1. April 2015. Kanchanaburi’s collection of world war two sights is undeniably fascinating, but also pretty heavy and at times hugely depressing. So after a day walking the Death Railway Bridge, the War Cemetery and the Death Railway Museum, I was eager to treat myself to some beautiful National Park scenery to clear my mind and remind myself that sometimes this world we live isn’t such a bad place. So I grabbed a bus from the town centre and headed out to Erawan National Park, a massive deciduous forest located in the Tenasserim Hills.
2. April 2015. Erawan National Park is famous throughout Thailand for Erawan Falls, an impressive forest trail featuring seven tiers of a superb, emerald green and turquoise blue waterfall. This shot shows the waterfall’s first tier (Hlai Keun Lung) near the beginning of the trail. The vibe is extremely laid back, with visitors free to go swimming at each pond. So bring your trunks and don’t be afraid of the fish!
3. April 2015. It’s about two kilometers from the start of the trail up to the seventh tier at the top. Along the way there are resting stations and picnic areas dotted between the trees and a few wooden footbridges to cross. Tier four was probably my favorite part of the waterfall (Oke Nank Phee Seah), where a giant boulder offers up a natural rockslide. Take care clambering up to the top of the slide, it’s REALLY slippery. The plunge down into the cool water is short but exhilarating!
4. April 2015. The hike up isn’t too taxing for the most part, but does get a little trickier as you close in on the final two tiers. It’s totally doable, just get ready for wobbly ladders and some rope to grab onto for pushing yourself up parts of the incline. The 6thtier (Dong Prook Sa) of Erawan Falls is like something out of a Tolkien book. I spent a short while here just paddling around to the backdrop of running water and intermittent birdcall.
5. April 2015. This is tier seven of the waterfalls (Phu Pha Erawan), a deep pool beautifully encircled by a thick layer of trees and shrubbery. Swim over to the small limestone cave for a cool overview. If my memory serves me well it took about two and a half hours to get the top of the falls and there are no stores or vending machines along the way. With that in mind bring plenty of water, some bug spray and wear swimming shorts to get the most out of the day. Admission to the park is 400THB (£9.50/€10.60/$12) with daily opening hours of 07:00-16:30. There are a million and one ways to get there including pricy taxis and mid-range minivans that leave at your convenience. I took the public bus service from Kanchanaburi Bus Station, which takes around an hour and costs 45THB (£1.05/€1.20/$1.35).
For more on the town itself, have a leaf through my other articles on Kanchanaburi.
Like these? I’ve written a whole bunch of My 5s from all across Thailand.