Living in Kanchanaburi town is perfect regarding location and connections to many other places. The location is only 130 km northwest from Bangkok, 2,5 hr by minivan or car. This can be perfect in case you want to escape the village for whatever reason. Perfect when you need to be in Bangkok regularly for whatever reason. You can actually get up and down in one day to manage things in Bangkok and get back home. Minivans go every 30 min (120 baht) and big buses every hour from Kanchanaburi to Bangkok. Taxis and private cars charge usually 2000 baht one way.
There are daily buses to Pattaya and Rayong (morning) and to Chang Mai (morning and night bus). Also to Udon Thani and Nong Khai in the east (night bus). To Suphanburi a more local bus. Minivans to Hua Hin and Cha-am, Sai Yok, Ayutthaya and several other places. For the areas farther south than Hua Hin you have to catch a bus or train in Bangkok or Hua Hin. For the east parts near Cambodia you need to get first to one of the Bangkok busstations to leave from there.
The location or geography of Kanchanaburi town makes it somehow the hottest place in the whole of Thailand. Summer months will have 38 – 42 degrees. On cooler days it gets 35 degrees. Winter months have an average of 32 degrees. Night temperatures around 26 degrees. Don’t underestimate this. The rain season is usually drier than in Bangkok.
There is a Kanchanaburi and a Muang Kanchanaburi. One is Kanchanaburi town and the other is the province name. For post sent from abroad, you need to write both on the envelope. The town itself is small enough to reach every corner on a bicycle, although nobody is doing that. Most in use are the 125cc motorbikes to do shopping and get from here to there. You can say that the most far point of town to the bkk direction is the immigration office and the big Tesco mall. The other end of town is around the big C mall along the same main road (Saeng Chuto Rd) that leads eventually to Erawan Waterfalls.
The distance between those two parts of that one main road is around 3 km. On the right hand side you’ll find the bus station area and 2 hospitals (public + private). A night market and trainstation. On your left are the morning market, War Cemetery, the river Kwai, the famous bidge and the tourist strip with hotels and bars, which is located along the road that goes from the war cemetery to the river Kwai bridge. This road runs parallel with the main Saeng Chuto Rd. This is the only 200 meters in town to eat, drink and find bar girls. That’s how small the town is.
The tourist attractions like the famous bridge, museums and cemeteries which are all related to WWII and the Death Railway speak for itself. Furthermore there are pools (at resorts) and a waterfun park for swimming. There is a badminton hall. A tennis court. Just on the other side of the river is a free of use sportspark with a 1.5 km jogging track and cycle lane.
A basketball field, soccerfield and court. Beach volleyball and roughly 70 gym machines for training of muscles, stomach, arms n shoulders, treadmills and many more. There are golf courses not too far away. Restaurants are plenty available. Both local ones as tourist and western orientated. Serving thai, western and other food items. Plenty activities possibilities available in Kanchanaburi Town.
A living place like an apartment or house can be found for prices between 3500 and 6000 baht as a foreigner. A few places are up to 10.000 but average is about 6000 baht. Depending on location, size, facilities, furnished, etc. Electric depends on what you use and how often. Aircon, washing machine, microvave, fan, etc. An example of using a fan and aircon in 1 room only for around 20 hrs a day. A miccrowave just short time a day. Tv. Geyser for hot water. Lights. Will cost you roughly 1200 baht monthly. Water is cheap. Under 200 baht a month.
Tv and wifi taken from True is as expensive as in Europe. Count on 2500 baht a month. Depends if you take the gold package or platinum. The cheapest has only Thai channels. Gold package gives you English Channels like news channels, discovery, Natgeo and film and sports channels. Those who want English Premier league football on their tv need platinum package and that will cost around 3700 baht monthly.
Apartments are usually at least partly furnished. A king size bed, fridge, geyser, some small table and chairs for eating, tv plus some set to put it on. A wardrobe and that’s about it. A few kitchen stuff, microwave might be included too. For a 6000 baht rent you have usually 2 or 3 rooms. Kitchen is one of them. It can be a 2 storey house or a groundfloor apartment. A deposit is usually one extra month rent or up to 10.000 baht.
gossip, competition, games
Negative parts of living in Kanchanaburi.town can be the mentioned heat. This can give you a suffocating feeling and you might be happy to get out in the evenings and get fresh air and meet people. Then you will be pulled into the games and gossip that is going around. Thai (bar) girls in town are all each others ‘friends’. They call themselves friends, but the town is so small that most of them are after the few same foreign men. Either for a night to earn quick money or in hope of a so called long term sponsor. So they are competitors too. Gossiping around that you already slept with her. In the hope that the other girls give up on you. It goes down to a childish level. You’ll get people asking and talking about your private life or asking you about others.
You can either ignore it but sooner or later it catches up with you and you get a feeling of lost privacy. Living in a Big Brother town. Or you start getting pulled into the game by defending yourself against false accusations. Before you realize it you’re on their level. Don’t think it’s just the Thai girls. No, the expats are even worse. 75% aussies, followed by the English in numbers. The drinkers, alcoholics. Their whole life exists out of sitting in a bar drinking each and every day. On a strip of 100 mtr max. They see (or imagine) everything and are great in creating stories about others which are simply lies, insults and evidence of how easily and deep one can sink into a village mindset.
That’s the whole issue, you can get a person out of a village, but you can’t get the village out of a person. Live too long in Kanchanaburi town and you might be a next victim of that rule. Become narrow minded. It’s very easy to roll into such life yourself, get absorbed by it. As there is hardly a place to escape it. After all, when your wife is Thai, drinking and childish gossiping with so called mates might be the least worse option. For others counts when you’re able to avoid this strip and it’s negative impact, this town has everything you need. Keep in mind the ever changing laws and rules to live in Thailand. This regarding types of visa and the conditions. Showing up at immigration offices, bank balance, etc. A video impression of Kanchanaburi Town can be seen here https://youtu.be/J4FVrDvs33I