2 Days River Kwai’s Jungle Rafts
2 Days River Kwai’s
An unrivalled overnight stay at one of Kanchanaburi’s charming resorts on the River Kwai
WHY THIS TOUR?
Gently dancing on the tides of the Kwai Noi, Kanchanaburi’s Jungle Rafts have been the epitome of local authenticity, designed in an overnight adventure of extraordinary proportions. Founded in 1976, with only a few basic floating huts on the famous River Kwai, this experience of a lifetime has gained raving reviews once you’ve settled in on your bamboo raft with nothing but the sound of nature as very much acceptable back ground noise.
This 2-day package will not skip the most famous sites and landmarks of Kanchanaburi, once engulfed in war atrocities during the construction of the Death Railway. Get ready for an overnight stay, sincerely blessed with its surrounding gorges as you laze around at one of the hammocks with nothing but oil lamps brightening up the place with romance and character.
Bangkok – Kanchanaburi [L, D]
An early departure from Bangkok (between 6am and 6:30am) marks the start of your 2 day venture in Kanchanaburi. The 130-kilometer drive, accompanied by a guide and driver in western direction sees you arriving at Kanchanaburi at around 9am.
We start the morning with visiting the interactive Thailand – Burma Railway Centre, an air-conditioned display of the size, the working conditions, and those perished during the construction of this railway project during the 2nd World War. The nearby War Cemetery of allied prisoners adds a sense of reality to this morning. Kanchanaburi’s most famous War Cemetery on Saeng Chuto Road, contains the remains of close to 7000 prisoners of war who perished during the construction of the Death Railway is close-by the bridge and resembles a small part of the many, died during this period of Japanese occupation.
We end the morning at the famous Bridge over the River Kwai. Internationally famous, thanks to several motion pictures and books, the black iron, curved bridge was brought from Java by the Japanese Army and reassembled by Allied Prisoners-of-War labourers as part of the “Death Railway” linking Thailand with Myanmar. Still in use today, the bridge was the target of frequent Allied bombing raids during 1945, and was rebuilt after the war ended. We continue making our way further towards the Jungle Rafts by long-tail boat where we check in and enjoy lunch.
Lunch will be served at the floating restaurant.
After lunch, your long tail boat captain sails to another landmark of historical value: the Hellfire Memorial Pass is an example on how the environment was used to connect Burma with Thailand through thick forest areas and large rock formations. A part of the Death Railway, constructed during the Second World War and now abandoned, is located in the thick forest outside Kanchanaburi. A long passage made through the stone mountains, carved out by the Allied prisoners-of-war indicated the extreme difficulty in constructing the Death Railway. The enclosed impressive museum and memorial will fill in the parts and/or give a much more extensive explanation.
After wandering around and listening to the stories of your guide, we sail back to the Jungle Rafts where you truly can enjoy this awesome place of peace and quietness. For a better understanding of their cultural diversity, Mon dances bring forward the unique characteristics of this group of hospitable people. A 45-minute performance in the evening adds more value to closing this day after enjoying a Thai dinner.
Overnight at The River Kwai Jungle Rafts.
Kanchanaburi – Bangkok [B, L]
Breakfast is served at the resort’s only restaurant with full views over the Kwai Noi River.
The province’s proximity to the Myanmar border has seen an influx of the Mon ethnic minority settling in Kanchanaburi permanently. Our time after breakfast is spent right among the local Mon people, where we visit one of the few settlements of the Mon where your guide explains and shows you the way this group of friendly villagers take pride in preserving Mon traditions. The tour follows a well laid-out path into the jungle for a refreshing short hike. We return back to the Jungle Rafts to check out and say goodbye to the staff of this amazing place in nature. We reach our local lunch address after a long tail boat ride downstream, located nearby our train embarkation point for a train ride over the Death Railway.
Lunch is included at a local restaurant
Our final part of the morning and afternoon includes heading down to one of the railway stations to take a ride over the original DEATH Railway back towards Kanchanaburi. The Death Railway itself stretched originally from Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar to Nong Pladuk in Thailand’s Ratchaburi province. More than 16,000 prisoners died during the construction of the railway, commemorated at various sites across Kanchanaburi. Train rides over the Death Railway offer both scenic and surreal experiences of what once was a region of war camps, controlled by the Japanese.
We’d expect to disembark the train after an approximate 1 hour and 20 minutes’ train ride where our driver awaits and brings you back in all comfort to Bangkok. Depending on traffic, we’d expect to arrive in the Thai capital at around 6pm.
YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE THESE
The ‘other side’ of metropolis Bangkok is merely a boat ride away. Once put in a governmental spotlight when rulers from a bygone era declared Thonburi the capital of the Thai kingdom, little of its local charm has faded. Slowly emerging as an upcoming urbanisation of Greater Bangkok, Thonburi remains an authentic pearl, separated by waterways and characterized by temples and communities.
The origins of what is now called “Krung Thep” have their roots in Rattanakosin Island. Located north of famous Chinatown and snuggling against the eastern banks of the Chao Phraya River, the historical heart of Bangkok is home to unmissable landmarks such as the Grand Palace, Wat Pho and popular evening venues such as Khao San Road.