Erawan National Park is located in western Thailand, in the Tenasserim Hills range in Kanchanaburi Province, and is home to one of the country’s most popular waterfalls. It was established in 1975 as Thailand’s 12th National Park, covering a total area of 550 km2. The park’s main attraction is the Erawan Falls, which has seven levels and emerald green ponds. There are also several impressive and long caverns within the park, some of which are located deeper within the park and a few of which are located along the park’s roadways. The Park and the falls are named after the Hindu mythological three-headed white elephant. The falls’ top tier is supposed to resemble an elephant’s head. Around 80% of the park is made up of mixed deciduous woods, with the balance being deciduous dipterocarp and dry evergreen forests at higher elevations. Limestone hills, plains, and a variety of streams make up the park. The elevation ranges from 165 to 996 meters above sea level.
History of Erawan National Park
On October 7, 1959, when Marshal Sarit Thanarat was Prime Minister, the Cabinet approved the Ministry of Agriculture’s request to construct a limestone mountain forest in Kanchanaburi Province, as well as additional forests in various provinces, for a total of 14 national parks. The Royal Forest Department had sent officers to conduct a preliminary survey from B.E. 1961 to 1972, using the Erawan Waterfall as the focal point, and discovered that the mountain forest area at Kanchanaburi, which was particularly beautiful and had abundant natural resources, was a particularly beautiful nature. According to the royal edict, the land limited region was in the Mueang District, Wang Khanai District, Ban Thuan District, and Wang Ka District Kanchanaburi, which the Minister of Defense and the Ministry of Interior were responsible for guarding. The Royal Forest Department had reported to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, as well as the Ministries of Defense and Interior, requesting that specific land restricted regions to be designated as national park areas. On June 19, 1975, the National Park Board recommended the establishment of a national park, and a royal edict canceling such restricted area was published in the Royal Thai Government Gazette.
As a result, in B.E.2518, a royal decree designated the area of forest land in the Sai Yok sub-district, Tha Sao sub-district, Lum Sum sub-district at Sai Yok district, Nong Ped sub-district, Tha Kradan sub-district at Si Sawat District, and Chong Sadao Subdistrict, Mueang District, Kanchanaburi Province as a national park with an area of In 1995, a royal decree was issued canceling an area of 15 rai in Si Sawat District, Kanchanaburi Province, leaving a total area of 343,735 rai or 549.976 square kilometers.
Characteristics of the climate at Erawan National Park
Erawan National Park has three distinct seasons: rainy season (May-October), winter (November-January), and summer (February-April). The southwest monsoon has an impact on Erawan National Park. The northeast also contributes to the rainy season. However, because the area is under a rain shadow, the amount of precipitation is low, and the weather is hot. Weather like this isn’t a problem for sightseeing. allowing for travel in all four seasons
Erawan National Park Wildlife
Wildlife viewing opportunities in Erawan National Park are limited due to the park’s small number of trails. Only a few species that are abundant elsewhere in the country can be found in the park, and there aren’t many unique habitats. Crab-eating macaques and wild boars are common mammal species in Erawan National Park. More intriguing animals such as Assam macaques (rare in Thailand), barking deer, sambar deer, Asian elephants, gibbons, and Indochinese serows can be found deeper in the forest. Erawan National Park is home to more than 120 bird species. The park is home to crested serpent eagles, kalij pheasants, grey peacock pheasants, lesser shortwings, and great hornbills. The park is home to rare Kanburi pit vipers, Burma smooth skins (Scincella punctatolineata), and many other common reptile species from the region. Water monitor lizards, which can grow to be over 1.5 meters long, can be seen along the tiers’ waterways. These lizards are harmless and never attack, but you should not approach them closer than a few meters.
Make your way around Erawan National Park
The Park is normally busy every day, but more so on weekends and public holidays. The waterfall tiers transform into a celebration venue with water battling during the annual Songkran Festival, which takes place from the 13th to the 15th of April. During the festivities, it is not advisable to bring any non-waterproof electronic devices, such as sensitive cameras or mobile phones. It is advised that people avoid falls over the longer holidays because there will be kilometer-long lines and parking may be limited to the side of the road far from the entrance.
Keep in mind that eating is strictly prohibited until you reach the second layer. Visitors must pay a cost of 20 Baht for each bottle of any type of beverage, which will be refunded after the bottles are returned. This prevents the bottles from being abandoned or thrown away in the wild. Huai Mae Khamin Falls, 43 km north/east of Erawan Falls in Sri Nakharin Dam National Park, is recommended for visitors looking for a less crowded, similar, and even more magnificent waterfall. On weekdays, there are very few people in the area.
Erawan National Park Fees and hours of operation
For foreigners, the entrance price is 300 Baht (children under the age of 14 are free), 100 Baht for Thais (children under the age of 14 are 50 Baht), 20 Baht for a motorcycle, and 30 Baht for a car. Erawan National Park is open every day from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. but is closed from August 1st to September 30th each year. Even though the official closing time is 4:30 p.m., rangers begin cleaning the paths around 3 p.m. and ask tourists to leave as they work their way down, tier by tier. Depending on how quickly or slowly the daily cleaning goes, the lower tiers could stay open until 5 p.m.
Stay and dine at Erawan National Park
Because most people are content with a brief visit to the falls, a day journey from either Kanchanaburi or Bangkok is recommended. A campground and park lodgings are available for hire for those who prefer to spend the night in the park.
Erawan National Park Camping
A large camping area is located just a few hundred meters from the park’s visitor center and parking lot. Tents can be rented for 150 Baht for two persons and 250 Baht for three people per day. Other accouterments, such as a sleeping bag for 25 Baht, a pillow for 10 Baht, and a sleeping mat for 20 Baht, must be purchased separately.
Accommodations in Erawan National Park
The cost of park accommodations in Erawan National Park ranges from 800 to 5,000 Baht, with a 20% discount if booked between Monday and Thursday. Accommodations can be reserved in advance on the DNP website. Because the money transfer must be completed within two days and because international transfers take time, bookings can only be made from Thailand. 7-Eleven convenience outlets and banks accept payments.
Travel to Erawan National Park
Taking a car trip
Drifting along Petchkasem or Borommaratchachonnani roads. It takes around an hour and a half to drive from Nakhon Chai Si to Kanchanaburi via Ban Pong, Tha Maka, and Tha Muang, a total distance of 129 kilometers. You have two options for getting from Kanchanaburi town to Erawan National Park: Route 1 runs from Kanchanaburi to the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand Srinakarin Dam along Provincial Highway No. 3199. Go to the Erawan National Park office after crossing the bridge to Srinakarin Dam Market. The overall distance covered is around 70 kilometers.
Sai Yok National Park is the starting point for Route 2. Around Ban Wang Yai, around 6 kilometers from Sai Yok Noi Waterfall, there will be a route. The shortcut to Ban Pong Pat is about 15 kilometers around Tha Thung Na Dam, then 25 kilometers to the Erawan National Park Office on Road No. 3199.
Taking the train
At 07.50 a.m. and 1.45 p.m., trains depart from Bangkok Noi Railway Station, stopping at Kanchanaburi Station. On Saturdays, Sundays, and public holidays, visit the Bridge over the River Kwai, Tha Kilen, and Waterfall Station. There is a unique train. Make a one-day return trip. For further information, call 0 – 3451 – 1285 at Kanchanaburi Railway Station.
Taking the bus
From 4:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., regular buses/air-conditioned buses depart from the Southern Bus Terminal every 15 minutes to Kanchanaburi. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to travel. After that, take a bus to Erawan National Park from Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal No. 8170 Kanchanaburi – Erawan, which runs every hour from 8:00 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. It takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes to cover the 70-kilometer route, or it departs from Mo Chit Bus Terminal 2, Floor 1, Channel 21, Bangkok Line – Three Chedi Checkpoint, from 05.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m., and stops at Kanchanaburi Bus Station. It takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. Following that, use the Kanchanaburi – Erawan bus line to Erawan National Park.
Erawan National Park Attractions
Erawan Falls is located on the park’s east side, just a short walk from the visitor center’s parking lot. The upper tier of the waterfall is thought to resemble a three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology, hence the name. The gorgeous emerald green pure waters of Erawan Falls are what make it so attractive. It isn’t one of the country’s largest or widest falls, but it is far more attractive than others. Erawan Falls is divided into seven major tiers and a few minor tiers. A series of pathways and footbridges connect all of the layers, all the way up to the sixth tier. For those looking for a little extra challenge, the last layer can be reached by scrambling up a few cliffs. A concrete path was recently constructed to make walking in damp circumstances safer. From the trailhead to the top tier, the journey is almost 1.5 kilometers. Visitors are welcome to swim in the various emerald green ponds that can be seen along the pathways. The ponds are teeming with fish.
Most people can easily access the first two floors, and there are a few picnic places nearby where people can relax on seats if they like. Beyond the second tier, food is strictly prohibited. Visitors must leave their food and bottles at a checkpoint in exchange for a modest deposit that can be picked up on the way back. Erawan Falls is so popular that it attracts a large number of visitors every day and can become overcrowded on weekends and holidays. The best time to go is as early in the morning as possible.