Around an hour’s drive from Kanchanaburi town, Erawan National Park sits on 550 square kilometres of magnificent forest. Founded as a national park in 1975, the park is covered with deciduous trees and also features orchids and bamboo, featuring four majestic limestone caves, and the well-known Erawan Falls. A wide variety of animals inhabit this region of Thailand, including flying squirrels, gibbons, pythons, Siamese hare, eagles, macaques, slow loris and rhesus monkeys.
The camping and hiking opportunities here are great for the adventurous traveller, with plenty of open space and diverse flora and fauna. Don’t miss the Bamboo Forest Observation Trail or the Million-Year Stone Observation Trail! If your time is limited, Phra That Cave and Tham Wang Badan are remarkable and worth a visit.
This seven-tiered waterfall flowing with emerald water is perhaps the most popular natural attraction in Kanchanaburi. Each tier holds a pool, and you can swim in almost all of them, so don’t forget your swimsuit! From the base to the very top is a hike lasting 2 kilometres. The further upwards you travel, the worse the conditions are on the trail; it's almost non-existent during the last two tiers, so good, sturdy walking shoes are essential. The waterfall at the summit is the unmistakable highlight and it represents Erawan, the three-headed elephant from Hindu mythology. During the rainy season from July until October, the falls are particularly glorious thanks to a significant increase in water volume.
PHRA THAT CAVE
Around 10 km north of the waterfall is the Phra That Cave. An hour here would suffice, as the cave spans to only 20 metres long. It may be small, but some of the most breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites in the world can be seen here, spread throughout four large ‘rooms’. You may even spot some bats, but they’re so high up, it’s unlikely they will bother you.
THAM WANG BADAN
Nature enthusiasts shouldn’t miss Tham Wang Badan. The limestone cave is certainly worth a half-day or a full-day trip as the stalactites and stalagmites are, quite simply, amazing. Many examples of benthic fauna can be found in the stream that runs along the base of the cave.
ERAWAN PARK OBSERVATION TRAILS
Three major observation trails run through the park. They are the Mong Lai Dry Evergreen Forest Observation Trail, the Million-Year Stone Observation Trail, and then the Bamboo Forest Observation Trail.
Skirting the side of the waterfall, the Mong Lai trail takes you on a spectacular journey through the forest, lasting just under an hour. The Bamboo Forest Trail is slightly shorter, averaging 40 minutes to complete, and is well worth the walk. Hiking enthusiasts will love the Million-Year Stone Observation Trail. It’s more strenuous, lasting approximately two hours, but along the way, you’ll see the most glorious parts of the park. With the trail ending at the fourth tier of the waterfall, it’s just a short hike to the falls at the top.
Erawan National Park is without a doubt one of the most worthwhile and beautiful destinations in Thailand’s west. If you don’t have time for anything else, we recommend experiencing Erawan falls. Ideally, stay in the region for several days and explore the caves and each unique observation trail: the nature lover within will thank you for staying. Our Thailand experts can help organise your stay here on your next tailor-made Thailand holiday.
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