There are certain places visitors can easily feel the history, almost like sitting on the time machine and travel back to the past when they are there. One of those is the sleepy Kanchanaburi town where River Kwai runs through it.
It is located just about 2 hours away from Bangkok, by car. The roads split out in all direction from the center of the capital city of Thailand. If heading toward the eastern side it will lead to Kanchanaburi. There are a few trains per day going there, but the faster and easier way is by cheap minivan ride. There are a lot of accommodation options to choose. The town seems to host tourists for a long time so infrastructure and facilities are well set up. There is the tourist street lined with shops, restaurants, bars, massage parlors, etc. It is not as busy as Khaosan Road in Bangkok though, which can be even better for those who do not like too touristy, too loud, and too crowded places. The small night market close to the railway station is an interesting place to go shopping or simply check out things sold there. There are cheap foods to get from this market, some dishes might look and taste a bit strange but as long as they are freshly cooked and serve right away it should not cause any food poison problem. It is easy to find nice restaurants by the river where you can enjoy your meals and beautiful scenery at the same time. There are even dinner boats that you can book and go with one of them with friends and families. Or, for those who would like to get closer to the nature, there are floating houses with very reasonable prices to choose to stay as well.
The history of this town relates fully with the World War 2. The Japanese troops passed through the region and wanted to make their way to Myanmar. In order to reach their goal, they captured soldiers of the other side (their enemies) such as the Australians and the British and forced them to build the railway (The Bridge on the River Kwai movie is a very good source for learning more of the history of this place). The railway is still used until nowadays, going from Kanchanaburi to the last stop about Namtok village which is about 77 km away from the town. The iron bridge crossing the river close to the town is another main attraction and is the symbol of peace. Another interesting place to learn more about World War 2 history is the war cemetery and museum. It is located in the town so it is very easy to get there. Further, about 80 km out of the town, the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum is very educational. But to go there one should combine the trip with other attractions nearby too.