For people on a budget Mae Nam Khwae Road is the place to go, especially its southern end, between the two 7/11 shops.
At the lower end of the scale (THB200 or less) expect to find a pretty simple fan room with not much furniture, thin mattresses and a very basic – but often private! – bathroom. Some guesthouses will not provide complementary towels and breakfast is never included. If you choose a room facing the street be prepared for a bit of noise at night-time. All the bars are located in the same area and it can get really noisy until midnight.
Our first choice in this price range is Tara Bed and Breakfast (99-101 Mae Nam Khwae Rd). If you don’t mind to share the bathroom, this place has by far the best cheap rooms we ever experienced in Thailand. For THB250 (THB350 with air-con) you will have a clean room with a super comfortable double bed, satellite flat screen-TV and free Wi-Fi in the room. The two bathrooms are shared by 6 rooms on the third floor and are usually extremely clean, with hot shower, too. Ask for room K9 or K10 which are a bit farther from the street and less noisy at night. They also have bigger rooms with private bathroom for THB600/THB900.
A very popular destination among backpackers is Jolly Frog (28 Soi China, Mae Nam Khwae Rd). Despite being highly recommended by many travel books, we would suggest you to stay there only for one reason: they have the cheapest single rooms in Kanchanaburi. The cheapest ones, really basic and old, with shared bathrooms come for THB100.
For THB50 more a better option is Sugar Cane (22 Soi Pakistan, Mae Nam Khwae Rd) which comes in a form of few bungalows around a beautiful small garden right on the river. Double rooms with a private bathroom are really basic but they’re the best you can get for THB150. Being 80 meters away from the bars area will allow you to have peaceful night.
Mid Range (THB1000-THB2000)
People searching for this price range should head towards the bridge, in the northern end of Mae Nam Khwae Road. The necessity of a 10-minute walk at night-time from restaurant and bar area is well compensated by a much quieter night. Rooms in this range all come with breakfast included, free Wi-Fi and if you book in advance they will more than likely offer you a complementary free pick up from the bus station.
A nice option in this area is Good Travel Resort (265/5-7 Mae Nam Khwae Rd). Opened few years ago, it features spacious and well decorated rooms with a scenic river view. Prices start from THB1500.
A decent alternative is River Khwae Bridge Resort 8 (Vietnam Road, Tha Ma Kham). A few steps from the bridge, they have a beautiful big garden with a big pool. Starting from THB1600.
Top end (over THB2000)
The most exclusive and expensive resort and hotels are located away from the city centre and you’ll definitely need a taxi to get there.
Our first choice so far would be Felix River Khwae Resort (9/1 Moo 3, Thamakham). On the opposite side of the river this rampling resort sits on a 20-hectare piece of land. It has two big swimming pools, tennis courts, snooker room, SPA centre and whatever else you can imagine. Room rates start at around THB2000 with the royal suite coming at THB25000.
A less impressive but more secluded and charming is U Inchantree (443 Mae Nam Khwae Rd). It is a boutique hotel within a walking distance from the bridge, offering a few modern and well equipped rooms starting at just over THB2000.