If you have been in Bangkok too long feel exhausted from the constant harrassment about buying a tailored suit, trying some crazy streetfood and you've visited most temples and rooftop bars? That means it is time for a getaway. Where to you ask? How about Erawan National Park? Located in Kanchanaburi region of West Thailand, around 5 hours away from the capital city, it is one of the most famous National Parks of this country and makes for a perfect weekend escape from the City's hustle and bustle.
From Koh San Road you can catch a Taxi to the northern bus Terminal (90 baht on the meter) from there take the bus to Kanchanaburi. The bus leaves every hour and costs 110 baht/person. There are also some direct buses that go directly from Koh San Road, that leave rather infrequently.
Once you get to Kanchanaburi you jump into another bus that will take you right to the reception/info point of the NP. It should be leaving every 2 hours, but in my case, the driver refused to go until the bus filled up. Another reason to 'love' Thailand!
There are different options you can go for, from fancy air conditioned Bungalows (800-4000 baht), local youth hostels and, of course, camping right next to the river for whooping 30 baht/person/night with your own camping equipment or 90 baht inclusive of tent. You can also rent other things like matrasses, sleeping bags (you won't need those) and flash lights.
I don't think you need a reservation for any of the above options. I was there during a public holiday and though the waterfalls were quite busy, especially on the lower levels, the camping field had only few tents on it.
There are few local restaurants/convenience stores right next to the park’s reception, with meals ranging from 60-200 baht.
The entrance to the park costs 200 baht for foreigners.
If you stay on the camp site as I did, there are showers and toilets that are in surprisingly good shape.
Tips for visiting
- Don’t forget to bring bug repellent. There is loads of water hence loads of mosquitos in the park.
- If you are visiting during the weekend and you are looking to take some good photographs then you should head to the waterfalls early in the morning. The lower levels get pretty busy later in the day and unfortunately locals leave a lot of litter behind them.
- It is very hot and humid in the park, so remember to drink loads of water.
- Take proper shoes with you. I would not recommend flip flops! The trek to the upper waterfall is not long, but can be quite strenuous due to the weather conditions and the paths can get very muddy and slippery during rainfall.
- Pack your swimsuit in your bag! You can swim and slide on natural waterslides in most of the waterfalls. It is great fun!
- The path is very well marked so don’t worry about getting lost.
If you like to photograph then take a tripod and of course a camera with you. You can take some beautiful long exposure shots. The park leaves plenty of room for your imagination.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me somewhere in the mountains.