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Kanchanaburi Province, Koapoon Cave Temple, Kanchanaburi.

Kanchanaburi Province page 7, Activities to get involved with around the Province Kanchanaburi Province,  Page 7b, Koapoon Cave Temple, Kanchanaburi.

I visited this cave temple in  June 2014. I took a river cruise in a long tail boat. These boats are very quick some being powered by V 8 engines. However their shape does not allow them to turn quick because they are flat bottomed. So all manoeuvres should be taken at a very slow speed to avoid capsizing. Arriving at the jetty I found it all being modernised with new timbers, but they had thoughtfully made a walkway for any boat trippers arriving by this method. When you get off the boat you are met with a very steep hill that you must walk up before getting to the temple.  

You will find several shops here selling everything from hats to souvenirs and the usual drinks to re hydrate you in the fierce heat here. On the walk up the hill you will come across the Death Railway tracks that run from the Bridge over the river Kwai. Take a moment to stand there and imagine what those men had to endure in what was then a tropical forest. The rocks that they cut through in building the railway were terrible to see.

A friend of mine was imprisoned in this work camp during the war, many times he would relate to me what life was like in the camps here - truly horrific Many never made it home hence the two war graves situated in Kanchanaburi, one Don Rak near the railway station in Kanchanaburi and Chungkai cemetery which I visited early.

The first shrine that you will see is the Phra Mae Guan Im Pho Thi Sat Chao, a large Buddha sat on the top of the hill overlooking a spectacular river view. Many Thais offer prayers at this shrine and usually buy a bottle of water here to quench your thirst after the strenuous climb.

A lorry equipped with seats in the rear can take you to the Koapoon Cave Temple about 2000  metres farther up the dirt track for 50 Baht per person. Yes, you can walk but after that climb up the hill not many want to. Arriving at Koapoon Cave Temple you will find a number of smaller temple buildings surrounding the site. The entrance to the caves are on the right coming from the river or on the left coming from the road entrance. Again a number of Buddha images are lined up before the entrance on the right hand side.