Discover the Erawan National Park Thailand
Imagine an emerald steam running through the jungle, hiking trails and a few hidden caves. If this sounds like your adventure then a visit to Thailand’s Erawan National Park is a must!
A trip to Thailand is not complete without visiting the iconic Erawan Falls. It is a beautiful 7 tiered waterfall hidden away in the jungle of Kanchanaburi.
The Erawan National Park is one of my favorite places to visit near Bangkok. It is located just 16km from Kanchanaburi. It is also easily accessible from Bangkok.
Explore the Erawan National Park Waterfall
The Erawan National Park Waterfall is a cool freshwater stream running through the leafy green jungle.
Explore 7 different levels of the waterfall via a winding jungle trail. You will climb up through the jungle via wooden ladders, crawling over boulders and walking barefoot through the stream.
The lowest level of the waterfall is a good place for lunch. It’s a lively spot where Thai families spread out somtam and grilled chicken. The air is filled with the sound of guitars and sing along Thai pop songs.
Beyond the picnic area you’ll leave food behind and pay a deposit to carry your water bottle. This is an effort to reduce the amount of rubbish that is left behind on the trail.
Top Tip: The first levels are often crowded. However the further you go, the less people there will be.
Notice the stream which dissolves the limestone’s calcium carbonate turning it an emerald green. This makes it look quite similar to the Kuang Si Falls outside of Luang Prabang in Laos.
Watch out for the fish as you swim in the water. They will nibble at your feet which is an odd sensation. Don’t worry, they don’t really bite. After a while you might even enjoy it!
The upper levels of the Erawan National Park Waterfall offers some great swimming spots. You can even take a cool shower in the jungle.
The top level of the Erawan Falls is said to represent the three headed elephant Hindu God. This is where the name Erawan comes from.
When to Visit the Erawan National Park
Duration: The hiking trail is fairly easy and takes about 30 minutes one way to the top, without stops.
However a visit to the Erawan Falls National Park should not be rushed.
Many group tours visiting the falls rush in and out in about 2 hours. This is not enough time to enjoy the tranquil jungle setting. Forget about package tours and spend a whole day at the waterfall.
When: The Erawan National Park open gates at 7am and officially close at 4.30pm.
The Erawan Falls gets busy on weekends. If possible it is best to visit the waterfall during the week. Arrive early in the morning and you’ll have the jungle to yourself.
Hiking Trails at Erawan National Park
The Erawan National Park also offers some hiking trails.
Easy: The easy hiking trail starts behind the public toilets by the National Park HQ. The trail runs parallel to the main walking track for about 1km through a leafy bamboo forest. It is a nice alternative to taking the standard route.
Adventure: The more adventurous option is the 5km Khao Hin Lan Pee Nature Trail. The trail ends at level 5 of the waterfall and takes 2-3 hours to walk. According to the National Park staff a quite is required for this.
The Erawan National Park is also known for a number of caves. See more information on each of the following caves:
How to get from Bangkok to Erawan National Park
Stage 1: The first stage of getting from Bangkok to Erawan National Park is getting to Kanchanaburi. Unless you have your own private transport there are your options:
- Train – Thinking of nice countryside views from Bangkok to Erawan National Park? Trains depart from Bangkok’s Thonburi train station at 7.50am and 1.55pm. The trip takes about 3 hours but Thailand’s trains are notorious for being much slower. Tickets are 110thb per person one way.
- Bus – Buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal from 5am to 11pm almost every 20 minutes. Check here for up to date timetables. This is the best option for getting from Bangkok to Erawan National Park early in the morning. The bus takes about 2 hours and costs up to 110thb per person one way.
- Minivan – This is the quickest way of getting from Bangkok to Erawan National Park. Minivans regularly depart from Victory Monument BTS station.
Stage 2: The second stage from Bangkok to the Erawan National Park is getting from Kanchanaburi to the park itself. Consider the following options:
- Motorbike – Taking a motorbike from Kanchanaburi to Erawan National Park is my favorite option. The ride takes about one hour and you have total freedom with time. Motorbikes can be rented for just 300 THB per day in Kanchanaburi. Click here for directions from Kanchanbauri to the Erawan National Park.
- Songtaew – Not up for riding a motorbike? A songtaew is the next best option. Songtaews going to the Erawan National Park can be found at the Kanchanaburi Bus Station in the center of town. A songtaew typically costs 1,000 THB for a round trip. This is a great price when divided by a group of up to 10 people.
- Bus – There is a dedicated bus operating from Kanchanaburi to Erawan National Park. Buses depart the Kanchanaburi Bus Station for the park almost hourly from 8am to 5pm. They also return to Kanchanaburi almost hourly. Check here for an up to date time schedule. The public bus takes about 1 hour each way and costs only 45 THB.
Hotels near Erawan National Park
There are some nice resorts along the route from Kanchanaburi to the National Park. Check out the River Kwai Park Resort and the Silver Lake Resort. These are both located by the water and offers a tranquil setting. Much better than spending the night in town. You can get great deals for under 1,500 THB (USD 50) per night, twin room.
Erawan National Park Entrance Fee
The Erawan National Park entrance fee is 300 THB for foreigners and 100 THB for locals. Don’t negotiate the price difference. It won’t work.
There is also a fee of 20 THB for a motorbike and 30 THB for all other vehicles.
Where to Travel Next?
Kanchanaburi is surrounded by lots of good travel opportunities, especially if you like nature. Head to Sai Yok for a night on a floating jungle raft and explore the ancient Khmer temple Prasat Muang Sing.
Travel further past Saiyok to visit the Hell Fire Pass the Australian War Memorial from WW2. Continue as far as Sangkhlaburi to visit the iconic wooden Mon Bridge and taste some authentic Burmese curries.
From Sangkhlaburi continue along the Three Pagodas Pass to the Myanmar border. Here you’ll find a mediocre border market and explore some other great waterfalls in the area.
What did you like most about the Erawan National Park?