Erawan Waterfalls Kanchanaburi
The most spectacular natural formation in Kanchanaburi province are the Erawan Waterfalls which lie within the Erawan National Park. These waterfalls are so beautiful and majestic that certain tour guides describe them as the greatest natural feature of Thailand and a sight truly not to be missed. Possible an exaggeration but certainly the Erawan Waterfalls should be visited while in Kanchanaburi. The Erawan Waterfalls cascade down the side of a steep stepped hill and this has given rise to the natural phenomenon of seven connected waterfalls.
Each of the seven waterfalls plunge into deep pools which are coloured either vivid blue or emerald green due to the chalk underlying rock.. If the Erawan waterfalls can be experienced before the arrival of the mass tourist coaches and organised tours the waterfalls can be an enchanting and magical location. Each of the seven waterfalls of Erawan is unique with the constant flowing water carving out numerous channels to flow down the hill side. The river which forms the Erawan waterfalls is a tributary to the Mae Nam Khwae Yai river. Life is teaming in the deeper pools and the pools are the natural environment of the feet eating fish. This gimmicky form of pedicure has spread the world over but it is here that the fish will naturally eat the dead skin from between your toes, or more depending on how much you wish to submerge yourself. Some of the Erawan pools are deep enough to allow for bathing and swimming and if part of an organised tour remember to bring swimming outfit and towels.
The water falls derive their name from the apparent shape of the seventh pool which is said to resemble the Hindu god Erawan. Erawan’s form is of a three headed elephant and I must be honest I have never really seen the resemblance, must have been looking from the incorrect vantage point! A common activity of the Erawan waterfalls is to climb the semi-permanent path all the way to the top and the largest pool (the Erawan shaped pool) and waterfall. This climb (or hike) takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes depending on the number of visitors and the level of the oppressive humidity and is approximatly 2km. The climb is a great method to leave the crowds of tourists and some of the later falls are spectacular but caution must be also consider while climbing wet rocks with some very nasty drops.
Every year there are tourists who risk a little too much and end up paying with either a major injury or even their life, Thailand has a very blunt approach to health and safety.
Getting There :
Public Transport: Public bus 8170 leaves the Kanchanaburi bus terminal every 50-60 min. between 08:00-17:20. The fare is 50 baht and the ride takes ~90 minutes. If you stay far away north from the bus terminal, and you probably will, you can just walk to Saeng Chuto Road from your guest house and hail the bus there. Be sure to get an early bus, since there will be fewer people at the falls and you won’t have to hurry to get back. The last bus leaves for Kanchanaburi at 16:00.
Transport Tour:, Tour agencies in Bangkok commonly sell a package that includes Toyota minibus transport from your Bangkok hotel to the falls and back, with lunch and the park entrance fee of 200 baht included, for 1,100 baht, circa early 2011. The packages are generally standardised and non-negotiable in price. Some tours also include a stop at the Bridge over the River Kwai, so inquire.
Tour packages that visitors can purchase from the nearby hotels/resorts in Kanchanaburi may include a stop to the Erawan waterfalls and other selected tourist attractions such as elephant riding, bamboo rafting, Tiger Temple and Hellfire Pass. These packages range around 1600 Bhat and include all transportation to and from the resort, the park fees, lunch, and an English-speaking guide.
In July 2011, many tour agencies and hotels were offering tours for 1,000-1,100 baht including entrance fees, lunch, elephant walk, bamboo raft ride, River Kwai Bridge, and a choice of Hellfire Pass or Erawan Falls. Not all combinations of tours leave every day so check a few days ahead if you’re after something specific.
It is possible to spend the night in the national park, meaning you get to experience the falls without the day tripper crowds. Camping sites are available on a nice green area by the riverside. The National Park rents out tents starting from 50 baht up to 300 baht for the biggest. The park also rents out accessories such as sleeping bags, lanterns or stoves for a very small amount. The accommodation services office is just past the car park. Bungalows are also available from 800 Baht. For food, try the market which is a one kilometre walk back up the road towards the highway. There it is also possible to find cheaper snacks, drinks or other items. Just remember to bring your National Parks ticket with you to prove you have already paid.
Erawan Waterfalls photo Gallery :
Erawan Waterfalls Video :
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