The Bridge on the River Kwai is situated about 20 minutes outside of a cool, quirky town called Kanchanaburi. It’s about 2 hours west of Bangkok and really is a must do for anyone that a) likes history b) likes getting drunk and c) enjoys awesome veggie food! Getting there is really simple too. From Bangkok make your way to Thonburi Railway Station, pay 100b and board your train. There are 2 services daily, both are third class trains which means no designated seating or aircon, but there are fans, the windows all open and hawkers board at every stop selling drinks and snacks. For more info check out this website which I found really helpful Seat 61
The bridge itself is a twenty-ish minute walk from the centre of town, it can be quite hard going in 30 degree heat so maybe jump in a tuk tuk or a motorbike taxi, they’re cheap, less than 100b and will prevent you from sweating your face off. I wish I had taken my own advice.. hindsight ey? There are lots of stalls, cafés, restaurants and hawkers around the bridge, it has a really vibrant, cosmopolitan feel to it, but once you are on the bridge a real sense of tranquility takes over and you are surrounded by beauy and your own thoughts and feelings. You can walk the length of the bridge, straight down the middle of the track which is pretty cool and the views from either side are fantastic. There is also a museum just before you reach the bridge, definitely worth a look and the 40b entry price.
Kanchanaburi is bar central, beer bars, sports bars and reggae bars, any kind of bar you want you’ll find. However saying that, it isn’t a rowdy, noisy, mad place. It’s very very chilled, full of back packers, older travelers and family holiday makers. Our favourite bar was The Get Drunk for 10 Baht Bar, a fab little stall offering shots for 10b. They offer a variety of Thai rum, vodka and whiskey served straight, with a mixer or with a chaser all for the same price. It can get pretty busy, its all outside so bring mozzy repellent and the loos are across the road in its sister bar. All in all, a great, cheap night can be had in this place!
A quick Google search for veggie restaurants in Kanchanaburi will throw out a handful of uninspiring results: you’ll see the obligatory Jae friendly hawker stall at the night market and a place called On’s which for some reason people love to RAVE about! On our first night in Kanchanaburi we, being the boring tourists we are, followed the crowd and headed to On’s. Madness!! I’m not going to sit here and bad mouth the place, what I will say is, the food is terribly over rated, one dish I ordered failed to arrive, despite more than 1 reminder to the chef, the service was dreadful (we literally received our drinks at the END of our meal!) and our entire table was infested with ants. I was very pleased to leave that place.
A short walk through the main town will certainly provide you with enough inspiration to eat elsewhere. Everywhere here offers great vegan and vegetarian options, below are a few of my favorites 🙂
Just past the CJ mini market to the east of town you will find a jae stall. It’s on the left hand side and is a great, cheap place to grab a small bite. I choose the rice and veggie option, it was 30b and very tasty. Kerry made the mistake of ordering the seaweed sausages, we wasn’t impressed, avoid lol!
Located just past the Tesco Lotus is a guesthouse with a great food menu. We ate here a couple of times and both times the food was yummy, arrived quickly and the staff were friendly amd even though they lacked English our exchanges were enjoyable and animated.
Sire Krung Rueng
We stumbled across this place on our second night in town, and I’m really pleased we found it. It doesn’t have any online presence so I can’t link it, but it is just opposite the Get Drunk for 10b Bar and the exterior decor is really alluring with its tiki style and its wooden and turquoise signage. The veggie menu is located at the back of there regular menu and is pretty large! We came here a few times during our stay and the only thing I suggest you avoid is the crispy noodle salad – it was very greasy and not pleasant – everything else, yum!
Initally we came to this bar for a cheeky game of pool and a couple of beers, however, we stayed for the food. It offers standard western food, which to be honest, we both sometimes crave! Its veggie menu is pretty standard, but its cheap and tasty and the bar itself has a great vibe, tributes to the POWs who were held in Kwai, Aussie flags and guitars. They also have a live band most nights and sport is always on the TVs (if thats your thing 😉) They also have a fun shot menu, I got the ‘Bob Marley’ and was smiling all night!
The whole place is beautiful, tranquil and obviously sits on the bank of a river. Just breathing in its beauty will make you feel happy and at peace. If you can bead out to Kanchanaburi for a week or so, I highly recommend it, its therapy for the soul!
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