Cool wind and "fishes in gold" greet you as you enter Kanchanaburi in Thailand. The long row of tall posts with golden fishes atop along the road leading travellers inside this holiday destination lends a unique feature to the place.
And, quiet float the white Water Lilies and the summer-style traditional houses on the serene River Kwai that flows through Kanchanaburi. A beautiful countryside, this travel destination is a peaceful and a pretty fairytale kind of place. Cute cottages, small lanes and dream resorts dot this tiny place in West Thailand. Breathtaking landscape with wooden houses along the foothills and the lush valley is a famous landmark in Kanchanaburi.
The small, yet traditionally rich town boasts of having maintained the traditional Thai identity unlike the other more popular and commercial destinations like Phuket and Pattaya.
“If you want to see and taste traditional Thai ways of living, you must visit Kanchanaburi,” a young and charming hostess at Hotel Novotel in Bangkok said as I stepped out to explore the place.
Like the other holiday destinations in Thailand, Kanchanaburi too comes alive in the evening time with its night markets and cafes with exotic food and drinks to feast on and fancy things to shop. Tourists and visitors start filling up the traditional food joints and massage parlours by evening and late into the night. "My parlour opens till 2 am and tourists come for massage after a long day of touring around the place," said a petite lady who runs a parlour there.
Besides the many delightful ventures one can explore, rafting a blissful journey on the dark river late into the quiet night is one of the most unforgettable travel experiences here. Of course, there are more to see and experience when in this beautiful province of World War-II history.
The River Kwai remains symbolic of World War-II. Today, the river that runs through the town is lined by floating houses and restaurants packed with tourists and visitors.
The mesmerising riverside beauty completely lures you to the place. And, the floating houses on the river makes for an idyllic setting--a bright and blissful afternoon or a romantic evening by the waterside.
If you are on a short holiday and want to cover everything, make sure to stay in a hotel or resort near the River Kwai bridge, which is the main attraction of the province. It is a part of the railway line constructed during the World War-II that connected Burma and Thailand. After the war, the Thai Government renovated it in 1946.
The railway line runs along the cliff on one side and the River Kwai below. The track connects to the River Kwai bridge which is worth visiting.
If you are looking for a comfortable stay, opt for resorts as they have the best of amenities and are quite reasonable, especially during the offseason. Most of the resorts like the Dheva Mantra Resort and Spa are situated by the riverside. The green resort is uniquely built with a fusion of traditional and modern architecture and provides a great stay though it is tucked away from the main town.
However, taxi services are available. If you have more days in hand, you can chuck the cars and trek around the place and experience the traditional Thai living.
The best time to visit the place is anytime of the year. The weather here is always fine with a little shower of rain and drizzle every now and then. If one is looking to bust the stress with a relaxing and refreshing break, less-travelled Kanchanaburi is an ideal wellness destination.