Erawan waterfall in a national park in Thailand
One of the main wonders of the tropical country, the twelfth National Park is Erawan (Erawan National Park). The space of 550 km2 is filled with a variety of plants and animals, but the place is famous for the waterfall of the same name with seven tiers. In fact, there are higher levels, but it is impossible to reach them – the seventh tier rises above the sea to a height of 996 m.
Erawan Falls is a significant attraction in Thailand, but there are other places in the park worth seeing. The photos on our website will help you decide where you want to go more – to the River Kwai or to the karst cave Phra Tat. There are many places in the park that you can’t go around in a day, so this trip should be prepared thoroughly. A sea of vegetation, exotic fauna, labyrinthine caves, and a huge waterfall Erawan await you.
Where is it
Kanchanaburi Province on the west side of the capital is separated from the National Park by 65 km. Mountains and valleys form a picturesque picture, and rivers flow through the area. At the point where the Omtala and Monglai rivers join, the park’s main attraction, which gave it its name, the Erawan Falls, was formed. You can traverse the seven tiers by trails, which are quite rocky in places.
It’s interesting. The main water cascades are named after the legendary elephant Erawan, because the seventh tier of the waterfall looks like the head of a giant beast. In Indian mythology, the elephant is the property of the God Indra, or rather his vehicle.
The eastern side of the park is hidden behind mountain ranges up to 1 km high. Uplands protect from strong winds from the sea. As you walk through the park, you meet colorful tropical birds and exotic reptiles. Many rivers originate in the mountains of the National Park and form beautiful waterfalls at their confluence. Erawan is considered the largest water cascade, not only the park, but also the whole of Thailand.
How to get from Pattaya
Why are so many tourists drawn to Kanchanaburi? Of course, for the Tiger Temple, the entertaining caves, the crossing of the River Kwai and the incredible waterfall Erawan. And all this is located in the province of Kanchanaburi on the west side of Thailand. There are several ways to get from Pattaya on your own, and the costly cab ride is not included. Let’s take a look at the more affordable and convenient options:
- Excursion . The most exciting trip is a trip to the River Kwai for two days. You can buy a ticket for the trip in all travel agencies for 2200 baht per person. The most interesting places with ancient history and beautiful nature + overnight on the river – no one will remain indifferent after such a trip. There is only one drawback: very little time. In Kanchanaburi is very original terrain, so that two days is not enough. So if you have enough time, you need to come here by yourself – so you will be able to see many times more sights, walk around the park and thoroughly explore each tier of the Erawan waterfall;
- Bus via Bangkok . An inexpensive and quick way to get from Pattaya to Kanchanaburi. You need to buy a bus ticket at Pattaya North Station to the south bus station in Bangkok. The fare is 124 Baht, and the journey takes 2 hours. Departure by public transport is easy, as buses run from early morning until late at night. Already at the station in the capital of Thailand to find a stand labeled Kanchanaburi and buy near him a ticket for 100 baht for the bus number 8170, which runs from 8 am to 5 pm. So, the independent travel of one person from Pattaya to Kanchanaburi will cost 224 baht;
- Direct route from Pattaya to Kanchanaburi . There is this option, although the drive is longer than with connections – about 7 hours. From the northern bus station on Third Street, a direct bus runs twice a day: at 9:30 and at 7 p.m. The fare is 390 baht, but you have to get your ticket in advance. Even though it’s a long way, you don’t have to change your seat. And what is the best way to go – choose for yourself!
There are two entrances to Erawan National Park: the southern entrance, accessible from Kanchanaburi Highway 3199; and the western entrance from Sai Yok Park. After Ban Pong Pat Village, turn left onto Road 3457. From the junction to the park for 30 kilometers.
Erawan Park was established in 1975. It is the twelfth national-level Thai park. There are many bodies of water, mountains, and karst grottoes in the area. Ten kilometers north of the main waterfall of the same name is one of the most famous caves, Pra That. The niche has four halls, which are filled with stalagmites and stalactites. The ceiling is populated by bats. And in other caves there are also rock paintings.
The protected areas are similar to virgin forests. The park is home to wild boars, tigers, Sambara deer, elephants, Siamese hares, gibbons, chamois and flying squirrels. Before going to Erawan you should wear tight shoes, because reptiles such as Asian python, ribbon krait and even king cobra live here. There are hotels and grocery stores for a comfortable stay.
Despite the large number of interesting places, the main “find” of the park is the amazing Erawan waterfall with cascades and water of pale green color. Seven tiers stretch upward for one and a half kilometers. The waterfall flows into a tropical forest where wild orchids grow. To thoroughly explore the area built a special hiking trail – it stretches from the first to the sixth level. The trail to the seventh tier goes over a high cliff, so not everyone can get there.
The Monglai and Omtala rivers, which form the waterfall, start on a mountain hill in the western part of the park. There are particles of calcium carbonate in the water, thanks to which you can see the beautiful process of water color transformation from turquoise to emerald. On the gentle hill where Erawan is located, there is a luxuriant vegetation cover. Most commonly found here are deciduous species and bamboo thickets.
Tourist’s tip of the day. You have to be careful of the primates, who try to keep a “gift” from visitors – to snatch something from your bag. Flashing your phone or camera annoys them. You should not wear a lot of flashy jewelry.
Levels of Erawan Falls
The seven tiers are 1,700m long and 831m high and amaze everyone. The lower level is 165 meters above sea level and the upper level is 996 meters. Each tier is unusual in its own way and there are rules to be followed by every tourist.
- Level 1. The beginning of the path with one cascade. Here you will have to leave your bags in special compartments. If you come with a pet, it will also need to be placed in an equipped place. It is not allowed to climb the waterfall with pets.
- Level 2. On this tier you will have to destroy all food supplies, as it is forbidden to carry food above the second cascade. You are allowed to take only one water bottle per person. For the plastic container will have to pay a deposit of 20 baht, and when you come back with an empty container, the money will be refunded. All these measures are necessary to keep the nature of the waterfall clean. It is also the most accessible tier for swimming;
- Tier 3. At each elevation there are natural bodies of water in which you can swim. The second and third tiers are the most convenient to do so. If you are not particularly confident on the water, you can take a swimming vest. After water procedures it is possible to take a shower and change clothes. Only bath accessories must be with you;
- Level 4. Popular tier because of the large stone blocks, which look like a woman’s breasts. From this cliff, visitors and locals whistle into the water like little children;
- Level 5. The “trick” of this layer is the two cascades. Small wooden bridges or logs are built where the water streams cross. Take comfortable shoes with you in advance, as it is easy to slip on the wet planks here;
Attract attention and numerous grottoes in the park. One of the famous caves is Ta Duang, where rock art has been found. The Rua Cave has relics of prehistoric people and several coffins carved from solid tree trunks. But let’s go in order, so we don’t miss any of the karst caves. After all, each niche has its own mystery and uniqueness.
One of the most popular caves in the park. The entrance is located near the village of Ta Tung on a mountain hill, to which you have to climb to a height of about 800 m. You have to be careful as the rocks often fall here. In the Ta Duang cave, they found prehistoric wall paintings depicting people and trees. Later, homemade household tools and clay household utensils were found at the site. All findings are evidence of life that was here thousands of years ago.
To enter the cave is to climb to a height of 720 m. The entire space is occupied by limestone outgrowths. The stunning garden of stones is interesting because in the very center is a giant stalactite, resembling the shape of a stupa.
Access to this cave is located near the village of Tap Sila. To get your bearings in the area faster, follow the signs. Villagers believe that bears lived in Mee a long time ago. The cave occupies a large area – it has five spacious halls with good ventilation. Inside, there are some curious formations made of stones.
The cave is known for the ancient artifacts found here hundreds of years ago. The depth is 50 m. The coffins made of wooden poles in the shape of a boat are impressive. The lids of the coffins depict human heads. The area resembles the setting of an unusual sci-fi movie.
The limestone cave can only be accessed through a small passageway. In Wang Badan the river flows. The place is popular because of the niches with beautiful sparkling stones that look like mysterious specimens from myths.
Trails for trekking
At Erawan Falls, there are marked marked walking paths. The most accessible trail starts at the bus stop and leads to the second tier. The path is paved, and along the way you may come across spider dwellings, rarely spotting a varan or squirrel. If you stand with your back to the third tier of Erawan Falls, this trail is on the left.
The second trail is located between the third and fourth tier. There will be an arrow to the left as you climb up. There are many branches on this trail, so you will have to wander. At the end of the trail is a rainforest. If you don’t ramble too much, an hour is quite enough to make it up this trail.
It’s useful. There are many trails that are not marked with markers or signs. One of these is Khao Hin Lan Pii. The trail runs near the fifth tier of Erawan Falls. It takes almost three hours to walk. But be careful, because there are many roads that are not meant for excursions. It is better to check with the staff where it is safe to walk in the park.
It will take longer to walk the third track. Between the fourth and fifth tier, a separate path turns right off the main path. This path is unmarked, but it is impossible to get lost on it. The path first goes through a bamboo grove and then climbs rapidly up the mountain. Then there is a long climb up the rocks to the top. This road is not for concerted excursions. Fans of hiking along uncharted paths will definitely enjoy it.
Traditionally, it takes a maximum of 3-4 hours to tour the Erawan National Park and see the country’s main waterfall. But to see all the beauty of the area and enjoy the many beautiful sights can not be achieved in a day. In this case, you can stay in the park itself, and in this case there are several positive aspects:
- you do not have to pay the entrance fee again;
- you can start exploring the park even in the early morning, when there are almost no tourists.
What are the options for accommodation? You can choose a room in the arranged house with a spacious veranda. One room can hold from two to eight people. An overnight stay will cost from 600 to 2400 baht per person per night according to the type of room.
There is a campsite in the park. Here you can come with your own tent and stay overnight for 30 baht. If you don’t have your own tent, you can rent one from 100 to 300 baht. The price depends on the size of the tent. If to take also the set of bedding, you will have to pay at least 200 baht.
The separate bungalow costs 100 baht per person, and a place in the room – 50 baht. For additional items you need to pay extra. Keep in mind that the park is quite cool in the evening, but mosquitoes and midges fly abundantly. A bonus for all guests is a picnic. The party is hosted by the administration in the center of the campground. Here you can try fried meats and various local delicacies.
Walking and sightseeing are good, but when to eat? As you already know, before hiking to Erawan Falls, you will have to eat your supplies before the second tier. You can carry water with you, but only if you throw the empty bottle in a special garbage can. To make it happen just so, they take a deposit of 20 baht from the tourists, and after the money is returned. Stronger beverages are not allowed to drink not only in the Erawan National Park, but also in all other Thai parks. After a productive vacation at the waterfall, you can refresh yourself at a cafe near the parking lot. Many tourists are advised to visit the cafe number 5 , where you can have an inexpensive and tasty snack. To the institution at the stop is easiest to reach by footpath from the second tier of the waterfall.
- There are many monkeys in the park – rhesus macaque and crab-eating macaque. These animals love to swim and are used to living near bodies of water. Sources of food for macaques are the products of tourists. Feeding these animals is strictly prohibited, as they are wild animals. The administration tries to drive them away from tourists, but it is useless. The primates skillfully steal things from visitors with a slingshot. And they can also steal something on the move. If a tourist hesitates, a monkey grabs the bag and runs up the tree. If you see them around, keep an eye on your belongings;
- The small carp fish, Pla Pluang, make an excellent free exfoliation. The fishes clean the dead skin. This treatment is very beneficial. But if there is a scratch on your feet, you must be sure to seal it, otherwise it will turn into a big wound;
- you can bathe in the park in any place and in any form. On the last tiers of the waterfall often rest European nudists. The most popular tiers for water procedures are from the second to the fifth inclusive;
- There are a total of seven waterfalls in Erawan Park. They are located at a distance of 300 to 1500 meters from each other. There are asphalt trails and even paths with railings to all waterfalls. In the ponds you can see different types of fish. There are also very large specimens.
Erawan Park is open all year. When planning your trip, note that from May to October in Thailand, the rainy season. The rains do not pour down every day without stopping, but can still be a serious disruption to a tour of the park. November to January is the best time to visit, as the cold season reigns. From February to April it gets hot and long walks will have to be forgotten.
The national park is open from 8 am to 16.30. If you arrive after 4 o’clock, you will not be able to get above the second level of the Erawan waterfall. It is best to arrive early in the morning to take a leisurely stroll around the area and climb the seventh and final tier of the falls.
Foreign visitors need to pay an entrance fee of 400 baht, children under the age of 14 – 100 baht, and kids under the age of three go free. There are changing rooms, showers and toilets on site. In the souvenir stores you can buy something to remember. In the cozy cafes is a convenient snack between walks through the park. The bus stop sells refreshments and ice cream.
Erawan National Park also has the unusual Monglaya Trail, which runs through an evergreen forest. There is unique flora and fauna from twelve natural areas, and the air is unrealistically clean. During the rainy season, you can visit Phalun waterfall, which only at this time opens to the tourist all its beauty. What sights of Erawan Park in Thailand impress you? Do you consider Erawan Falls the main “feature” of this park?
Erawan Falls – the highlight of Erawan National Park in Thailand
Erawan Waterfall, and with it the park of the same name, can safely be called one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. It welcomes tourists from all over the world. Why not join us?
General information about the park
Erawan Park, also called the 12th National Park of Thailand, is located 65 km from Kanchanaburi Province. Despite the fact that both the waterfall itself and the surrounding landscape exist for hundreds of years, they could become a protected area relatively recently – only in 1975. The park, which occupies more than 500 square kilometers, is home to many different exotic animals. Among them we can note lizards, elephants, deer, tigers, wild boars, gibbons, king cobras, etc. However, most of them are hidden in the forest thickets, so you can see them only sometimes. No less curious and feathered “troop” of the park. Pheasants, bluebirds, crested grebes and snakebirds, cuckoos and parrots – all these birds scurry about literally before your eyes! The monkeys of the park should also be mentioned separately. Macaques have perfectly adapted to life by the water and even learned to swim. Despite numerous warnings from the administration of the park, tourists are happy to feed them with different treats. However, here to be extremely careful. Local monkeys are big hooligans. They not only steal bags right out of their hands, but also take jewelry and various trinkets from tourists.
Also of note is the unique nature of the National Park of Thailand. Erawan lies on the limestone hills, the height of which ranges from 165 to 996 m above sea level. They protect the park from the eastern monsoon, so on average it rains a little less here. Another feature of the complex is the deciduous, evergreen and dipterocarp forests, which occupy up to 80% of the entire area. But perhaps the main pride of this place is the waterfall, which got its name after the mythical three-headed elephant. We are going to talk about it further.
The Erawan Waterfall in Thailand, flowing into a tropical forest with wild orchids, is a truly unique spectacle. It is formed by 2 huge rivers at once – Omtala and Mongalai. Their main advantage is the presence of calcium carbonate, thanks to which the water in the waterfall shimmers all shades of green.
Erawan consists of 7 cascades, the height and length of which is 831 and 1700 m, respectively. Each of them has its own characteristics:
- 1 tier. It is strictly forbidden to climb the waterfall with bags and pets, so they have to leave them in specially equipped places;
- 2 tier. At this stage of the journey will have to get rid of all food supplies. You are allowed to take only water bottles (1 water bottle per person);
- 3rd tier. This place is ideal for swimming. If you are not confident in your abilities, rent a swimming vest. At the end of water procedures you can go to the shower, and then change your clothes;
- Tier 4. If you look at photos of Erawan waterfall, taken from a height, you can easily notice large blocks of stones, looking like breasts. This is where you can take better pictures, swim and snorkel;
- Tier 5. The main feature of this cascade is 2 rapids. But to get to them, you will have to overcome the wooden bridges. Do not forget to bring comfortable shoes – it is easy to slip on them;
- Tier 6. As a rule, most tourists end their acquaintance with Erawan Falls at this level. Despite the fact that it is not too comfortable for swimming, it is possible to get a wonderful exfoliation from the fish family Pla Pluang;
- Tier 7. To get to this place, you have to climb a high cliff on a rickety bamboo ladder. It is very difficult to do so, so not all tourists get here. It is said that the 7th cascade is beloved by nudists.
Caves Erawan Park in Thailand
No less deserving of attention are the numerous grottoes scattered throughout the complex. Each of them has its own unique mystery.
This cave can be called one of the most popular tourist spots in Erawan Park. The entrance to Ta Duang is on the mountainside near Ta Tung village. To reach it, you have to walk about 900 meters. You must be extremely careful as rock falls are very common. However, tourists are willing to overcome any difficulty to see old mural paintings, stone tools, clay utensils and other archaeological objects.
Wang Badan is a large limestone grotto which can only be entered through a narrow passage. The popularity of this place is due to two factors. First, there are several niches inside the grotto with shimmering stones that look like mythical creatures. The second is that one of the underground rivers flows here, carrying its waters far beyond Kanchanaburi.
Located at a depth of 50 m the Ruah Cave became famous because of the unique artifacts found here more than 100 years ago. Some of them are wooden sarcophagi made in the form of boats and decorated with images of human heads. These findings give the cave a terrifying look and make it look like the setting for a sci-fi movie.
Mee, whose name means “bear” in Thai, is located at the southern end of the park. The grotto is quite large – it has as many as 5 spacious halls, inside which there are outlandish sculptures made of stones and stalactites. You can get to this place from the village of Tap Sila, but you have to walk the whole 7 km to get there.
Phra Tat, the entire space of which is occupied by limestone rocks, is located at an altitude of 730 m above sea level. The grotto is a veritable garden of rocks, with a stalactite-like stupa at its heart.
Another feature of Erawan Falls in Thailand are marked walking trails. The simplest of them, the paved one, starts from the bus stop and leads to the second tier. Here you can see the dwellings of spiders, squirrels and varans.
The second trekking trail is between the third and fourth rapids (look for the arrow to the left). There are a lot of branches on it, and a bustling rainforest awaits you at the end of the trail. This trail takes at least an hour to traverse (if you don’t wander too much).
The third trail, between the fourth and fifth cascades, winds through bamboo forest and uphill. Here you will find a steep climb that can take all your energy.
There are also many unmarked and unmarked trails in the complex. One of them is the Khao Hin Lan Pii trail near the fifth rapids of Erawan Falls. It takes at least three hours to climb.
How do I get there from Pattaya?
There are two ways to get to Erawan Falls in Thailand. Consider each of them.
The park can be reached by public transport with or without connections. In the first case, you first need to get to South Station in Bangkok. There are several comfortable buses from the North Station in Pattaya. The ticket costs up to 100 baht, travel time is 2 hours. Then take the public bus to Kanchanaburi Village. The ticket costs 50 baht. The trip takes about 1.5 hours. The buses leave every 60 minutes, but there is a long break during the day so it is better to check the schedule beforehand.
South Station in Bangkok
If you plan to take a direct flight from Pattaya to Kanchanaburi, look for the bus station located at the intersection of 3rd and Central Streets. Here you can buy a ticket 2-3 days in advance. Its price is about 400 baht. The trip takes at least 7 hours. There are 2 buses a day from the station: one in the morning and one in the evening.
Bangkok Bus Station
This way is the easiest. All you have to do is buy a two-day tour during which you can see two sights of Thailand – the waterfall and the River Kwai. The program is worked out quite well. During these days you will visit unusual museums and protected areas, spend the night in a hotel on the water, ride a raft and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery. At the same time to visit the waterfall itself is about 3 hours. The cost of the tour is about 2 thousand baht.
- Erawan National Park in Thailand is open daily from 08:00 to 16:30. However, cleaning of the upper level of the waterfall begins around 3:00 pm, so you may be asked to go down to the lower tiers a little before that time.
- The entrance fee is THB 300 for adults and THB 200 for children.
- For more information, visit the official website of Erawan Park: https://www.thainationalparks.com/erawan-national-park.
For those who plan to enjoy the beauty of Erawan Park in Thailand, you might find these helpful tips useful:
- The highest number of visitors falls on weekends and holidays, so if you want to avoid large crowds, choose a quieter time to visit;
- From April 13 to 15, the park hosts Songkran, an annual festival during which there are water fights on all 7 tiers of the waterfall. If you’re attending this festival, make sure you have special waterproof camera and cell phone cases;
- You can move around the park on foot or by renting a bicycle (20 THB);
- You can also rent sleeping bags (25 THB), two- and three-bed tents (150 and 250 THB respectively), pillows (10 THB) and sleeping mats (20 THB) in the tourist center area;
- Remember that outside of Level 2, you are not allowed to consume any food or drinks you have brought with you. If you’re thirsty, buy a bottle of water – it costs 20 baht. You will get your money back later in exchange for the empty container. This is done so that tourists do not leave behind mountains of garbage;
- The best time to visit the park Erawan is early morning – then there are fewer people;
- Planning a trip, do not forget to check the weather forecast. The fact is that from May to October in Thailand often rains, and from February to April there is a terrible heat, which is also not suitable for long walks. Therefore, the ideal time to explore Erawan is the so-called cold season, which lasts from November to January.
Erawan Falls is worth a visit for tourists who want to not only laze on the beaches of Thailand, but also to see the exotic beauty of the country.
A short video about the trip to Erawan Park.
Author: Olga Sheiko
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