Best Places to Eat in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Background on Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Kanchanaburi, Thailand is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the whole country. Nestled on the banks of the River Kwai, this city is a mix between an authentic Thai city and a hipster tourist destination. Walk just five minutes from the main street and you’ll be surrounded by homes, schools, and markets. Drive just ten minutes across any of the bridges that take you to the other side of the River Kwai and you’ll find towns and villages that never receive tourists. Living in Thailand for 5 years, we have traveled so often to Kanchanaburi that it felt like a second home. The people are warm and welcoming, the scenery is breathtaking, and the food unbeatable in our opinion for nearly all of Thailand.
To get to Kanchanaburi is quite simple from Bangkok. Located West of Bangkok, you can take a bus from the Northern or Southern bus stations, a mini-van, private taxi, train along the death railway, or if you’re adventurous enough ride a rented motorbike through the backgrounds. From Bangkok it can take anywhere between 2 and 4 hours to get to Kanchanaburi.
Best Places to Eat in Kanchanaburi, Thailand
So where are the best places to eat in Kanchanaburi, Thailand? We always stay at the same place, the VN Guesthouse. The VN is a small, family-run guesthouse, with an amazing restaurant. Sitting directly on the River Kwai (you may have heard of the movie, “Bridge Over the River Kwai”, about the building of the bridge during WWII by prisoners of war), they offer cheap rooms, some of which are located on a raft floating on the river. Prices start at only around $9 USD for a room, and you can have a choice between air-con and fan.
The VN Guesthouse
The VN restaurant offers authentic Thai food, as well as a few Burmese dishes, at a very affordable price. You may not find another restaurant in all of Kanchanaburi that compares to the VN. That’s saying a lot, considering Kanchanaburi has some of the best food in all of Thailand. Top dishes here include the Burmese Bean Salad, Panang Curry, Fried Vegetables with Ginger, Massaman Curry, and the Burmese Curry. They can adjust all dishes to your desired spice level, as well as make any dish vegetarian. To make these unbelievable dishes from your own home, click on the links for each dish.
Blue Rice Restaurant by Apple and Noi
Apple and Noi’s Restaurant, located across the river from the main street running through town, is one of the more famous restaurants in Kanchanaburi. They offer a cooking school and a select menu. Sitting with a view of the river, you can enjoy some of Thailand’s best dishes made to perfection here. Again, a must here is the Massaman Curry. They offer unique dishes such as Leaf Wraps with toasted Coconut Meat, Peanuts, Chilies, Ginger, Cucumbers, etc. Other popular dishes include the Banana Flower Salad, Tofu Summer Rolls with Fresh Herbs, and a Pumpkin Yum Salad with fresh Vegetables and Herbs. Don’t forget to try the Blue Pea Flower Rice (seen below). Their menu does change from year to year, so don’t be disappointed if a dish here is no longer available. They are sure to have replaced it with something better.
There are a few vegetarian restaurants on the main street in town, which offer all the popular Thai dishes and more. You’re bound to find an assortment of different vegetable and sauce combinations. As with most restaurants in Thailand, a selection of delicious fruit smoothies is always guaranteed. On’s Thai Issan offers delicious Thai vegetarian at affordable prices, as well as Mangosteen’s Cafe and Book Shop.
Local Restaurants in Rural Areas of Kanchanaburi, Thailand
Don’t forget to try local restaurants that are not located on the main tourist stretch of town. Usually you can find cheaper and more authentic meals at these places. A stop at a local restaurant on our way back from visiting some of the local temples, offered some of the best Gang Pa, or “Jungle Curry”, I’ve had yet. Careful how you order this dish, it’s incredible spicy to begin with!
After you’ve stuffed yourself with the local Thai cuisine, rent a motorbike and drive around to see all that Kanchanaburi has to offer, including Erawan Waterfalls, Neolithic Park, Angkor Era Ruins, Chinese cemetaries, night markets, and incredible temples such as the Dragon Temple (Wat Ban Tham), Cave Temple, Wat Tham Suea, and various Chinese Temples. My favorite thing to do in Kanchanaburi is to get on a motorbike and just get lost in the back roads – you never know what you might find!