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Thailand-Burma Railway Centre
Vacation Travel Guide

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.

Top things to do in Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

Top Hotels Close to Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

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 ¥1,422 per night from Feb 3 to Feb 4

Situated in Kanchanaburi, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Thailand-Burma Railway Centre, Bridge Over the River Kwai, and Kanchanaburi Walking Street. Lak ...

3.9/5Very Good! (11 reviews)

"I like the huge garden facing the river."…"

Reviewed on Aug 7, 2019

Smiley Frog
Felix River Kwai Resort
Felix River Kwai Resort
4 out of 5
9/1 Moo 3 Thamakham, Amphur Muang, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥3,917 per night from Feb 17 to Feb 18

This family-friendly hotel is located in the historical district, close to Bridge Over the River Kwai, JEATH War Museum, and Thailand-Burma Railway Centre. Local ...

3.8/5Good! (188 reviews)
ice quiet hotels in lovely grounds

"Nice and quiet hotel but a bit out of the way. You probably need a car but they do provide transport around the grounds from where it’s a short walk to the bridge. Hotel is a bit dated but very spacious and comfy. Staff are lovely"…"

Reviewed on Jul 2, 2020

Felix River Kwai Resort
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
2 out of 5
3/11 Manamkwai Rd, Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥1,480 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2

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

Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

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 ¥1,422 per night from Feb 3 to Feb 4
Smiley Frog
Felix River Kwai Resort
Felix River Kwai Resort
4 out of 5
9/1 Moo 3 Thamakham, Amphur Muang, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥3,917 per night from Feb 17 to Feb 18
Felix River Kwai Resort
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
2 out of 5
3/11 Manamkwai Rd, Ban Tai, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥1,480 per night from Feb 1 to Feb 2
Thyme Xeriscape Hostel
Sabai@Kan Resort
Sabai@Kan Resort
3 out of 5
317/4 Mae Nam Kwai, Tambon Thamakham, Muang District, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥3,525 per night from Jan 30 to Jan 31
Sabai@Kan Resort
My Home Guest House
My Home Guest House
2.5 out of 5
1/16-18 Maenamkwai Road, Kanchanaburi
My Home Guest House
Tara Raft Kanchanaburi
Tara Raft Kanchanaburi
2.5 out of 5
15/1 Soi Rong-Heep-Aoi Ban Nua, Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥1,763 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30
Tara Raft Kanchanaburi
Sky Resort
Sky Resort
3 out of 5
48/8 Soi Rong Heeb Aoi, Chao Khunnen Rd, Ban Nuea, Mueang, Kanchanaburi
Sky Resort
Asleep Hostel
Asleep Hostel
2 out of 5
286/140, Sangchuto Road, Tambon Ban Nuea, Kanchanaburi
Asleep Hostel
Tamarind Guest House
Tamarind Guest House
2 out of 5
29/1 Thamakham, Muaeng, Kanchanaburi
The price is ¥1,028 per night from Jan 29 to Jan 30
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.