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Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Busy Doing Nothing on The River Kwai

Last Updated 28/03/2020

We’ve been in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, sitting here on the River Kwai for a week now. What have we been doing? A Kanchanaburi blog from this sleepy riverside town in Thailand.

View of River Kwai from our floating raft room
Our view of the River Kwai from our raft room.

Well, nothing, really. Sleeping on a raft, eating, reading, using computers and just watching the world go by. We did managed a little bit of school work, a very little bit. I’m a very relaxed homeschooler, almost unschooler. It’s amazing how easy it is to do nothing here. We don’t want to leave.

Slow Travel in Kanchanaburi

Floating raft room River Kwai
Slow travel with children, plenty of time for story telling.

We’re perfectly happy with our lot. I ask the children what they want to do every day, they ask if we can just have a lazy day doing nothing again. That’s fine by me kids!

Please check and double-check all the information we give you locally as times, places, dates, and services do, as we found, change often. Restrictions and closures may apply.

Their nothing is mostly play, of course, they made some lovely friends for a few days and ran around playing tag on the rafts. They had “kids’ dinner” one night, the five children sat together in the restaurant, ordered their own meals and had a blast. The three mums kept an eye on them from the raft below, beer in hand. It’s a lovely safe environment here, the worst that could happen is they could fall in the river. They can swim.

River Kwai fisherman
River Kwai fisherman, we see him drying his catch in the sun later.

I suppose we’re just doing what we’d normally do back home in Port Douglas, with the work, cooking and cleaning taken out. The most taxing thing I’ve done this week is cut toenails and buy soap.

We’ve continued our battle with tonsillitis this week, Boo (6) had a spot of tummy bother, too, so we had a good excuse to stay put. We’re all good now.

There Is Plenty to do Around Kanchanaburi

Night Market Kanchanaburi
Squid on a stick from Kanchanaburi night market

Up on the main road there are a million little tour shops selling day trips to waterfalls, parks, elephant bathing attractions and World War II sites. We haven’t been on any, mostly because they are too expensive, but also because we’re lazy. They are all out of town, it doesn’t feel worth getting the local bus and I’ve never driven a motor scooter, so I don’t feel safe hiring one and driving with the kids ( but I’m going to learn!).

Crossing the Bridge on River Kwai Kanchanaburi
Walking over The Bridge on The River Kwai.

We went to see the famous Bridge on The River Kwai, that was just five minutes up the road by motorbike taxi and was the reason we came, it was amazing to actually be there.

The Jeath War Museum, almost next door, was incredible, too.

We took a taxi in the opposite direction to see the old buildings and the original town wall, that was OK, and we’ve been to the night market a few times.

taxi Kanchanaburi
Motorbike taxi!

There are loads of bars on the main road, some more seedy than others. We even saw a pole dancer as we were walking home last night.

You can buy anything you need. You can get a massage for $5 or a pedicure for $4, but tourist trinket shops are thin on the ground, nothing like Bangkok.

That’s it, all we’ve done. If you come here with plenty of cash you can easily keep yourself busy, but we figure we’ll see plenty more waterfalls and elephants, there’s no rush to see them here.

A Karaoke raft on River Kwai
A Karaoke raft goes by now and again. Love a bit of Gangnam style!

The River Kwai is the star, I could sit here, feel the breeze and watch the  wildlife, boats, fishermen and lotus bud pickers for a very long time.

Where to go After Kanchanaburi?

Our visas are almost up so we need to leave Thailand ( 30 day on arrival visa), we could do a visa run from here into Burma, but that would only give us another 15 days.

We’re getting the train ( you can also take the bus) to Bangkok from Kanchanaburi and then hopping on an overnight sleeper train up to Laos, where we will continue to do nothing, aka slow travel. That’s the plan, anyway.

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