While there is more to Kanchanaburi than its bridge, the heartbreaking story behind it looms large for any visitor. During Japan’s occupation of Thailand in the Second World War, POWs were forced to build the 415 kilometre bridge so Japan could send supplies to Burma. About 100,000 Asian labourers and 16,000 POWs died during its construction. In 1945 the railway was heavily bombed by allied troops and most of it was destroyed forever. Most visitors make time during their stay to sit on the banks of this peaceful river and reflect on the human cost of war. The serene township of Kanchanaburi provides a welcome relief after the hustle and bustle of Bangkok. There are loads of activities on offer including kayaking, rafting, canoeing, golfing, trekking, bird-watching, cycling and more. Hike up the exquisite seven-tiered waterfall at Erawan National Park or visit the many shrines to Buddhist monk, Phrabhavanaviriyakhun, which are set within a series of limestone caves near his birthplace, Wat Tham Phu.