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The Bridge over the River Kwai
|District||Amphoe Mueang Kanchanaburi|
|Elevation||100 ft (30 m)|
Kanchanaburi (Thai: กาญจนบุรี (Pronunciation)) is a town (thesaban mueang) in the west of Thailand and the capital of Kanchanaburi Province. In 2006 it had a population of 31,327. The town covers the complete tambon Ban Nuea and Ban Tai and parts of Pak Phraek and Tha Makham, all of Mueang Kanchanaburi district, and parts of the tambon Tha Lo of Tha Muang district. In the late 19th century CE, Kanchanaburi was established by King Rama I as a defensive outpost against possible Burmese attacks in what is now Lat Ya subdistrict. In 1833 CE, the town was moved about 16 km towards the southeast along the river to its present site during the reign of King Rama III.
Kanchanaburi has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). Winters are dry and very warm. Temperatures rise until April, which is very hot with the average daily maximum at 38.2 °C (100.8 °F). The monsoon season runs from May through October, with heavy rain and somewhat cooler temperatures during the day, although nights remain warm.
|Climate data for Kanchanaburi (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||33.0
|Average low °C (°F)||19.9
|Rainfall mm (inches)||3.3
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||2||3||6||14||14||16||16||18||15||6||2||113|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)|
Kanchanaburi, which is where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai Rivers converge into the Mae Klong River, spans the northern banks of the river and is a popular spot for travelers. Its location at the edge of a mountain range keeps it much cooler than the other provinces of central Thailand. The city has two major commercial districts: the downtown area consists of a grid of several streets with office buildings, shop fronts, and a shopping mall; and the riverfront area businesses are mostly further west along River Kwai Road. Once a year a carnival comes to town and is set up in the area next to the bridge. At night there is a small pyrotechnics display that re-enacts the wartime bombing of the bridge.
Kanchanaburi is the birthplace of the Buddhist monk Phrabhavanaviriyakhun. It is 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) SE of the Buddhist temple Wat Tham Phu Wa which features a series of grotto shrines within a large limestone cave system. Each grotto features a statue of the Buddha at a different stage of his life. It is the easiest access point to the nearby Tiger Temple and is also home to a Vipassana meditation center.
In 1942 Kanchanaburi was under Japanese control. It was here that Asian forced labourers and Allied POWs, building the infamous Burma Railway, constructed a bridge; an event immortalised in the films The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Return from the River Kwai (1989) and The Railway Man (2013). Almost half of the prisoners working on the project died from disease, maltreatment, or accidents.
At Kanchanaburi, there is a memorial and two museums to commemorate the dead. In March 2003, the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum opened and the JEATH War Museum dedicated to the bridge and the Death Railway. The city is also home to the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
The Chong Kai Allies Cemetery is near Kanchanaburi, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Wat Tham Phu Wa.
- Amphoe Mueang Kanchanaburi
- Kanchanaburi Province
- Kanchanaburi Rajabhat University
- Visuttharangsi School, the provincial secondary school of Kanchanaburi
- Siam–Burma Death Railway (film) (film)
- "Thailand Travel Guide for Kanchanaburi". Tourismthailand.org. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
- Kanchanaburi travel guide from Wikivoyage
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