The historical buildings of Pak Prak Heritage Walking Street (Kanchanaburi, Thailand)

A less-than-three-hour drive from the capital, the town of Kanchanaburi is best known for its World War II history, the River Kwai and the notorious Death Railway. There are, however, pockets that are loaded with history but devoid of the historical and emotional baggage that accompany the more famous sites in town.

One of these is the Pak Prak Heritage Walking Street, along which a row of 20 buildings dating back to the early 20th century are lined. Detailed signage accompanies each building, although without these they are obvious thanks to an architectural mashup of Chinese and European designs, with a bit of Thai flair. Unfortunately, they are in various states of structural integrity, ranging from fully operating businesses (the Hua Hong Shop, which operates a café within its 1919 building) to uninhabitable. Still, a stroll down this street is a great way to partake in the faded glory of times past mixed in with currently operating, vibrant businesses in Kanchanaburi’s old town.