How to get to Kanchanaburi from Bangkok

What about

Say ‘Kanchanaburi’, and inevitably the first thing to come to your mind is the bridge over the River Kwai. There are WWII memorable places all over the province, true, but Kanchanaburi is not at all just about the horrors of the war. It is arguably the greenest province of Thailand with lush jungles covering the greater part of it. Kanchanaburi is home to one of the most beautiful – though extremely touristy – waterfalls in the country, the Erawan waterfall, and Prasat Mueang Singh, now a historical park and an important monument of Khmer architecture in Thailand, is found there, too. The idyllic area along the River Kwai banks is dotted with luxury and boutique resorts but the budget digs do not lack, either. And if you venture further west to the little town of Sangkhlaburi sitting by the Thai-Myanmar border, you will be rewarded with unspoiled natural beauty, authentic Mon curries and that special otherworldly feeling which is getting a rare bird nowadays.

How to get from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi lies only 150 km to the west of Bangkok, but expect that your trip – by bus, by van, by taxi or by train – would take no less than 2½ hours. Private taxis offer the fastest and the most convenient ride; vans are great as far as a price-vs-quality ratio is concerned; and trains are cheap and not traffic-dependent.

From Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by bus or van

The overwhelming majority of Kanchanaburi bound buses leave from the Southern bus terminal in Bangkok, Sai Tai Mai. Some private companies, including Kwan Chee Vee Tour, operate vans from the Northern bus terminal, Morchit. The trip from Morchit is a bit longer and can take about three hours. Van tickets cost THB150, but note that the luggage space is rather limited – consider buying a separate ticket for your luggage unless you are travelling with a 20l backpack. There are hourly vans from Morchit to Kanchanaburi with the first one leaving Bangkok at 4am and arriving to Kanchanaburi at 7am and the last one departing at 6pm and reaching its destination at 9pm.

Morchit bus terminal is located in the northern part of the city and is an ideal starting point if you arrive to Don Mueang airport and intend to proceed immediately to Kanchanaburi (and vice versa – if you leave Kanchanaburi and are going to the airport next). To get there from the centre, get off at Morchit BTS stop and then take a taxi for a short ride to the bus terminal.

In Kanchanaburi, Kwan Chee Vee Tour vans bring passengers to Kanchanaburi bus terminal located between U-Thong Soi 4 and Soi 6 in the southern part of the city, about 2.5 km from the main guesthouse area. To get to your accommodation, take a songthaew (THB10 per person), or opt for a motorbike taxi (THB40).

Vans of Hanuman Tour Siam pick up passengers at Victory Monument in Bangkok. It is very handy if you stay in the central parts of Bangkok, in Sukhumvit Road, close to any of the BTS stations, or just arriving to Bangkok by van from any of the many destinations served by vans based in the Victory Monument area. Hanuman Tour Siam sells tickets at THB180 and goes to Kanchanaburi North at the intersection of Route 3199 (Lad Ya–Bo Ploy) and 3086 (Thanon Phra Kru Son) but pass through Kanchanaburi – tell the driver where you would like to get off. Vans leave every 40 minutes from 5am till 6.20pm.

There is direct service to Kanchanaburi from Khao San Road area in Bangkok, too, which is a sensible choice if you stay anywhere in the area as it saves you a trip to the bus station. Thai Sriram have four vans a day leaving from their office off Chakrabongse Road, close to Mayom junction, one block to the southwest of Khao San Road. In Kanchanaburi, vans disembark at Kanchanaburi bus station U-Thong Soi 4 and Soi 6. Tickets cost THB250.

Tip: If you have not booked your accommodation in Kanchanaburi in advance, try to arrive around noon the latest: rooms fill up quickly even in the low season, and during weekend it is always a full house. That said, you are unlikely to stay in the street for the night, but you may end up paying more than you expected to.

From Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by train

The Nam Tok branch of the Southern line of Thai railways (aka Western line) runs through Kanchanaburi, so technically you can get from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by train. The line starts in Thonburi (you cannot catch a direct train to Kanchanaburi in Hua Lamphong!) and terminates in Nam Tok. The advantage of a train journey is that the train station in Kanchanaburi is located within walking distance (about 500 m) from the guesthouse area. The disadvantage is the third class fan only seats. Buy tickets on the spot.

From Bangkok to Kanchanaburi by taxi

PGS company offers private door-to-door transfer from any location in Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. Transit time is two and a half hours only, and you can choose between Toyota Camry for 3 passengers maximum (THB3,000) or Toyota Commuter which accommodates up to 9 travellers (THB3,400). The rates are ill-inclusive meaning no extra toll charges or additional fees for pickup or drop-off at specific locations.

There is a VIP transfer from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi offered by Bell Transport. Go to the River Kwai in style in a Mercedes S-Class (THB8,800 per vehicle) or Mercedes Vito Van (THB11,000 per vehicle). Well... There are people who appreciate German comfort and safety, right?

Getting around

All the main attractions of Kanchanaburi are located out of town, so the best way to explore them independently is to rent a bicycle, a motorbike or a car. Tour agencies along Mae Man Kwae Street offer a wide choice of tours at reasonable prices, so it may prove easier to go on a package. To cross Mae Khlong, board a river ferry which costs THB5.

Where to stay

The best choice of budget accommodation is found along Mae Nam Kwai Street, from Rong Hee Baoy 3 Road in the south to France Street in the north. The majority of riverfront options are raft houses right over the water. The setting in unbeatable, but be ready to fight with mosquitoes which are plentiful there. There are many services geared towards travellers in Mae Nam Kwai Street – from rent-a-bike shops (from about THB200 per day) and tour agencies to ATMs and 7/Eleven. If you are looking for a more up class choices, consider resorts in the Death Railway Bridge area.

Activities

Kanchanaburi province has something to offer to every traveller, and it is not an exaggeration. WWII related sights including Hellfire Pass or the notorious Death Railway are a must-see for history buffs; elephant trekking and bamboo rafting will appeal to adventurous types; astonishing waterfalls with crystal clear pools for swimming and hiking trails in Erawan national park are a great pastime for a whole family. Visit a floating market or meditate in a tranquil retreat; go fishing or canoeing; explore caves inhabited by rare animals in Sai Yok National Park or opt for bird-watching in Kroeng Kravia Swamp – whether you spend a couple of days or a month in Kanchanaburi, you are sure not to get bored.

Onward travel from Kanchanaburi: Find your Thai Myanmar in Sangkhlaburi

An elegant silhouette of a wooden Mon bridge is hardly visible behind a transparent veil of the morning mist. Young barefooted girls hurry from Wang Kha to the other side of the Khuean Khao Laem with piles of metal bowls balancing on their heads. The rattle of longtail boats over the water ushers the day in, and a golden chedi of Wat Mon glitters in the distance, surrounded by the sea of lush greenery.

The two things any visitor to Sangkhlaburi should do is to walk along the Mon bridge to Wang Khla to experience ‘Thai little Burma’ with men wearing traditional longyies, women and children with tanaka powder on their cheeks, flavoursome Mon curries in street cafes and a postcard perfect view of the bridge which will inevitably make you think of Amarapura – well, if you have ever ventured up there.

The second thing is a boat trip to the sunken temple which used to be the main wat of the Mon settlement before the dam was constructed in 1982. Even though the most part of the year you can walk inside the temple as the water level in Khao Laem reservoir remains relatively low, the whole place oozes tons of atmosphere. It is even more fun in summer when it often rains the whole day through, as both the bridge and the temple look especially mysterious. The boats are wonderfully affordable, too, and cost THB300 for the trip up to the temple.

For even a greater experience invest in a suit room at P Guesthouse on the Thai side of the bridge (THB900). Their suits are located on the second floor of the main building, are perfectly appointed and have balconies with jaw-dropping view over the bridge and Chedi Buddakhaya in Wang Khla. If you choose to stay on the Mon side, come to the restaurant in P Guesthouse for an affordable and tasty dinner at sunset.

Tip: There are local buses travelling between Kanchanaburi and Sangkhlaburi, but the route 323 which leads to the border town is best done on your own wheels. If you go by bus, you miss half the charm of your journey: you will be unable to make a stop at Thong Pha Phum and to go up the hill to Wat Tha Kha Nun for a picturesque view; you will not enjoy a cup of the best Thai coffee grown locally in one of those no-name coffee shops along the way; and you will not detour to Hin Tat hot springs, either.

Bangkok to Kanchanaburi @ van Oct 24, 2017

From Sai Tai Mai Southern Bus Terminal to Kanchanaburi by van

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From Morchit Terminal to Kanchanaburi by van

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From Sai Tai Kao, Southern Terminal(old) to Kanchanaburi by van

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From Bangkok any hotel to Kanchanaburi by taxi

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Passenger reviews out of total 2,761 passengers traveled with us on this route

At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:

Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)

Make your choice! Please remember that though we are closely monitoring services, we are still an agency marketplace - meaning we focus on ticketing service and route availability / coverage rather than on factual seat recline angle you got today ^_^

★★☆☆☆ Oct 16, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Very hard to find the place off departure and the people could understand a word. When they realized that we had the tickets already they simply turned their back.
★★★★☆ Oct 10, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★★★ Oct 5, 2017 (charter SUV 4pax, BangkokTaxi24) :
Very good and kind driver. On time
★★★☆☆ Sep 22, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★☆☆ Sep 17, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
Well organized.. we could even take an earlier bus
★★★☆☆ Sep 12, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Terminal not very clear Van was aged and made some weird sounds Overall, we came to our destination on time and in good health however
★★★☆☆ Sep 5, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
We ware late (half ouwer) and we had to pay for an extra chair but the bag went in the Back :(
★★★★★ Sep 2, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★★☆ Aug 31, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
We Arrived with 30 minutes delay but that's normal for Thailand. Even though we were in the rush hour in Bangkok. Our driver was really nice and we felt save during the ride. We also booked an extra seat for our lugged. We also had no problems with our online booking. We definitely would book again!
★★☆☆☆ Aug 31, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
The bus doesnt recognize the ticket, and I had to pay again
★★☆☆☆ Aug 26, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Delayed and with stops
★★★★☆ Aug 25, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★☆☆ Aug 19, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Poor service, uncomfortable. I bought 4 seats and gave me only 3. At least 12Go Asia refunded the price difference after the trip.
★★★★☆ Aug 15, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Was a bit of a faf to find the minivan in the first place but everyone at the bus terminal was helpful and we got on all good - air conditioned and the driver was lovely so we had a good trip !
★★★☆☆ Aug 10, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
We came to the Sai Tai Mai and searched for the platform. It took us a long time to find it but luckily, we came 1 hour too early, so it wasn't that bad. When we came toh the right platform and showed the ticket on my phone, the woman first shoock her head and said no. Then I showed her every screenshot I took from the ticket booking. Then she said, we can take the bus, but it will leave half an hour earlier. So it wasn't organized very well, luckily we came earlier to the Bus terminal or maybe we had missed the bus.
★★★★★ Aug 3, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Quick and efficient
★★★★★ Aug 2, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★☆☆ Jul 30, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
I wasn't happy with the signs at the bus station (mai sai tai). On their voucher they told me I had to find a counter at platform 9, there are more platform 9's at the station. We departured earlier than scheduled --> +1 Trip was shorter than 3 hours (2 hours), but the taxi driver drove as if he wanted us death.
★★★★★ Jul 30, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
Driver was courteous and we got to our destination quickly and safely.
★★☆☆☆ Jul 30, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
I bought tickets for myself and 2 others online 2 days before our trip. As I went up to the check in counter and showed the lady my phone tickets, she directed me to go down to the platform. I thought this odd, as I have booked with 12go.asia before and they always look at my phone and then print out physical copies of our tickets and give them to us. We went down to the platform, then were denied access to the bus and were directed to go back to the ticket counter. We then went back to the ticket counter, where we were directed to the Kanachanaburi counter specifically, only to find no one there. We continually asked around for help, everyone telling us to go the kanchanaburi ticket counter, but still no one was there. Finally we went back down to the platform and tried to explain to the ladies what had happened. But they simply shook their heads and demanded we pay for tickets. All in all we had to pay for another whole set of tickets, even though we had already purchased them.
★★★☆☆ Jul 28, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Hard to find the place of departure. Need to ask it several times. The bus had a delay of half an hour. Stopped several times to drop or pick up people, it took Some time. The ride took more then 3 hours, but the price was low, so quite good value for the money. Bus was Oke. Don't forget to book an extra Seat for your luggage,; we had to sit on our backpack / suitcase which was not very comfortable!
★★★★★ Jul 22, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
Very helpfull english speaking organisation. the trip was planned on 11:00 uur but we could already leave at 10:30! Nice, airconditioned ride.
★★★★★ Jul 18, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
Perfect service, perfect driver and a very easy way to come from A to B. All just in time
★★★★★ Jul 18, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Easy way from Bangkok to kanchanaburi. Only struggle was to find the agent at morchit bus station who was sitting on deck opposite her ticket office. Indeed need to buy one ticket extra to board our big bags
★★★★★ Jul 16, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★★★ Jul 14, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★★ Jul 8, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
The bus arrived on time and left about 15-20 minutes later which is completely reasonable for Thailand! AC worked just fine and the seats weren't bad compared to other vans I've been on, they even reclined a bit. Everyone was very friendly (and the driver was very kind when I had to ask for an emergency bathroom break!) The drive took longer than anticipated but I know that's because we left during rush hour on a Friday so keep that in mind.
★★★☆☆ Jul 7, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Punctual and air conditioned but very cramped.
★★★★★ Jul 3, 2017 (van Regional, Hanuman Tour Siam) :
friendly, in time, safe
★★★★☆ Jul 1, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★☆☆ Jul 1, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
A little hard to find the bus, but found it eventually. It only left about 20 minutes late and stopped along the way for a bathroom and to get a snack. Trip took about 3 hours, as expected. Van wasn't anything fancy and was a bit hot despite having AC, but it was a good deal for the price.
★★★★★ Jul 1, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
Easy to find the platform and the Thai lady at the desk told us when and on what van to get on and once we were on it was a comfortable trip there. Would definitely use 12go again.
★★★★☆ Jun 26, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
Difficult start as nobody would accept our online ticket. A nice Thai man spoke English and helped us. Good journey
★★★★☆ Jun 11, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Staff at the terminal were helpful but did struggle to find our bus... It took 3 staff to find it! The bus left on time, but arrived late due to Bangkok traffic. The ride was smooth enough but quite uncomfortable. For 150baht, it's hard to find fault.
★★★★☆ Jun 10, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★☆ Jun 4, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.) :
Instructions to platform 9 was inaccurate and had to ask our way to the correct bus stand
★★☆☆☆ May 25, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★☆☆ May 17, 2017 (van Regional, Yamajareon Co.)
★★★★☆ May 10, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★☆ Apr 17, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★★ Apr 15, 2017 (van Regional, Hanuman Tour Siam)
★★★★☆ Apr 15, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
The bus terminal is ok, and the staff will help you with finding your place. .Bus was full and storage of 2 backpacks was a problem. By online ticket purchase is not possible to buy one additional space for luggage. !!! The driver was very good, the ride was passed and he drove cautiously, which I highly appreciated. We got one break for toilet visit and purchased water.
★★★☆☆ Mar 31, 2017 (charter Comfort, PGS) :
Our driver was very kind, and he had a safe driving style. However, he brought his wife which meant that we as 3 tall people had to sit in the back seat. Furthermore, the night before i changed the pick up time to 10, they arrives 10:45. So, the money that I paid for this service was a bit too much. I don't mind to share the car but then the price should be lowered!
★★★☆☆ Mar 28, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Was hard to find the bus booth, the terminal was huge. Lucky we were early because even though the ticket was for 6am, the bus left by about 5.40am. Also it was an extremely bumpy ride so impossible to sleep, but thats the kind of adventure you enjoy when you travel, right? :)
★★★★☆ Mar 27, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
★★☆☆☆ Mar 14, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★★ Mar 2, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★★ Feb 20, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Very good service. Exact timing. Very kind personal.
★★★☆☆ Feb 15, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Busses to hard to find, to small.Good driver and good service.
★★★★★ Jan 25, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Vers good trip. Personnel efficace, bus à l heure. Aucun souci. Catherine et Stéphane en famille
★★★★☆ Jan 12, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★☆ Jan 8, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Nice ride, 2,5 hours. Good value for the trip.
★★★★☆ Jan 4, 2017 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Really great - we arrived ten minutes late because of some unusually awful traffic (even by BKK standards), but they managed to squeeze us into the next available van anyway without any fuss. Van was dated and the driver was insane. On the upside, he got us there 45 minutes early. On the downside... he drove quickly enough and crazily enough to get us there 45 minutes early.
★★★★☆ Jan 1, 2017 (van Regional, Hanuman Tour Siam) :
Cheap, fast and good...some things to consider, though. Getting to the terminal from Nonthaburi where we live was easy - maybe 30 minutes on a Sunday. It was very good getting through the terminal as we had our printed voucher in hand. If you don't then you have to make your way through all the yelling vendors trying to get you to use their van service. That would have been hectic and my sunglasses would have to have been on so I could look past everyone and not catch their eyes lol...so one stressor was avoided. Once at my gate number it was very easy as I handed my voucher to the clerk and he politely pointed me to the van behind him. As we had booked a 10:20 am van we were happy to see it leave at 10:00 ahead of schedule. ..the stressor was the fact they packed 13 passengers into the 14 passenger van with a ton of luggage all stacked up. ...made for a cozy ride with strangers. ....as for booking online with 12go.asia, all and all it was worth the few extra baht to book online (160/each vs. 120 at the station)...and the driver was nice enough to drop us off at our guest house...I would use 12Go. Asia again in the future...
★★★★★ Dec 25, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★☆☆ Dec 22, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Great service as we arrived way to early and could get a bus within one hour instead of four. The trip itself was only 2,5 hour instead of the 4 hour on the site. And the driver was driving a bit reckless. Not much room for my long legs.
★★☆☆☆ Nov 29, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Not comfortable, would take a nap because of short night, wasnt possible because of rhe bumpy ride. Took 2 hours instead of 3. Driver was driving as a lunatic during the trip.
★★★★★ Nov 28, 2016 (charter Comfort, PGS) :
Good driver and luxerus car.
★★★★★ Nov 21, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★☆ Oct 31, 2016 (van Regional, Hanuman Tour Siam) :
Bus terminal was hard to find. Our taxi driver had to call the number to find it. Other than that the ride was fine.
★★★★★ Oct 17, 2016 (charter Van 9pax, PGS)
★★★☆☆ Sep 5, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
It's really hard to find at the huge MoChit Terminal.
★★★☆☆ Aug 10, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
About 1hr later arrived
★★★★☆ Apr 11, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Actively support when i need a change in departure timing. Effectively response from hotline. Nice driver
★★★★☆ Mar 1, 2016 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★☆ Aug 9, 2015 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★☆☆ Aug 3, 2015 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)
★★★★★ Jul 13, 2015 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
Soo good. As soon as we walked into the bus station our printed tickets were recognised and we we put on a very comfortable bus with question
★★★★☆ Mar 27, 2015 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour) :
We took the train up and this bus back. We followed through on the advice on the website and booked 3 seats - one each for the two of us and one for our luggage. We had to explain what we'd done to non-English speaking crew but got a seat for our luggage - thete was nowhere else to put anything - and off we went. On time in spite of heavy traffic near Bangkok which was important to us as we had a plane to catch ( and the train the day before ran over two hours late for no apparent reason!). The main thing is that it is so cheap at 150 baht (£3) for the 3 hour journey. Note that this works well for links to Don Muang airport but Morchit Bus Station seems to be really far from everywhere else so may or may not be for you as a taxi from our hotel would have wiped put all savings (and the train is only 100 baht and nicer).
★★★★★ Mar 10, 2015 (van Regional, Kwan Chee Vee Tour)

News

Conservationists urge Thai rail company to preserve old stations

Architects and academics have united in a bid to persuade Thailand’s railway operator to save the nation’s heritage stations from the wrecking ball.  King Mongkut Institute of Technology’s Parinya Chukaew and leading architect Pongkwan Lassus say the country’s elderly rail stations have high cultural value.

28 March 2017

Kanchanaburi launches 2017 Harmony World Puppet Festival

Today sees the start of the delayed Thailand Harmony World Puppet Festival in Kanchanaburi Province. The fest is a celebration of the art of puppetry and marionettes and features string puppets, shadow puppet shows, hand puppets, rod-driven puppets and even human puppets.

20 February 2017

Free entry a good reason to visit top Thailand cultural draws

From now until the end of January is a great time to take a cultural voyage around the top historical and heritage sites in Thailand. The reason for this is that the Fine Arts Division of the national Ministry of Culture is offering free entry to one and all at 42 elite attractions until the 31 January 2017.

30 November 2016