Controversial walkway built around the Giant Rain Tree in Kanchanaburi

One of the latest attractions in Kanchanaburi is this giant Rain Tree (see map) which is believed to be over 100 years old. The trunk measures an impressive 15 metres in perimeter & 20 metres in height. The branches spread out about 25.87 metres. Even on a very hot day, it is significantly cooler under the tree. It is literally in the middle of nowhere. However, due to its popularity on social media, it is visited by hundreds of people at the weekend. Now comes the news that a raised walkway has been built around the giant tree. Presumably, it was done with good intentions to protect it from mass tourism. However, what was a beautiful natural attraction in the past, has now been turned into an eye-sore. Was this walkway really necessary? It is not as if this is Angkor Wat. At the end of the day, it is just a giant tree and not really worth a special trip for most people. But what made it special for me and other people was the natural setting and the photo opportunities. But now all of that is lost. Sad really. What do you think?

Before and After

Giant Rain Tree in April 2018

Giant Rain Tree in April 2018

Giant Rain Tree in April 2018

Giant Rain Tree in September 2018 – Photo: FB เล็ก บ้านใต้

Giant Rain Tree in September 2018 – Photo: FB เล็ก บ้านใต้

9 thoughts on “Controversial walkway built around the Giant Rain Tree in Kanchanaburi

  • December 11, 2020 at 9:52 am
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    Richard, its was one of those things that you only miss if had seen it. The walkway can always be removed. But damage to roots is hard to repair. Concern for the welfare of the tree is laudable.

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  • March 19, 2020 at 8:24 am
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    A walkway is much better than a fence like how most significant old trees are protected around the world. Just returned from there and the walkway allows people to comfortably sit under the shade of the tree and relax without harming the tree. Love the walkway idea since we can still get close to the tree without damaging it with hordes of tourists. The photos you shown here are new ones… Now the grounds are beautifully done and maintained by gardeners all day. The grass is much greener and full with this dedicated walkway. Take a visit there today and you’ll see how much better it looks that the photos in this post.

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  • January 6, 2019 at 10:42 pm
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    Naturally there are people who don’t understand that it is essential to protect the root system from footfall. Tourists have made this necessary; it has spoilt the experience and perhaps the same result could have been achieved by mulching the entire root system with small walkways to allow close contact
    The position of the walkways could then be changed annually. DKT

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  • November 7, 2018 at 3:39 am
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    Thanks for showing this, as a large tree enthousiast, this was on my list to visit and make massive image from (by stitching panorama images). The natural ground (grass/earth) with the tree images looked amazing, but this WTF. It even makes easier to climb on tree wich is not done to protect it.

    There’s another tree wich i’ll do great lengths to visit now (luckely it’s pretty hard to find on internet, so that means it’s not so big tourist attraction yet). I won’t call it here to protect it from bullshit like above.

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  • October 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm
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    I visited this huge tree a couple of years ago, and was impressed with the natural beauty of such a massive tree with the few road side stalls spread around that didn’t appear to take from the stature of this tree. I cannot imagine that a raised walk way is necessary or will add to the situation in any helpful manner.
    Unfortunately I have visited many rural places in Thailand where the ‘improvements’ planned by people who do not seem to understand the value of the place have resulted in an obvious overall deterioration.
    On the other hand many parks are managed exceptionally well and are a credit to those in charge and those that maintain the place.
    Many thanks for sharing this helpful, if sad, information.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 10:04 pm
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    Please remove this walkway, it contributes nothing to the natural beauty of this site.

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  • September 27, 2018 at 7:34 pm
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    “The branches spread out about 25.87 metres”

    About? So not 25.86 or 25.88?

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  • September 27, 2018 at 7:21 pm
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    Maybe the walkway protects the root system or stops people damaging parts of the tree? I recently visited several national parks in Far North Queensland and there were similar walkways around some very significant trees. If hundreds visit on the weekends I am all for looking after this giant the best way possible!

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    • September 28, 2018 at 10:44 am
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      Unfortunately, people would walk on top of the roots, and eventually kill the tree. Love it to death! I think most of the largest, oldest trees are protected with a fence or walk way.

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