When you think about Thailand, you probably already think about crystal blue water against white sandy beaches. That's what Thailand is known for and for good reason. However, I bet you didn't know there are pools of turquoise blue water in the rainforest you could swim in too!
There is this little place (and by little I really mean a huge park) a couple hours outside of Bangkok called Erawan National Park and you really can't miss it! I know I say that about so many things in Thailand ... I guess that's why you should spend a semester there instead of a couple of weeks!
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Have you ever seen the three headed white elephant in Hindu mythology? Well, that elephant's name is Erawan and (I'm sure you can guess at this point) is who the national park and a waterfall in it are named after. While there are a few different lakes and waterfalls you will see in the park, the Erawan is the main attraction!
Everything you need to know about the Erawan National Park
- The features of the park include...
- You can get there by train, bus or taxi/uber
- You'll need to bring some supplies with you
- There are caves you can go to
The features of the park include...
There are many features to this park (it is Thailand's most famous national park afterall) and many are waterfalls. The most famous one is, like I mentioned earlier, the Erawan Falls which is said to resemble the three headed elephant.
The park has seven major tiers with many other smaller ones around it. All the tiers are accessible by trails and the lower ones tend to be easier to get to than the top ones (the top ones are the most rewarding though -- the top one is the famous one).
- First waterfall: The easiest to get to (by mostly flat trail) and is known for the fish swimming in the pond.
- Second: Where most people will be swimming (there is a cave behind this fall for you to explore).
- Third: Taller than the first two and has a great pond that you can take a dip in -- you will be swimming with some fish in this one.
- Fourth/Fifth: Small falls that are cascading over rocks
- Sixth: Harder to get to. You will have to ascend some ladders and harder trails, but it's worth it!
- Seventh: The Erawan Falls and it's what you go for! Even though it's harder to get to, you'll be glad you stuck it out.
The park is opened from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm every day, all year round. They start to clean around 3:00 and make people move down tiers as they clean (they start at the top), so get there as early as possible!
You can get there by train, bus or taxi/uber from Bangkok
You can get to the national park in a few different ways: train, bus or uber. If you are not worried about money, Uber is the way to go. If you want to save some money, opt in for the train or bus.
There are two different times you can take a train out to the park from Bangkok. From the Thonburi Train Station, the first train leaves at 7:50 am and arrives at 10:25 am. The second leaves at 1:55 pm and arrives at 4:24 pm. You'll want to take the first one because the second one arrives when the park is closing! The fare for this train is 100 Baht (about $3).
Keep in mind that times and fares are always changing so check it out for yourself before you leave!
BKS public buses (line 81) leaves from the Bangkok southern bus terminal (Sai Tai Taling Chan) and you can either get first class tickets or second class tickets.
- The first class tickets leave every 15 minutes and cost around 110 Baht and include a bottle of water.
- The second class tickets (new route) leave every 20 minutes and cost 95 Baht.
Both of these buses will take about two hours to get to your destination. There is a second class ticket (old route), but don't take this one! It takes an hour longer to get there!
Again, always check times and prices as they do vary!
I always recommend taking an Uber in Thailand over a taxi because taxi's are just not always trustworthy. Keep in mind that while an Uber/taxi will be the faster and easiest option (they'll pick you up/drop you off) right at your door way, it will also be way more expensive. I'd only recommend this option if you have a large group to split the fare between.
You'll need to bring some supplies
Don't bring anything that can't get wet. You can leave your bag on the side if you want, but I don't recommend it unless you have someone to watch it for you. These falls can get really busy, so you'll want to be able to carry everything with you to avoid any of your belongings going missing. A small dry sack is perfect for tossing your items in and having it with you at all times.
There are caves you can go to
There are five caves nearby that you can go to if you're interested: Ta Duang Cave, Mi Cave, Reua Cave, Phartat Cave and Wang Bah Dan Cave. If you have a little extra time and are ready for a good hike, give one or two of them a look at!
Just like almost everything in Thailand, this park is absolutely beautiful and you'll be able to spend all day there enjoying the water, the scenery and the wildlife (yes, you'll probably see some cool animals along the way)!
This is just one of the many things you can do in Thailand. Some of things include (but are definitely not limited to) these 10 must see places in Thailand. Ready for more info on volunteering in Thailand? Check out that button below then!