Kanchanaburi is 130km west of Bangkok in the valley of the Mae Klong river. During the Japanese occupation of WW II allied soldiers were used to build the infamous Death Railway along the Khwae Noi river. (A story popularised by the movie "The Bridge Over the River Kwai"). It is estimated that 16,000 prisoners of war and over 50,000 impressed labourers died during the building of the railroad.
Kanchanaburi is a charming town surrounded by picturesque countryside, and is well worth visiting, especially if you intend to go to the nearby Erawan National Park.
Air-conditioned buses leave Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal every hour from 6.00am to 9.00pm, ordinary buses leave every 20 minutes. Journey time is about 2 hours.
Ordinary trains leave Bangkok Noi Station twice per day and take 2½ hours. On public holidays special excursion trains run from Bangkok's Hua Lampong Station.
Most hotels and travel companies in Bangkok and Pattaya will be able to arrange tours to Kanchanaburi.
The town is not very big so walking is a practical means of getting around. There are plenty of samlors and songthaews for longer journeys. Small motorcycles can be rented by the day, but remember to read the agreement carefully before you ride away.