Exploring the Hidden Charms of Mahidol University Kanchanaburi Campus

Thailand, renowned for its bustling cities and exotic beaches, conceals within its heart a tranquil oasis far removed from the frenetic pace of urban life. Venturing beyond the urban sprawl of Bangkok, my student exchange led me to the serene landscapes of Kanchanaburi, where the authentic spirit of Thai culture unfolds.

The Crown Prince of Thailand

Commencing my Thai odyssey at Don Muaeng airport, the university’s van whisked us away to our midnight arrival at the campus, shrouded in darkness and mystery. The long, dimly lit road from the front gate to our dormitory building left my bleary-eyed self in suspense. With the dawn, the true beauty of Mahidol University Kanchanaburi Campus revealed itself—a haven ensconced in lush greenery and a vibrant, living forest, a sanctuary for nature enthusiasts. The diversity of flora and fauna, from birds and monkeys to reptiles, painted a vivid picture of the coexistence between academia and nature. Surprising as it was to encounter monkeys on the roadside for a city dweller like me, their benign presence only added to the campus’s charm, provided one exercised caution and refrained from offering food.


The campus sprawls across an expansive area connected by lengthy roads. Fortunately, electric trams, a thoughtful university provision, transport students and staff between class and dormitory buildings on weekdays. The tram rides in the morning, noon, and afternoon offer a delightful experience as one reclines, relishing the cool breeze against their skin.

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Yet, the proximity to nature comes with its trade-offs. The absence of major convenience stores such as 7-11 on campus necessitates visits to the small convenience store near the dormitory for snacks and necessities. For a more extensive shopping experience or to savor the local cuisine of Kanchanaburi, a trip to the nearby town of Wang Pho, approximately 5 kilometers away, becomes essential. For those yearning for the bustle of a larger city or a shopping spree at a mall, the heart of Kanchanaburi, around 40 kilometers from the campus, beckons—requiring a bus or car journey.

Despite these challenges, Mahidol University Kanchanaburi Campus has won my favor and embraced me with open arms. The warmth and friendliness of every student and staff member embody the spirit of Thailand as the ‘Land of Smiles.’ Invitations from friends to explore downtown, visit markets, or venture into the city have made our stay remarkably comfortable and enriched our experience. As our departure looms in the next few months, I am determined to savor every moment, cherishing the hospitality and acceptance that have defined my sojourn in this rural Thai haven.

Author: Rania Ichdatunnisa, Environmental Engineering. Rania Ichdatunnisa and Nandina Salsabila spent one semester at Mahidol University, Kanchanaburi Campus, with funding from the International Credit Transfer 2023 MBKM program and UPNVJT’s partnership with Mahidol University.

Editor: KISE