Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

Vacation Travel Guide
Thailand-Burma Railway Centre showing interior views

An attractive off-white exterior belies the story told inside of the harsh conditions manual laborers faced when constructing a wartime rail system.

The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre relates the history of a Japanese supply railway built largely by prisoners under grueling conditions during World War II. Tens of thousands of British and Australian captured troops and conscripted Asian residents died from malnutrition, disease and punishment while laboring during its construction in 1942 and 1943. Though The Bridge on the River Kwai does not fully capture the extreme conditions for these prisoners, the 1957 film brings attention to this deadly project. Learn accurate information about this sad time in history at this detailed and non-partisan museum.

As you tour the eight main galleries, look for not only information about prisoner life on the “Death Railway,” but also facts about the incredible engineering of this single-track rail line. Built manually over 16 months, the track ran for 258 miles (415 kilometers), from Ban Pong, Thailand, to Thanbyuzayat, Burma.

Appreciate the variety of displays, including a 30-foot-long (9-meter) model of the route through the River Kwai in 1:50,000 scale. Tools recovered from the path are exhibited, as well as personal effects left behind.

Step into the replica medical hut to see how imprisoned doctors and medical orderlies improvised equipment to treat injury and disease. The Summary of Death gallery depicts numbers of deaths using rail spikes, each representing 500 people. Other galleries show the end of the war and the bombing of the bridges and rail line. A small part of the railway, from Nong Pladuk to Nam Tok, still operates today.

After your tour, stop for reflection in the café, where you can have beverages, sweet treats, breakfast or lunch. Gather more information from books in the center’s shop and purchase handicraft items made by locals, including participants in the Weaving For Women Project in Sangklaburi.

The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre is open daily during normal business hours. There is entrance fee; ask for discounts for children through 12 years of age.

While here, stop to admire the gardens of the adjacent War Cemetery. You may meet families of former prisoners of war who have come to learn more about what their loved ones endured.

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Top Hotels Close to Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

My Home Guest House
My Home Guest House
2.5 out of 5
1/16-18 Maenamkwai Road, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥792 per night from Sep 17 to Sep 17
Situated in Kanchanaburi, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, Lak Meuang, and Kanchanaburi Walking Street. JEATH War Museum and ...
4/5Very Good! (17 reviews)
Nice & Clean
"Nice and clean. Private parking if you come by car."

Reviewed on Jan 30, 2020

My Home Guest House
Bamboo House Kanchanaburi
Bamboo House Kanchanaburi
3 out of 5
5 Vietnam Road, Tha Makham, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥1,357 per night from Sep 20 to Sep 20
Situated in Kanchanaburi, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of JEATH War Museum and Bridge Over the River Kwai. Kanchanaburi Walking Street is 2.3 mi ...
4.1/5Very Good! (105 reviews)
Very Nice
"Very Nice"

Reviewed on Feb 15, 2020

Bamboo House Kanchanaburi
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
2 out of 5
3/11 Manamkwai Rd, Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
Situated in Kanchanaburi, this hostel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Thailand-Burma Railway Centre and Kanchanaburi Walking Street. Bridge Over the River Kwai is 1.5 ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Best hostel I have ever stayed at!!
"Great hostel, new, very clean, close to the main street but still quiet! They have lockers next to your bed with a bottle of water and a towel! (Bring a lock) Staff was helpful and very nice! Kitchen with dishes, microwave, water warmer, coffee, large refrigerator! Very safe and modern amenities ..."

Reviewed on Oct 6, 2018

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Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
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Best Lodging Options Near Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

My Home Guest House
My Home Guest House
2.5 out of 5
1/16-18 Maenamkwai Road, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥792 per night from Sep 17 to Sep 17
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Bamboo House Kanchanaburi
Bamboo House Kanchanaburi
3 out of 5
5 Vietnam Road, Tha Makham, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥1,357 per night from Sep 20 to Sep 20
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Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
2 out of 5
3/11 Manamkwai Rd, Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
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Tara Raft Kanchanaburi
Tara Raft Kanchanaburi
2.5 out of 5
15/1 Soi Rong-Heep-Aoi Ban Nua, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥1,696 per night from Sep 19 to Sep 19
Tara Raft Kanchanaburi
Asleep Hostel
Asleep Hostel
2 out of 5
286/140, Sangchuto Road, Tambon Ban Nuea, Kanchanaburi
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Sky Resort
Sky Resort
3 out of 5
48/8 Soi Rong Heeb Aoi, Chao Khunnen Rd, Ban Nuea, Mueang, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥3,194 per night from Sep 17 to Sep 17
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Smiley Frog
Smiley Frog
2.5 out of 5
28th Street, River Kwai - Chinese Road, Tambon Ban Na, Amphoe Mueang, Kanchanaburi, Uthai Thani
The price is ¥1,477 per night from Sep 17 to Sep 17
Smiley Frog
WEE HOSTEL
WEE HOSTEL
2 out of 5
18 Maenamkwai Rd Thamakham, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
WEE HOSTEL
Tamarind Guest House
Tamarind Guest House
2 out of 5
29/1 Thamakham, Muaeng, Kanchanaburi
Tamarind Guest House
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.