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Bridge Over the River Kwai

Take a walk over this historic landmark, which has become the symbol of the infamous Thailand-Burma railway.

Just upriver from Kanchanaburi stands a rather ordinary looking bridge that has become a national landmark. Made world-famous by the 1957 Hollywood film, The Bridge on the River Kwai, this concrete and steel bridge is still in use today, serving as a vital transport connection and link to the past.

Two bridges, one wooden, one steel, were built here in 1943 by local laborers and Allied prisoners of war. These bridges were part of the Japanese “Death Railway” from Thailand to Burma, so-called because its construction led to the deaths of more than 100,000 men due to accidents, brutality and starvation.

In 1945, Allied bombs destroyed the two bridges. The bridge that stands today once again lets trains cross the Kwai Yai River. Take a train over the bridge from the station on the east bank, or walk along the path that has been built on the sides of the bridge and enjoy the views.

Strangely, the bridge was not originally over the River Kwai, but over the Mae Klong River. The film The Bridge on the River Kwai, though loosely based on the story of this bridge, was made under the mistaken impression that the bridge passed over the River Kwai. When the film gained international popularity, Thailand decided to change the name of the river, so that it would have a bridge on the River Kwai, after all.

Today, the bridge is a major tourist attraction, with many restaurants and shops nearby. To see more of the winding Kwai Yai River, take a boat tour with one of the many local operators.

The easiest way to reach the bridge from Kanchanaburi is by train, taxi or bicycle. Admission to the Bridge Over the River Kwai is free.

Not sure how to get the most out of your visit at Bridge Over the River Kwai? We've put together a list of popular activities to give you a head start:

Take a look at our Kanchanaburi things to do page to find many more activities while you're in the area.


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Top Bridge Over the River Kwai Hotel Deals

See all 122 properties near Bridge Over the River Kwai
U Inchantree Kanchanaburi SG$76
U Inchantree Kanchanaburi

U Inchantree Kanchanaburi

443 Mae Nam Kwai Road, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated on the riverfront, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of JEATH War Museum and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and Lak Meuang are also within 3 miles (5 km).

    Felix River Kwai Resort SG$71
    Felix River Kwai Resort

    Felix River Kwai Resort

    9/1 Moo 3 Thamakham, Amphur Muang, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in the historical district, this hotel is close to Bridge Over the River Kwai, JEATH War Museum and Thailand-Burma Railway Centre. Local attractions also include Kanchanaburi Walking Street and Lak Meuang.

      Bamboo House Kanchanaburi SG$14
      Bamboo House Kanchanaburi

      Bamboo House Kanchanaburi

      5 Vietnam Road, Tha Makham, Kanchanaburi
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Kanchanaburi, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of JEATH War Museum and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and Lak Meuang are also within 3 miles (5 km).

        The Zeit River Kwai SG$70
        The Zeit River Kwai

        The Zeit River Kwai

        11 Soi Kumpucha, Tamakham, Kanchanaburi, Thailand
           
          3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated on the waterfront, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of JEATH War Museum and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and Lak Meuang are also within 3 miles (5 km).

          Natee The Riverfront Hotel Kanchanaburi SG$77
          Natee The Riverfront Hotel Kanchanaburi

          Natee The Riverfront Hotel Kanchanaburi

          77/ 77 River Kwai Road, T. Thamakham, A. Muang Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Kanchanaburi, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) from Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and 1.3 mi (2.2 km) from Bridge Over the River Kwai. JEATH War Museum and Lak Meuang are also within 2 miles (3 km).

            Thai Garden Inn Kanchanaburi SG$31
            Thai Garden Inn Kanchanaburi

            Thai Garden Inn Kanchanaburi

            74/11 Moo 4, Tambon Thamakham, Amphur Muang, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Kanchanaburi, this hotel is 1.2 mi (1.9 km) from Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Bridge Over the River Kwai. JEATH War Museum and Lak Meuang are also within 3 miles (5 km).

              Good Times Resort SG$50
              Good Times Resort

              Good Times Resort

              265/5 Maenam Kwai Rd., Tha Makham, A. Muang, Kanchanaburi
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Kanchanaburi, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and Bridge Over the River Kwai. JEATH War Museum and Lak Meuang are also within 2 miles (3 km).

                Chez Bure - Bure Homestay SG$48
                Chez Bure - Bure Homestay

                Chez Bure - Bure Homestay

                11/5 Singapore Rd., Tambon Thamakham, Kanchanaburi
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Kanchanaburi, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of JEATH War Museum and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and Lak Meuang are also within 3 miles (5 km).