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The River Kwai

Experience Thailand in a new way on this unique cruise along the River Kwai, visiting ancient temples, monasteries and pagodas, and the infamous Bridge Over the River Kwai. Includes hotel stays in Bangkok, return flights from the UK and excursions

Fly Cruise
10 nights from £3499pp

River Cruise Holiday
River Kwai
Local monks
River Kwai
Bridge Over The River Kwai

Call us now on 01756 706500 to secure your cabin!


Embark on an 11-day expedition through Thailand's cultural heritage and landscapes. Begin in Bangkok and delve into the city's spirituality with guided tours of renowned temples and the Grand Palace.

The adventure continues as you board your luxury ship RV River Kwai and head upstream to Kanchanaburi.

Over the next six days of cruising, explore historical sites, serene villages, and natural wonders. Engage in cultural rituals, witness breathtaking landscapes, and historical exploration on the tranquil Kwai Noi River.

Uncover the secrets of Kaeng Lava Cave, Hellfire Pass, and Ban Kao village. The journey includes visits to iconic landmarks like the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre Museum, offering a poignant reflection on wartime history.

This holiday promises a blend of cultural enrichment and natural beauty, ensuring a meaningful exploration of Thailand's treasures.

RK250 Operated by Cruise Asia


The River Kwai Itinerary

Day 1 - UK - Bangkok (Thailand)

Fly overnight from UK to Bangkok.

Day 2 - Bangkok

Arrival at Suvarnabhumi or Donmuang Airport.  Private transfer with English speaking guide from Airport to the hotel in Bangkok.  Check-in and rest of the day at free leisure.

Day 3 - Bangkok

Bangkok’s Buddhist temples are world famous and today, after breakfast, we take a tour to three of the most unusual that this city has to offer. We start at the ornate Wat Trimitr which is situated at the end of buzzing Chinatown’s Yaowarat Road, and also near to Hua Lampong train station. This temple is home to a vast invaluable Golden Buddha that weighs five-and-half tons adding to this remarkable site. Next is the largest temple complex in Bangkok, Wat Po, which has an impressive reclining Buddha that is 46 metres in length as well as ornate chedis. No temple tour is complete without a visit to the gleaming Grand Palace which is one of the most beautiful examples of a traditional Siamese Court. Previously the residence of royalty, there are a number of different venues for different occasions including the Funeral Palace, the Reception Palace, the Throne Hall, the Coronation Hall, the Royal Guest House and the famed Emerald Buddha Temple.  After the tour the rest of the day is at leisure.  

Day 4 - Embark RV River Kwai

After breakfast at your Hotel take a private transfer with English speaking guide from Hotel to port to embark RV River Kwai.The journey is sometimes as important as the destination and this rings true on today’s adventure as we visit a wealth of fascinating attractions. We leave Bangkok for Kanchanaburi, via Nakorn Pathom and stop at this location to view the tallest stupa in Thailand at Phra Pathom Chedi. Next is the riverside Khao Noi Cave Temple (Wat Tham Khao Noi). This monastery sits on a hill and features Chinese architecture and cultural art, as well as splendid views of the mountainous  horizon from the exterior viewpoint. We also make a stop at the nearby Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua) which features Thai cultural art.On arrival in Kanchanaburi we visit to JEATH War Museum, a realistic depiction of a prisoner of war camp with bamboo huts which give an insight into the grim living conditions endured by detainees who were forced to build the Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway.’ We then board the RV River Kwai at Nong Ya Dock with lunch and dinner on board and the afternoon at leisure to absorb the idyllic scenery.

Day 5 - Cruise - Ban Kao - Sai Yok

Our relaxing river cruise continues upstream on the Kwai Noi River to Muang Singh. After breakfast on board we visit a boarding school for refugee children built under the patronage of H.R.H. Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. We then explore Prasat Muang Singh, a historical park containing Khmer architecture dating back 800 years. This site marked the Western border of the Khmer Empire in what is now Thailand and it serves as a potent reminder of the enormity of the Khmer domain. Muang Singh, the ‘city of the lions’ was probably established as a trading post during this era. We then continue by coach to Tha Kilen Train Station, a site which holds significant relevance in the construction of the Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway.’ We take a third class train to Saphan Tham Krasae and pass over the famed 300 metres long trestle bridge that clings to the cliff side. On arrival, we proceed to the riverside Krasae Cave which houses a venerable Buddha image. We then continue by coach to Sai Yok village located on the river bank. Lunch and dinner are on board and the afternoon is at leisure to absorb the idyllic scenery.  

Day 6 - Sai Yok - Ban Hin Dad

Our day of cruising takes in more amazing natural and man-made attractions. After breakfast, we take a short stroll uphill to visit Kaeng Lava Cave, the area’s deepest cave at 500 metres long. Inside, are stalactites and stalagmites and mystical stone draperies and hidden chambers. We then continue by coach to Hellfire Pass, a notorious section of the Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway’ that cuts through a towering stone mountain. We follow a trail that leads to Hin Tok Bridge and the Konyu Cutting where a plaque commemorates the Allied prisoners of war and Asian conscripts who built the railway under Japanese enslavement. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Sai Yok National Park and take in the gushing Sai Yok Yai Waterfalls. We then return to the boat with the afternoon at leisure and dinner on the RV River Kwai.  

Day 7 - Ban Hin Dad

A day of exceptional contrasts awaits! We start with a spiritual experience and then explore a man-made marvel deep in the heart of the Kanchanaburi countryside. In the early morning we head to a nearby temple to ‘make merit,’ the Buddhist ritual of presenting food to monks in return for a blessing. We reboard the boat for breakfast and then travel by coach to Vachiralongkorn Dam, an immense lake created from three rivers which stretches to the mountainous horizon. The surrounding fertile land supports the cultivation of sugar cane, tapioca, maize and cotton and this landscape is exceptionally beautiful. Our road trip continues to Thong Pha Phum were we visit a focal point of the local community, the lively market. Lunch is at a local restaurant and we then board the vessel and set off, with the afternoon at leisure and dinner and overnight on the RV River Kwai.  

Day 8 - Ban Hin Dad - Sai Yok

Today’s adventure involves exploration of some of Kanchanaburi province’s most impressive natural attractions. After breakfast served on the RV River Kwai, we cruise down the river, disembark and then board a coach and head to Hin Dad Hot Spring. These natural two large pools and private baths were discovered by Japanese soldiers supervising the construction of the World War Two Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway.’ The minerals in the water are believed to cure numerous ailments. We then visit stunning Pha Tad Waterfall to the west of Si Nakharin Dam National Park. This water feature originates from a small stream called Huai Kui Mang that flows into the Kwai Noi River. Lunch is at a local restaurant and we then take a traditional long-tail boat along the Kwai Noi River to a floating hotel where we take part in some cooling river rafting or canoeing downstream. If time permits, we visit the nearby indigenous Mon Village. Dinner and overnight are on the RV River Kwai.  

Day 9 - Sai Yok - Ban Kao

Our itinerary today involves both cultural and culinary exploration. We enjoy breakfast and then have some free time to take in the idyllic riverscape, followed by lunch on board. On arrival at Wang Pho Bridge, we depart by coach to visit the Ban Kao National Museum. This was created by Dutch archaeologist Dr Van Heekeren, a POW during the construction of the ‘Death Railway.’ While forced to build the railway, he found numerous stone artefacts and returned after the war to excavate this area. His exploration revealed abundant prehistoric skeletons, pottery, stone tools and ornaments. These items are now displayed in the museum. After reboarding the vessel we participate in a Thai cooking class and prepare culinary classics such as tom yam kung (spicy prawn soup), kaeng khaio wan gai (chicken green curry) and som tam (papaya salad) and to wash it all down, the famous Thai cocktail mai tai. After our cooking instruction on deck, we enjoy a farewell dinner and overnight on board.  

Day 10 - Ban Kao - Bangkok

Today’s adventure starts with exploration of an unusual temple. After breakfast we visit Wat Tham Khao Poon, an amazing subterranean world with nine caverns full of Hindu and Buddhist shrines.The exterior has a marvellous view of the Kwai Noi River valley. We continue by coach to Kanchanaburi to visit the world famous Bridge over the River Kwai that was immortalised in the World War Two movie of the same name. This sturdy iron bridge was a crucial part of the Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway’ and it took enslaved Allied POWs and Asian conscripts 16 months to build. After this historical experience we continue to the Thailand-Burma Railway Centre Museum, an interactive facility that provides a remarkable insight into the infamous rail link and this period of war history. Finally, we visit the Donrak War Cemetery which contains the remains of 6,982 Allied POWs who died during the construction of the railway. We then reboard the RV River Kwai at Saphan Mai with lunch served as we cruise towards Nong Ya Dock. On arrival, we return to Bangkok by road and transfer to respective hotels in the capital.

Day 11 - Bangkok - UK

Check out of your hotel this morning and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

For navigational reasons the Captain of the ship reserves the right to modify the cruise itinerary.

Price Includes

  • 6 nights cruising on board RV River Kwai boutique river ship
  • International return flights from London, regional flights on request
  • 3 nights 4-star hotel accommodation in Bangkok with breakfast
  • Private guided sightseeing of Bangkok
  • English speaking guided sightseeing throughout your cruise
  • Full board on board your cruise including local mineral water, coffee and teas
  • Overseas transfers

Price Does Not Include

  • Gratuities
  • Items of personal expenditure

2024 Departures £ price per person based on 2 people sharing

  • June
    • Jun 28th - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom
  • July
    • Jul 12th - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom
  • August
    • Aug 2nd - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom
    • Aug 16th - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom
    • Aug 30th - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom
  • September
    • Sep 13th - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom
  • October
    • Oct 4th - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom
    • Oct 18th - Bangkok and back - Sailing on: RV River Kwai From: £3499
      Deluxe Stateroom

Price Information

  • Please note prices are updated regularly from a third party price feed and may fluctuate from those shown. Please contact us for latest prices
  • Prices shown usually include all available discounts