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Hellfire Pass
Hellfire Pass

Hellfire Pass

Free admission

The Hellfire Pass segment of the Burma-Thailand railway cuts through the Tenasserim Hills in western Thailand. It earned notoriety during the World War II construction of the railway by Allied POWS, who suffered high casualty rates due to the isolation, the amount of rock that needed to be removed, and the lack of proper equipment.

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The Basics

While the infamous train no longer runs through Hellfire Pass, it’s still possible to visit the area on a day trip from the nearby town of Kanchanaburi. The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, located near the tracks and opened in 1998, memorializes the lives lost during the construction of the “Death Railway.” Audio tours take visitors through the museum and along a walking trail that follows the original pass through its 85-foot (26-meter) deep trench. Multi-day itineraries along the River Kwai from Bangkok typically include a visit to Hellfire Pass, along with many of the region’s other important World War II sites.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Access to the museum and trails is free, but donations are encouraged.
  • Be sure to bring insect repellent and plenty of water, as the area is typically hot and humid.
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes, as you can follow the rail path for up to 4 miles (6 kilometers).
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How to Get There

The easiest way to visit Hellfire Pass is on a guided day trip from Kanchanaburi or Bangkok. Those who’d prefer more time to explore independently or hike the full trail can hire a car and driver from town for the day, or drive themselves along Highway 323.

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When to Get There

The best time to visit Hellfire Pass is between November and February, when temperatures are a bit cooler than the rest of the year. Each year on April 25, the site hosts an Anzac Day celebration to commemorate Australians and New Zealanders who perished in the war.

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WWII Attractions Near Kanchanaburi

The area around Kanchanaburi is home to many of Thailand’s most important World War II sites, including Hellfire Pass as the famous River Kwai Bridge. Visit the Thailand-Burma Railway Center in the town of Kanchanaburi to learn more about the railway and POW camps in Thailand, and stop by the neighboring Don Rak War Cemetery to pay respects to the POWs interred there. The JEATH Museum displays testimonies and paintings from POWs.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Hellfire Pass?