Getting to Kanchanaburi is very, very easy due to it’s close proximity to Bangkok. 99% of visitors, regardless of where you are travelling from in Thailand, will pass through Bangkok en route to Kanchanaburi.
There’s no airport in Kanchanaburi and currently only 3rd class trains run from Bangkok, so in reality unless you have your own car the best way to travel to Kanchanaburi is by bus or taxi.
From the Southern Bus Terminal (“Sai Dai”), buses leave every 30min for Kanchanaburi, the last one departing at 10.30pm. The journey takes a little under two hours.
Tickets for a standard air-con bus are 95 Th.Baht one way. This is by far the easiest way to get from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi!
As the railway link between Bangkok and Kanchanaburi is only a local line, this is a journey to be undertaken only by the VERY brave! From Thonburi station in Bangkok, only 3rd class trains run along this route and the journey takes a staggering FIVE HOURS!
Definition of 3rd class? – No windows, no fan, wooden seats, lots of chickens!
The fastest, but most expensive way to get to Kanchanaburi! From any where in Bangkok, taxi drivers will be able to get you here in about 90 mins for anywhere between 1,000-3,000 Th.Baht, all depending on your bargaining skills!
If you can find a Thai speaker to do the bargaining for you, it would be a lot better!
Minibuses (vans) are faster than regular buses but are quite cramped so aren’t a good idea if you have a lot of luggage. These serve both tourists and locals and can be a convenient way to travel, especially considering the ones to Bangkok depart from, and drop passengers at BTS stations or Khao San Road. Most minibuses depart hourly from 06:00 to 18:00 in either direction, although some start as early as 04:00 and finish as late as 20:00. In Kanchanaburi, many of these can be caught at the bus station or can pick you up directly from your guesthouse for an extra fee. From Bangkok, a number of minibuses depart daily for Kanchanaburi from the stations immediately below Victory Monument BTS station. Sample destinations from Kanchanaburi include:
Ayutthaya: These are generally for tourists and will pick up at your guesthouse for 380 baht. The trip takes around 3 hours.
Bangkok (Morchit): Depart from either the bus station or a pick-up point immediately in front of River Kwai Hotel, cost 120 baht and take around 2.5 hours. For pick-up at a guesthouse the price is 180 baht.
Bangkok (Victory Monument):Depart from the bus station, cost 120 baht and take around 2.5 hours. For pick-up at a guesthouse the price is 180 baht.
Bangkok (Khao San Road): Depart from the bus station, cost 110 baht and take around 2 hours. For pick-up at a guesthouse the price is 140 baht.
Hua Hin: Also mainly for tourists and will pick up at your guesthouse for 420 baht, taking around 4 hours.
Sangkhlaburi: Depart from the bus station between 07:30 and 16:30 only, cost 180 baht and take less than 5 hours.