Most visitors traveling to Kanchanaburi head here because of the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai – the start of the World War II Death Railway to Myanmar (then Burma). The railway, museums associated with it, and the Commonwealth War Graves here have been attracting visitors for decades now. Kanchanaburi province is also one of Thailand’s most beautiful provinces, with a variety of national parks, outdoor spaces, and waterfalls. This guide covers you whether you’re going from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi or Kanchanaburi to Bangkok as you’ll need to know the best way to travel between these two destinations. There are several options for transport between Bangkok and Kanchanaburi, but what’s the best way to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi? And what are the options for traveling to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok? Here’s our guide on how to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok
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Where is Kanchanaburi
Kanchanaburi is a town in the west of Thailand. Kanchanaburi is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) by road from Bangkok. The town is located where the rivers Kwae Noi and Kwae Yai meet and it is at the source of the Mae Klong River.
How to Go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi – Transport Options
In this guide on how to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, we’ll cover the fastest way to travel go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, the easiest way to go to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok, and the cheapest way to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok, as well as the most atmospheric way to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. Our guide on visiting Hellfire Pass, near Kanchanaburi is here.
How to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok
For transport from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok, then you have several options. You can take a minivan from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, and there are also large buses that go to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. You can also take the train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi or you can take a taxi to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok.
Most visitors to Kanchanaburi come to see the infamous “Bridge over the River Kwai” and the World War II sites nearby, like Hellfire Pass. The train route here was built by slave labor – allied prisoners of war held by the Japanese, and local conscripted laborers. It seems only fitting to ride the train here. And it’s an atmospheric experience that’s well worth the time invested.
- You can also take a day trip to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok – check details here.
- If you’d like to include visiting Hellfire Pass, then this is a great option
- For multi-day trips to Kanchanaburi, then read more here.
To combine a visit to Kanchanaburi Death Railway and the floating marketing, then there are more options here.
Train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
Taking the train to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok is, for me, the best way of traveling to Kanchanaburi and this is also the cheapest way to go to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. There are usually 2 trains a day from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Trains to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok leave from Thonburi train station. Thonburi is sometimes referred to as Bangkok Noi Station.
Bangkok’s Thonburi train station only serves Kanchanaburi and Nam Tok, so it tends to be very quiet here.
Thonburi station is in the west of Bangkok and it’s not near any Skytrain or metro stations. It’s easiest to grab a taxi, or a Grab to get here. If you’re staying in the Khao San Road area of Bangkok, then it’s about a 10-minute walk from Khao San Road to Thonburi train station and to take a taxi to Thonburi from Khao San Road costs about 100 THB.
The train from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi takes about 3 hours and there is one class – third, which means that you have open windows for ventilation and hard bench seats. You don’t need to reserve a seat or a ticket, (I’m not even sure that it’s possible!). Simply arrive at Thonburi train station in Bangkok, buy your ticket and find a seat, the train is rarely busy. Get a window seat. It’s worth it but beware of the overgrown tree branches that definitely hurt if they whack you as you pass by.
Tickets cost around US$3 (100 baht) and there are two trains a day from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi – one at 07:50 and the other at 13:55. These trains arrive at 10:25 and 16:24.
Return trains from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok leave Kanchanaburi at 7:19 am and 2:48 pm each day. The trains from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok take 3.5 hours.
There are toilets on the train, but there’s no buffet car, you did read it right, this is a third-class train service. However, there are vendors walking the aisles who will sell you snacks, fruit, and drinks, including soft drinks and beer.
There is also a tourist train that runs on public holidays and weekends. The train runs from Thonburi to Kanchanaburi, and on to Namtok, where it stops for 3 hours. You do need to book tickets in advance for this train and prices vary depending on the class of ticket that you buy – around US$8 for a second class ticket with air conditioning. The train departs at 6:30 am from Bangkok and you can take it all the way to Namtok, or get off in Kanchanaburi.
Check our map of the train and minivan stations to see which is easiest for you to get to if you’re planning on taking the train to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok.
Minivans from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
It’s about 120 kilometers (75 miles) by road from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and the minivans from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi are one of the easiest ways to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. It takes about 3 hours to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by van. Most vans have air conditioning and some have WiFi. Minivans from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi depart throughout the day from various bus stations in Bangkok, but some services will pick you up from your accommodation, or places like Khao San Road and transport you to the bus station where you’ll transfer to a different van or bus.
If you arrive at a bus station to take a van to Kanchanaburi, and you haven’t pre-booked, then you’ll need to confirm the price and pay in cash.
Minivans run from Mo Chit bus station to Kanchanaburi, from Sai Tai Kao bus station to Kanchanaburi, from the Southern Bus station to Kanchanaburi, and from Burana Sat Road to Kanchanaburi.
If you’re taking a minivan from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, then be aware that it will arrive at the bus station in Kanchanaburi, which is still a way out from Kanchanaburi, about a one-hour walk!
You can also prebook and prepay for minivan transport from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Pre-bookable vans start to leave Bangkok at 5 am and the last van leaves at 5:30 pm. If you go to bus stations after this time, then you’ll likely be able to find a van leaving. There are usually 13 minivans per day that are pre-bookable to Kanchanaburi.
You don’t need to print a ticket for minivans from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, you can use an electronic ticket from your online booking from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi.
Bus from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
It’s about 120 kilometers (75 miles) by road from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and the bus from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi is one of the easiest ways to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. It takes about 3.5 hours to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by bus and there are lots of buses a day from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi.
Most buses from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi leave from the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok, but there are also buses that leave from other Bangkok bus terminals. Some buses leave from Mochit Bus terminal too. 20+ buses run from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi each day. The first bus to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok leaves at 5 am and the last bus from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi leaves at 7:30 pm.
Check morning bus times and prices from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi here.
Check afternoon bus times from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi here
Check evening bus times to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok here
These buses to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok are air-conditioned and by booking online here you can select your seats. If you’re tall, then a large bus usually has more legroom than the minivans that also ply this route. You can also book buses that leave from Khao San Road to Kanchanaburi.
You can prebook and prepay for Bus transport from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Check times for Bus from Khao San to Kanchanaburi here
You don’t need to print a ticket for the bus from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi, you can use an electronic ticket from your online booking from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi.
Taxi from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
Taking a private taxi to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok is one of the fastest ways to go to Kanchanaburi. It is the most comfortable way to travel. It takes about 2 hours to drive to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok. You can check prices for Bangkok to Kanchanaburi taxis here.
Map of Bus Stops and Train Stations for going from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
You can also see the train station and bus stops from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi here
The quickest way to get from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
The time it will take you to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok depends on where you are staying in Bangkok. The quickest way is to take a direct transfer or taxi, it takes about 2 hours to drive to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok, depending, of course, on where you are in Bangkok and how long it takes you to escape the city traffic! Buses take around 3 hours and 30 minutes. Minivans take about 3 hours and the train takes about 3 hours.
The easiest way to go to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok
The easiest way to get from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi again depends on where you are staying in Bangkok. It is easiest to get a door-to-door transfer, (you can check the rates here), but it also depends on why you are going to Kanchanaburi. Buses and minivans are comfortable, and the train is incredibly atmospheric, but if you’re short on time, then a day trip to Kanchanaburi is an easy way to travel.
The cheapest way to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
The cheapest way to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok is to take the train – you can’t prebook this, but there will always be seats available.
The best way to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
Well, now this depends. I love traveling on trains, and this trip, for me should be done by train. We took the train from Thonburi to Kanchanaburi and then took a minivan back to Bangkok.
Popular Routes in Thailand
Want to know more about different forms of transport in Thailand? Our guide to Thailand transport is here. And here’s how to travel some of the popular routes around Thailand, your options, and how we did it.
- How to go from Bangkok to Pakse (Laos)
- How to go from Koh Tao to Krabi
- How to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao
- How to go from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
- How to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
- How to travel from Krabi to Langkawi (Malaysia)
- How to go from Cambodia to Thailand
Final Words on How to Go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
Visiting Kanchanaburi from Bangkok is an easy trip to take. And whatever reason you’re coming to Kanchanaburi, you should check where your chosen method of transport leaves from and gets into. You’ll want to look at where, buses, minivans, and trains go from and see how far it is from where you are staying in Bangkok, as it can take as long to travel across Bangkok as it does to get to Kanchanaburi! Equally, once you arrive at Kanchanaburi, the bus station is still a ways out, so check options for onward travel too. If you want to explore more of Bangkok on your return, then check out Bangkok’s hidden gems here.
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