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“Peaceful” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Kanchanaburi War Cemetery

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
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Bridge on River Kwai from Bangkok
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Owner description: The town of Kanchanaburi is 129 kilometres North-West of Bangkok and is best reached by road, along the National Highway which runs north from the capital. There are bus and train services from Bangkok. Kanchanaburi War Cemetery is situated adjacent to Saeng Chuto Road which is the main road through the town. When approaching from Bangkok, the cemetery is on the left side of the road, towards the far (northern) end of the town. A Commission signpost faces the cemetery on the opposite side of the road.
Leeton, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2014

It was a place of reflection and interesting to walk around and see the young ages of people who fought for our country and gave there lives so that we could have a better life.
There are so many young people lying in here, makes you appreciate your life just that little bit more.

Visited October 2013
Thank Shelley L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
259 reviews
103 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
“Beautifully manicured but DO NOT BOOK with Thailand Tours Center”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2014

I'd like to start by pointing out that this review only refers to the War Cemetery in some part, but refers mostly to the unprofessionalism of possibly the dodgiest tour company in Thailand - the Thailand Tours Center.

Possibly, the worst thing that I have ever done is book with the Thailand Tours Center. Months prior to our holiday we booked two tours with this company (and I use the term company very loosely) including a day trip to the River Kwai and Tiger Temple.

Firstly, our pick up time changed from 0600 to 0630 (without notification, good one), so, if we'd known we could have had breakfast at our hotel restaurant instead of stuffing a croissant in our backpack and hoping it will see us through the morning. We get picked up at 0645 and taken to a drop off point on Khao San Road (last nights vomit included for free, yum). Mini buses are coming and going, dropping someone off and picking another up. The person whom we thought would be our guide for the day, jumps on a mini bus and leaves us on the side of the road without explanation. Eventually, 0800 we get herded onto a bus by some random and two hours after our original pick up time we hit the road . Glad we got up early.

Two hours of manic driving (so much so that I got motion sick on the trip up), the doors open and we are herded out of the bus. No explanation or information from the "guide", but we figured we were at the Allied War Cemetery and given "fifteen minutes only". My husband is an Army Officer and he was utterly disgusted that he was given such a short amount of time to pay our respects and absorb as much as we could from this site. Obviously it's important enough to stop at this location, but don't you dare give it any more importance than quarter of an hour.

I would like to stress that the local community have done an exceptional job on the site. The grass is lush and manicured, the memorials and head stones are all regularly cleaned and the grounds really are immaculate and respected, as they should be.

We then get back on the bus, again no explanation on what we had just seen and the significance of the contribution of those bodies in the ground. We aren't even told where we are headed next. Approximately ten minutes later we pull up at The Death Railway Museum with about six other bus loads of people. One of the guides took it upon themselves to give the group a brief detail on what we had seen and how it relates to what we were about to see. We are then told we have fifty minutes here and we could break it up however we saw fit between the museum and the Bridge over the River Kwai. If it's important to get the military background and the significance of this site, than one could easily spend a couple of hours in the museum, especially when the guides are as lack lustre as ours were. But too bad, we're forced to rush through the museum so we could fight the crowds on the Bridge and get a photograph.

We head back to the meeting point and we are whisked away again but with a different group of people, en route to the Elephant "Sanctuary". Half an hour later (thanks again to the guide for not informing us we'd be on the bus for that long), and we are literally told to "hurry up" as we're getting off the bus. We are chucked on the back of an elephant for a ten minute trek through the dust bowl of a sanctuary. I felt guilty and gross with every step the animal took. We get back to the platform and before we've even got off the elephant, we're getting hassled for a tip and have a photograph souvenir thrust in our faces. We run the additional fees gauntlet and buy a bottle of water from the kiosk and again the group is told they have two minutes then back on the bus.

This time we spend another ten minutes on the bus, however I am pleased to announce we were told that we are headed to the restaurant for lunch. We head onto the river boat restaurant for our lunch of rice, rice and veges. It was nice to actually sit and relax for a minute over lunch (the rest of the day was just a rush job). We declined the river raft so we could have a minute longer to ourselves (and by the looks of it, the crew got pretty wet - lol).

So after an hour on the river in total, we're directed to get back on the bus and we are driven a further ten minutes to a local waterfall. This place was stunning, really beautiful, but what's that? Ten minutes only. Excellent, because I get to the waterfall, take a snap and have to head back down to use the bathroom. Unluckiest day ever.

Next it's time to jump back on the bus and head to the Tiger Temple, this was a twenty-five minute drive away.

Finally we arrive. Hooray! We're given a breakdown of the Tiger Temple at the site map and sent on our merry way. Whilst we were there, we were happy. I loved how my little guide lady held my hand and took me around to each of the tigers (which according to another tourist, had read in the Lonely Planet guide that all of the animals are sedated - I genuinely hope this isn't the case, but who honestly knows the truth after reading so many for and against arguments on multiple forums). My little hand-holder also took multiple photos on my phone for me. She was so cute and took a good photo too!

We spent about an hour thereafter walking around the grounds and saw a beautiful little cub being walked home. We were told to meet at 1620, however the park started closing at 1550, so I don't really understand why we would meet twenty minutes after the presumed closing time.

1620 came and went and we will still left waiting at the kiosk. Our new guide (which had changed four times during the day) comes over to us at 1630 and says "not much longer now" and walks away again. Finally, and I'm not joking, of the ten bus loads of people at the Tiger Temple, we are the last handful of people waiting to be picked up. Our bus finally arrives and we hit the road at 1645 (forty-five minutes after we'd left the gates).

After a hectic drive back to Bangkok, we were so grateful to be the first hotel drop off in Silom. We got back to the hotel at 1930. So thirteen hours on tour, in total, and it felt like most of that was on the road.

Long of the short, find a different company who will not only take your money but give you something in return for it. Maybe they could be kind enough to pick you up at a more appropriate time or bother to share some information about the sites you are visiting. Perhaps they could have an office to meet at rather than the backpacker district the morning after a big night out, and perhaps, just perhaps they could manage their time more effectively to allow tourists more than ten or fifteen minutes at any given location.

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery? Yes.
Thailand Tours Center? Definite no.

Visited January 2014
1 Thank Jean B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Basingstoke, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
86 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“A fitting memorial”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 12, 2014

This is a beautifully laid out cemetery which is maintained to a very high standard. You cannot help but be moved by the tragic loss of life of so many young men and this is only one of many similar cemeteries for those lost in the war.

Visited December 2013
Thank Ian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stirling, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
70 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Do This At The End”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2014 via mobile

We visited the cemetery having seen a lot of the historical sights concerning the Death Railway. I didn't expect to get emotional here, particularly as it's beside a busy road. Wandering through some of the head stones and reading the inscriptions, having had some insight into the conditions they died in, I found myself with a lump in my throat.

Probably more thought provoking if you have already been to the other sights first, as you then have a better appreciation of the suffering these servicemen went through. A worth end to a tour of the Death railway sights though and an absolute must.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank Chirocol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
152 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“A well cared for cemetery as is fitting for those who gave everything.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 8, 2014

Walking around and reading the inscriptions to these brave men who gave everything and suffered so much is an emotional experience. The cemetery is beautifully kept as is only fitting for these heroes.

Visited January 2014
Thank Wizak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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