“Death Railway” Thonburi Train Station To Kanchanaburi, Thailand

“Death Railway” Thonburi Train Station To Kanchanaburi, Thailand


We were up at the crack of dawn to make this thing happen. The Mission was to take the historic train 150 miles west to go through Kanchanaburi, Thailand. These are the rails in the rolling hills and forest terrain that American, Thai and Burmese prisoners of war built during World War 2. There are only two departure times, 7:45 AM and 1:30 PM and we planned to take the rest of the way by motorcycle (see the Sangkhlaburi, Thailand by motorcycle blog post here). Ultimately we opted to take the morning trip.

Firstly, we left our hotel in Bangkok. The folks at the Oldtown Hostel were very helpful in planning our departure for western Thailand using the highly efficient local longtail boat system.

There is the Si Phraya Pier just blocks away with regular boat services shuttling folks down the river. In twenty minutes we were back on dry land en route to the Thonburi train station.

As we walked, an enormous and completely unexpected market opened up in front of us. We were very excited and surprised but decided to get our tickets in order before exploring. The checkout process was simple enough as the train cannot sell out. No need to reserve in advance here. After that was squared away, it was off to the market, where we were like kids in a candy store. Don’t believe me? Watch the Spice Vagrant episode below for reference!

There were beautiful dead things as far as the eye could see. Fresh porky bits and some mostly alive fish, eels and various crustaceans abound. Another block holds super pristine fruits and vegetables and as our departure time grew closer we found the prepared food area on the far side of the station. Not very efficient for ya last second diners.

The nameless restaurant was very simple with only a few dishes. I ordered a dry red curry with pork and bitter beans which was fantastic. On the side I chose some Chinese sausage and jasmine rice. They complimented the dish completely and the meal was worth the heavy jog back to our train.

The seats were very comfortable and the breeze felt lovely. Our train car had a bathroom as well which got the job done, albeit in true Thai fashion. Running water to boot! Remember, this is no Orient Express deluxe train. We took the local train system, for less than a hundred baht or a couple dollars US, and still enjoyed these creature comforts.

After about 3 hours of beautiful vistas and historic sights, we were at Kanchanaburi train station, ready to eat and get those motorbikes! We didn’t have to go far though, as not ten feet after crossing the historic highway 323 opposite the train station, we were met with stall after stall of delicious western Thai cuisine. We plopped down in one and refueled before walking just a few blocks further and renting a motorbike to complete our last leg of the trip to sleepy Sangkhlaburi, Thailand. Not one to dawdle, we were off!