General Information of Kanchanaburi

According to most historians, the ancient town of Kanchanaburi waslocated near Ban Lat Ya, a small village situated approximately 16kilometers north of the present town. The site was repeatedly recordedin Thai history as an invasion route which the Burmese used to enterThai Kingdoms.

Kanchanaburi, which has mostly mountainous terrain, covers an area ofapproximately 19,473 square kilometers and is the third largestprovince in Thailand after Chiang Mai and Nakhon Ratchasima. Situatedapproximately 129 kilometres west of Bangkok, Kanchanaburi shares aborder with Myanmar to the west, Tak and Uthai Thani Provinces to thenorth, Suphan Buri and Nakhon Pathom Provinces to the east, andRatchaburi Province to the south.

In north and west Kanchanaburi, the terrain is comprised mainly ofmountains and high plains, with the Thanon Thongchai Range acting as anatural border between Thailand and Myanmar. The range is the source ofKanchanaburi's two most important rivers Maenam Khwae Noi and MaenamKhwae Yai, which form the famous Maenam Mae Klong. As a result, severalof Thailand's largest Namtok (waterfalls) and most extensive wildlifesanctuaries are found in this area.

The magnificent landscape and charming beauty of Kanchanaburi haveresulted in major tourist attractions including several well-knownwaterfalls, caves which were once inhabited by Neolithic man, pristinenational parks, tranquil rivers, virgin forests, and reservoir.Together, they offer an intriguing experience for first-time or repeatvisitors. Whether its fishing, rafting, canoeing, mountain biking,bird-watching, star-gazing, golfing, elephant and jungle trekking, oreven living in bamboo rafts, Kanchanaburi takes pride in offering themall.

The city of Kanchanaburi is located at the point where two tributaries,the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai meet and form the Maenam Mae Klong. This isthe location of the notorious Death Railway and the Bridge on the RiverKhwae one of the worlds famous World War II sites which have beenimmortalized in print and film.

In economic terms, Kanchanaburi has been doing well on a nationalscale, with over 10 per cent growth annually. Important industriesinclude sugar, agricultural products and jewelry. Tourism is also amain source of income for the locals as the provinces high tourismpotential has made Kanchanaburi number one among the west provinces inhaving the highest number of visitors each year.

Residents of Kanchanaburi are engaged in agricultural activities. Mostof the locals are of Thai ancestry with notable Mon and Karenminorities. Rural dwellers enjoy living simply and respecting nature.Moreover folk music and dances dating back at least 500 years are stillperformed today.

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