Cruise the River Kwai
ALONG THE RIVER (K)WAI
The Kanchanaburi Province
Thailand is one of the most beautiful and culturally diverse countries in South-East Asia. The River Kwai, just a few hours from Bangkok, is rich with magnificent scenery, flora and birdlife. With the landscape constantly changing, it is the most picturesque of rivers (see the River Kwai map).
There are two river Kwai: the Kwai Noi, which we explore, and the Kwai Yai. Both rivers flow down from great lakes in the mountainous Burma border region. The two Kwai’s merge at the attractive town of Kanchanaburi, and form the Mae Khlong River that flows into the Gulf of Thailand at the bustling, colorful fishing port of Samut Songkhram. See pictures of the journey along the River Kwai.
The river journey, going upstream, begins at the town of Kanchanaburi, 124 km west of Bangkok, famous for its main attraction: the Bridge on the River Kwai.
Despite its association with the Death Railway, Kanchanaburi is now a typical Thai town, lively and cheerful, with many flower gardens. This area is a center of pilgrimage for war veterans from all the countries involved in the Death Railway, including Japan. A must-visit includes the newly opened Thailand-Burma Railway Center next to the Don Rak War Cemetery.
River Kwai Noi
Entering the Kwai Noi itself the scenery changes dramatically as the jungle closes in and the mountains rise above. The further up we go the narrower the river becomes, with dramatic gorges, deep pools, and roaring rapids. With waterfalls cascading down into the river from crags above, orchids and other flora trails overhanging, the river journey becomes exquisitely sensational.
Daowadung is as far as we can penetrate safely. From here we can continue by expedition vehicle to visit the lake above and the surrounding national park area which is predominantly inhabited by the Mon ethnic group (we arrange for a Mon dance troupe to perform in the evening.
Though seemingly a remote lost paradise, the Kwai valley has several sporting activities to offer.
– With numerous well-designed golf resorts around, we can arrange a golf cruise where you’ll play a different course every day.
– The river is also a popular rafting and kayaking destination, well-reputed for its fishing opportunities, and a photographer’s paradise.
* The RV River Kwai can be chartered for such special interest groups.