Railways and Old Trains by Thananan Katchasuwanmanee in Kanchanaburi

I took this picture on the historical Burma railway when I was traveling to Sai-Yok waterfall. I occasionally travel this route when I volunteer in rural areas of Thailand, or when I visit the waterfalls and mountains. Every time I travel on this route I see many foreigners traveling to visit the railways built by their ancestors. Mostly everyone would go to the River Kwai Bridge, a famous bridge built almost 60 years ago that serves as a reminder of the cruel and uncivilized past. But when we get back on the train, we can all feel a new beginning, a beginning of a better future.

Name:Thananan Katchasuwanmanee


Tell us about Kanchanaburi:

Kanchanaburi is a city surrounded by nature and history. There are many waterfalls, rivers, and dams in the area, and the Burma railway reflects the history. If you took the train from Bangkok, you would pass the River Kwai Bridge and Nakorn-Pathom Station, where a big and beautiful temple stands gloriously near the station. If you want to relax and see nature then this train ride is certainly the trip for you.

A perfect day?

If you have the chance to grab a train from Bangkok early in the morning, you could stop by the market at the Nakorn Pathom station. There is a lot of good food and a temple here too. The sun at this time wouldn’t be as strong, so you can easily enjoy a walk here. But if you enjoy it too much you might forget to get back on the train!

What is the best thing about Kanchanaburi?

The best thing is that along the railway you’ll see the different ways people live in the city and its outskirts. In addition, you will see the nature and rocky mountains along the way, making it quite entertaining to stick your head out and watch.

What is the worst?

The western part of Thailand is the hottest area, even though there are a lot of forests and waterfalls, it is in the rain shadow area too. Although it is very hot and humid most of the time, during the winter the climate is a lot cooler.

What would be surprising about Kanchanaburi to an outsider?

The most surprising part would be the trains. If you thought you couldn’t find functioning trains this old, then come to Thailand.

If Kanchanaburi was a person or character who would it be?

It would be a quiet old man. A person who seems sad and quiet all the time, but is really a nice, gentle-hearted and fun person if you get to know him.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

First is Haruki Murakami. He’s a writer who wrote many famous books such as South of the Border, West of the Sun and Norwegian Wood. Second is Tattoo Coloured, a Thai music band, and the third is J.J. Abrams, the awesome sci-fi director.




Name:Thananan Katchasuwanmanee


Favorite place to eat:

Street food stalls.

Favorite place to drink:

Street food stalls, too.

Local Tip:

If you go to Sai Yok waterfall, walk into the deeper parts because the waterfalls in the front will be so crowded that it ruins the mood. When you walk in deeper then you’ll experience a very good atmosphere and have more privacy. If you want to spend the night here or maybe go visit other places, try the Srinakarin Dam. Most of the hotels at Srinakarin Dam are rafts close to the dam. It is similar to the River Kwai area but certainly better.

Must Do:

If you come to Kanchanaburi then you have to go rafting. The Erawan waterfalls are a must see, and jumping from the boulders down into the waterfall is a must do. Erawan is bigger than Sai Yok, but it has more visitors.