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Kanchanaburi Shopping

What to Buy in Kanchanaburi

While the offerings at most souvenir stalls and open-air markets do not often stray beyond typical tourist knick-knacks, Kanchanaburi can be an exciting place to shop for quality gemstones. Here is the centre of Thailand’s gemstone mining industry, and Bo Ploi is one of the world’s largest production centres for blue sapphire. You will find these brilliant sapphires along with other precious and semi-precious stones at nearly every souvenir stall at various tourist attractions. But if quality is your biggest concern, then head over to Bo Ploi.

The eastern approach to the Bridge over the River Kwai is one other area worth checking out. These stalls feature a diverse collection of crafts and home décor items, including bamboo crafts, readymade wear, Thai musical instruments, ceramics, lacquerware, bronzeware, paper parasols, silk and gemstones.

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Bo Ploi Jewellery Handicraft Centre

If your eyes glow and heart pounds with every time you see sparkling little gemstones, a trip to Bo Ploi is a must. This small village is home to one of Thailand’s most active industrial gemstone mining industries, and Bo Ploi Jewellery Handicraft Centre is where you can watch how these precious and semi-precious stones, particularly blue sapphire, onyx and ruby, are honed and fashioned into dazzling rings, brooches and penchants. Bring more cash than necessary, as you will need it.

  • Location: Bo Ploi District, about 48km north of Kanchanaburi City
  • How to get there: Non air-conditioned buses leave Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal every 20 minutes (06:00-18:30). The journey takes about one hour.

Kanokarn

This three-storey shopping mall is where to go for brand-name clothes and electrical goods. Imagine Bangkok’s MBK meets a hypermarket. You will find a decent supermarket and individual shops on the lower floors. The top floor is an indoor market for cell phones, phone accessories, VCDs and home entertainment items.

  • Location: Kanchanaburi city centre
  • How to get there: Hop on a songtaew or rent a motorcycle
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Night Markets

Cheap eats and a colourful open-air market scene await you at the two Kanchanaburi Night Markets. Although not as big and exciting as the legendary Chiang Mai Night Bazaar or other Bangkok night markets, Kanchanaburi Night Markets are great places to interact with the locals and to bargain for goods. The two markets are located near the bus station and train station, and the best time to go is after sunset until 21:00.

  • Location: Near the Bus Station and Train Station
  • How to get there: Hop on a songtaew or rent a motorcycle

River Kwae park

Like most tourist attractions in the country, the areas flanking the eastern approach of the Bridge over the River Kwae are never short of things to buy. Dozens of stalls sell every kind of crafts and goods imaginable, from blue-and-white porcelain ware, handmade bamboo products and marble accessories to Thai musical instruments, gemstones, silk and clothing. Shopping here is more part of a sightseeing experience than a highlight on its own, as you will likely find the same items at any outdoor market across Kanchanaburi.

  • Location: Eastern approach of the Bridge over the River Kwae
  • How to get there: Hop on a songtaew or rent a motorcycle
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