A small town in north-western Thailand, Kanchanaburi attracts its fair share of backpackers and tourists, most of whom come to visit the place for its historical significance. For those not in the know, the town of Kanchanaburi is located close to the landmark Kwai River Bridge, infamous for the number of POWs who died there under miserable conditions during World War II. There are now also some good restaurants and bars in the town, along with a smattering of good places to bed down. Check them out…
While this place may not seem like much, with basic air-conditioning and furniture in all the rooms, the biggest advantage is its large swimming pool and free Wi-Fi. This is also a great place to meet and connect with fellow travelers. The place also has larger, colorful Thai-style bungalows with fridges and televisions, but these may not fit the budget of the backpacking traveler.
Apple and Noi have been known to backpackers for years now, with Noi’s cooking and classes nearly world-famous. The couple moved across the river to set up Apple’s Retreat, a backpacker hostel that offers comfy beds and clean rooms. The place is spacious and all rooms come with air-conditioning and hot water.
The Jolly Frog is one of the longest running establishments of its type in Kanchanaburi, and has been known for years. The prices remain rock-bottom (in fact, they don’t seem to have changed in years), but the rooms are now just a tad sorry for themselves. That said, this one’s buzzing restaurant, river front location and lively backpacker vibe keep customer coming back for more!
One of the newer additions to the backpacking hospitality segment in Kanchanaburi, Tara is located above Snooker Bar in the heart of town. The low-end rooms have a shared bathroom, but the facilities are clean and well-kept. Upscale rooms have Thai art on the walls, and have desks, fridges, and bathrooms with showerheads besides.
Right next door to the River Kwai Hotel, but offering more modest accommodation is the River Inn hotel. All the rooms have fridges, basic TVs, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Nonetheless, the place has arguably the best value for the money in Kanchanaburi. It is located some distance from the traveler strip, but is within five minutes’ walk from the bus station, making it ideal for a stopover or late arrivals.