Erawan National Park, Thailand
Thailand’s Erawan National Park is named for the highest of the waterfalls within its boundary, which is said to resemble the mythical three-headed elephant, Erawan. Cascading down from there, the water passes through six more falls – none of which are named after imaginary animals.
Erawan National Park is about an hour’s drive from Kanchanaburi, a town to the west of Bangkok on the way to the Myanmar border. The highlight of the park – and the reason most people visit – is the waterfalls. A track about two kilometres long takes you from the first one up to the seventh. It winds through the forest, crossing over bridges, and occasionally hiding playfully, forcing you to clamber over rocks.
Only the dedicated and foolhardy (guilty as charged!) bother to go all the way to the top. There are plenty of good reasons to stop along the way.
More than half of the seven waterfalls have beautiful calm and azure pools to swim in. There are also a few pleasant areas to rest for a picnic – but not after the second waterfall because the authorities won’t let you take your food past there. They’re worried about rubbish in the national park. “No food!”
Thankfully I had no food with me. But I did have to pay a deposit to take a water bottle up (refundable on proof you’ve brought it back down with you).
In case you have no plans to visit Erawan National Park soon, or in case you don’t want to abandon your food, I thought I would share some photos of the trip up the track.