Kanchanaburi city, the capital of Kanchanaburi Province, is a popular resort town; picturesque and worthy of a visit in its own right, it is frequently visited as base of operations for exploring the many cultural, natural, and historical attractions in the surrounding countryside. Located at the confluence of the Kwai Noi and Kwai Yai Rivers, Kanchanaburi lies at the source of the Mae Klong River, and these majestic bodies of water are defining characteristics of the town.
The original town of Kanchanaburi was established by King Rama I as a first line of defense against the Burmese, whom he believed might use the old invasion route through the Three Pagodas Pass at the Siam-Myanmar border. According to most historians, the old town of Kanchanaburi was located near Ban Lat Ya, a small village situated approximately 16 kilometers north of the present town. The present provincial capital is a relatively newer town built by King Rama III in 1833.
The town itself is a place to relax, watching the water from the banks of the river, inside a raft house, or from a riverside restaurant. Many visitors like to rest along the river with a cold drink and a good book. Many of them come here just for a couple days but stay for weeks in order to explore all of the attractions in the surrounding countryside. Along with visiting spectacular waterfalls, lush forests, and three of Thailand’s largest reservoirs, white water rafting, elephant trekking, and golfing are popular activities for visitors. Kanchanaburi is an excellent tourist destination for nature lovers.