Erawan National Park in Western Thailand was founded in 1975 and was the Country’s 12th National Park. It is 550 square kilometres with the highlight undoubtedly Erawan Falls. In Hindu mythology the erawan is the three headed elephant. The Falls have seven tiers and many see the resemblance between the falls and the creature from mythology.
This is Kanchanaburi Province and the Tenasserim Hills. Over 80% of the Park is forested with limestone hills up to 1,000 metres high.The natural environment of Thailand is stunning and this Thailand travel guide certainly recommends the Erawan Falls for inclusion.
How to get there
Bangkok is just two hours away by bus with thoseon Thailand travel packages having everything arranged for them.It means the Park and the Falls are readily accessible for a day trip. There is a rail station in Kanchanaburi as well. The capital of the Province has good transport connections with the whole of Thailand so those on Thailand tour packages need not be coming from Bangkok in order to reach Erawan.
Best time to visit
The monsoon rains are May to October though the protection of the hills means the region does not get as much rainfall as other parts of Thailand. Temperatures will average around 30C. The Park is open 12 months a year which is indicative of the demand from those on holiday in Thailand throughout the year.
Things to see and do
The emerald pools around the waterfalls are full of fish and stunning. The waterfall stretches 1.5 kilometres over seven tiers. The first six are accessed by trails and bridges but the last one needs a bit of a scramble which not everyone will be able to do. However seeing the six tiers close up is a real experience anyway. Lower down there are picnic areas but no food can be taken above the second tier.
There are limited trails so the changes of seeing a great deal of wildlife in the immediate vicinity are limited. The Park as a whole however has plenty of animals and birds.
Macaques are everywhere, and often water monitors but it is only in the deep forest that some of the animals will be seen: elephants, wild boar, sambar and muntjac.
There is a huge variety of birds including crested serpent eagle, black crested bulbul, kalii pheasant and blue winged leafbird.
There are four caves to explore:
• Miwith five chambers is a 7 km trek away in the south through Ban Thap Sila village.
• Rua is fairly near to Mi and 50 metres deep.It contains some coffins as well as the usual stalagmites and stalactites.
• Wang Bahdan accessible from Chaiyaphruek Village is a limestone cave with a narrow entrance and a stream flowing through its final chamber.
• Phartat is in a limestone hill 12 km from the Park HQ to the north-west.
There are bungalows to rent and a campsite in the north east of the Park. In addition there are plenty of alternatives in Kanchanaburi from guesthouses to hotels.