Excursions, Nature, Temples — 7 May 2013 16 h 56 min

Erawan National Park and waterfalls.

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Erawan National Park and waterfalls.

Many visitors to Thailand will bring a visit to Kanchanaburi province to see the world famous “Bridge over the river Kwai” , the Death Railway and the war cemetery. But the province has much more to offer, especially for those who want to enjoy the lust for flora, fauna and tranquility. Within an hours drive from the popular tourist city of Kanchanaburi you will find a different world in the Erawan National Park.

The National Park.

Which was established in 1975 is the 12th National Park of Thailand and is popular by the locals as well as foreign tourists. In the Park, for which you as a tourist are required to pay an entrance fee of 200 Bath as a foreigner or 40 Baht as a Thai, you’ll find 550 square km. of nature with as highlight the Erawan waterfalls. When hiking in the Park you can see different sorts of mammals, reptiles, birds, butterflies and amphibians, while people who stayed longer then just a day’s visit at the Park have witnessed sights of Elephants, gibbons, Siamese hare, squirrels, King Cobra and Python snakes. The pools of the waterfalls contain fish and crabs and the refreshing water attracts many colorful flying insects as well.

For those who are willing to stay and camp overnight in the Park, there are tents and small bungalows for rent and for a small fee you can rent sleeping bags, cooking and other utilities from the Park’s office.

Erawan waterfalls.

The main attraction from the Park are the Erawan waterfalls, which are visited on weekends and public holidays by many Thai families to gather for a refreshing swim and outdoor pick-nick. The waterfalls are also a popular day trip for organized tour groups from Bangkok so if you really want to enjoy the fullest from these stunning waterfalls, we suggest that you arrive the Park in the early morning to beat the hordes of busses arriving at the Park after 10 o’clock. Do not forget to bring your bathing- swim suit to have a refreshing swim, but while walking between the levels keep in mind to wear a T-shirt and shorts, to respect other visitors.

On my last visit I took an eight o’clock bus (which is the first) from Kanchanaburi to arrive in the Park at around nine, the bus will bring you all the way to near the Park office and the fee for the Park will be collected by an official while still on the bus so you skip any line to get your tickets.

From the office, where you can grab a free map and are able to buy some refreshments, it’s just a short walk until you reach the first level from the 7-level waterfalls, and it is here up until the second level where you’ll find later most Thai visitors to hang out and where Thai families have their picknicks there is food, which will also attract monkey’s, which you are advised not to feed them.

A short walk further you’ll arrive at the second level of the waterfall, which is crowded with families as well, due to that it’s the last point where you can consume food, and buy drinks. To keep the Park clean from tourist pollution, you can’t take food beyond the second level and water in bottles need to be registered by Park officials and you need to pay a 20 baht deposit for every bottle you’ll take beyond this point, which will be refunded on your way back.

After the second level the surroundings start to get a bit more interesting for those who travelled here to enjoy the flora and found, the terrain gets a bit rougher and the walks up a bit more hard. Especially in the raining season you’ll have to watch your steps because the rocks and tree roots can get slippery.

The refreshing pools you’ll find on your way up, on each level now contain lots of fish, who give you a whole new experience. When entering these pools you will find the fish nibbling your feet, the feed themselves happily off the dead skin from your feet, which gives a strange feeling at first but when overcoming the fear it gives you a rather tickling feeling.

It are only the small and middle sized fish who come to feed on the human’s dead skin cells, the bigger fish won’t bite you. Most visitors to the waterfalls do not go further then the first five levels, but if you will, be advised that the sixth and seventh level are a bit harder to climb and take your time for your own and others safety.

The seventh level looks like a three headed elefant, and that’s what gave the name to these waterfalls.

Keep in mind that the last bus from the Park to Kanchanaburi leaves at the car park in front of the office at 16:00 and that no other available busses or transport will be available until 08:00 the next morning.

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Erawan National Park & Waterfalls

Erawan National Park & Waterfalls

Erawan 1

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