It’s amazing to watch the world transform before your eyes on the journey from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi. In just a few hours, the bustling cityscape gives way to rolling hills and Jurassic Park forests, like those of Erawan National Park. Within the expanse of this lush oasis, lie the seven exquisite tiers of Erawan Waterfall – each with its own unique beauty and personality. In honour of these seven wonders, we’ve compiled this list of seven reasons that will make you fall in love with these spectacular falls.
While the nearly 2km hike up Erawan Waterfall gets progressively more difficult, the journey alongside its seven tiers is something out of a fairy-tale. Traverse the trails of this real-life Jungle Book and observe as the lush forest stands guard over sparkling streams; and listen to the soothing sounds of the Erawan waterfalls as they harmonize with the chatter of the Thailand wildlife hidden amongst the trees and bamboo.
Stop along the way to gaze at the magnificence of each separate cascading tier or make a quick ascent to the top and take a more leisurely approach on the way down. For those who find hiking in the humidity of the tropics a bit too exhausting, spend the day relaxing at one of the lower tiers; while those looking for a bit of a challenge will enjoy climbing up old wooden ladders and using ropes to clamber down sometimes slippery rocks to reach the seventh waterfall.
No things to do in Kanchanaburi compare to taking a plunge in the cool, turquoise pools of Erawan Waterfall. Reenergize your muscles with a massage from the falling waters at the second and third tiers and refresh your spirit as you float past some of the best waterfalls in Thailand at the fourth, fifth, and seventh levels. Swimming through the crystal ponds of travertine at Erawan National Park is a truly humbling experience – one that shows the immense beauty of nature while also reminding us just how small we are compared to the majesty of Mother Earth.
Swiss Family Robinson eat your heart out. The fourth tier of Erawan Waterfall is home to a group of giant boulders whose faces have been worn smooth by eons of waterflow – making them perfect for sliding into the cerulean pools below. Remember to climb carefully as the rocks may be slippery and to test the depth of the water before sliding as levels may fluctuate depending on the season.
Insider Tip: Visit Erawan National Park at the tail end of rainy season to experience the falls – and the water slides – in full force. Hang on to your bathing suits and prepare for Thailand’s best natural water park!
Treat yourself to a complimentary fish spa massage courtesy of the schools of swimmers who make their home at Erawan National Park. The initial sensation of having little fish suctioning the dead skin off the bottom of your feet is a bit unnerving at first; and anyone who is ticklish may find themselves reduced to fits of laughter.
The fish are mostly found near the shoreline and in shallower waters, making the third and fifth tiers of Erawan Waterfall two of the best spots for indulging in this unique massage experience. For anyone who is unsure about getting that close to nature, start by dipping your toes in the water; or if you prefer to dive in head first, rest assured that the fish tend to only focus on the feet.
In addition to its resident fish masseurs, Erawan National Park is also home to a diverse range of birds, critters and other Thailand wildlife. Sightings of crested serpent eagles, blue whistling thrushes and different bird species are most common, while many visitors also come in contact with groups of raucous macaques – be sure to keep an eye on your backpack as these Old World monkeys like to unzip and rummage through unattended bags! Animals like wild elephants, sambar deer and wild boars do make their homes inside Erawan park, but sightings of these more cautious species are rare around the Erawan waterfalls themselves.
Discover one (or many) of the limestone caves within Erawan National Park for an off the beaten path experience. Strap on a headtorch and explore the stalactites and stalagmites of Phra That Cave or marvel at the ancient cave paintings in Ta Duang Cave. Reua Cave is another Erawan Cave with prehistoric relics, including boat-like coffins carved from tree trunks. For those craving even more underground adventure, Mee Cave and Wang Badan Cave are also easily accessible from park headquarters.
Looking to experience more than the Erawan waterfalls? There are tons of ecotourism activities and things to do in Kanchanaburi that also let you explore the natural side of this beautiful province. After a day of trekking around Erawan National Park, soak your weary legs in the healing waters of Rock Valley Hot Springs. You can also head to nearby Srignagarind Dam Thailand Wildlife Sanctuary for more caving and waterfall fun; or if you’re feeling lazy, float on a bamboo raft underneath the famed River Kwai Bridge.
Discover the beauty of Kanchanaburi and Erawan National Park with TheAsia.com.