is the house of the Thai trader Nai Boonpong Sirivejabhandu—who smuggled food and medicine to the POWs—and the World War II Japanese headquarters. Less than a kilometre further east the Bus Terminal is located not far from where U-Thong Road meets Highway 323. Further south on the bank of the Mae Khlong river past the main river junction, the JEATH Museum Wat Chaichumpol is located.

Outside the town a couple of kilometres south-west of the river junction Chungkai War Cemetery is located along the Kwae Noi. About a kilometre further on (at the bottom right of the map) are the Chungkai cuttings through which the present rail line runs.


Last updated: 28 February 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Kanchanaburi today, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 29 September 2021, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/burma-thailand-railway-and-hellfire-pass-1942-1943/locations/remembering-railway/kanchanaburi-today
Was this page helpful?