Visit the Falls at Erawan National Park | Kanchanaburi

by Vanessa Wanders Miles

Erawan National Park is located in the Tenasserim Hills of Thailand, approximately 1 hour from Kanchanaburi city. The infamous seven-tiered falls at Erawan National Park encompass 550 sq. km. and boast is home to a wealth of forest and fauna along with incredible emerald green pools.

Founded in 1975 as Thailand’s 12th National Park, Erawan is one true natural beauty in Kanchanaburi you really can’t miss!

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Things to do in Erawan National Park

I’m a sucker for a waterfall, it’s just too therapeutic… and Erewan National Park has 7 levels of turquoise pools, some with rocks you can slide down! As the park shuts at 4.30 pm, it is good to be aware of the time to get back to the entrance if you are going to make it to Level 7.

LEVEL 1Hlai Khuen Rung500m20 metres
LEVEL 2Wang Macha600m170 metres
LEVEL 3Pha Namtok700m220 metres
LEVEL 4Oke Nang Peesau1,050m520 metres
LEVEL 5Buea Mai Long1,550m1,120 metres
LEVEL 6Dong Prucksa1,750m1,420 metres
LEVEL 7Phu Pha Erawan2,000m1,550 metres

Get a free fish pedicure at Erawan National Park

In most of the pools, you will be greeted by flesh-nibbling fish if you choose to relax on the side and dangle your feet in the water. If you stay long enough you will be rid of the dead skin and walk out with super soft feet. Most of them are pretty small fish but I did see a few whoppers swimming around.

Fish spas are a pretty common treatment in Southeast Asia, Some people pay a fortune for this tickly treatment so why not make the most of it in Erawan National Park?

Explore the 7 levels of waterfalls at Erawan National Park

So let’s start at the beginning and work our way up through the falls at Erawan National Park…

Level 1 (Hlai Khuen Rung) is super popular as it is the last eating and picnic spot before you venture further into the park. Hence, you will see lots of local families from all generations who don’t want to walk any higher.

Great care is taken to keep littering to a minimum so if you wish to take your water bottle further than level 1, a deposit of 20 Baht deposit per bottle at the checkpoint. Your baht is refundable when you leave and show the entrance guards your bottle.

Level 1 - Hlai Khuen Rung - Falls and Pools at Erawan National Park

Level 1 – Hlai Khuen Rung

Level 2 (Wang Macha) is idyllic and you start to get an overwhelming feeling that you have found a little slice of paradise with the sounds of the birds hidden in the jungle. It just gets better…


Level 2 – Wang Macha

Level 3 (Pha Namtok) is a taller fall with rocks around the back of the cascade. Get behind the waterfall, step forward to feel the power of the falls on your shoulders, and take a leap or a slide on the rock to the water which is over 2 metres deep. 

Level 3 – Pha Namtok

Level 4 (Oke Nang Peesau) is time to get on your bum and take the natural rock slides to enter the pools below. Again, the earlier you go the better otherwise you will be waiting a while for your turn.

When you leave to head to level 5, you will find the path gets more of a scramble as the concrete path runs out. Keep going, it’s totally worth it!

Level 4 – Oke Nang Peesau

Level 5 (Buea Mai Long) gets a little deeper and a great spot to grab some shade and dip in the emerald green pool. The busier it gets, the more people are looking for that Instagrammable shot on the easily accessible tier so expect some posing in swimsuits!

Level 5 – Buea Mai Long

Level 6 (Dong Prucksa) is less powerful falls and shallower water, still a gorgeous place to soak up the impressive evergreen forests.

Level 7 (Phu Pha Erawan) is the final tier and is said to resemble an elephant’s head. Both the park and the falls are named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology called Erawan. Enjoy the bright opening in the jungle and the cool dip after your humid walk.

Explore the hiking trails in Erawan National Park

To make it from one level of waterfalls to the next, you will need to trek along the trails. The signs will highlight the distance to the next tier and the whole trek without stopping will take from 45 minutes to 1 hour which is good to know to get back from level 7 before the park closes.

If jumping in the falls of Erawan Nation Park is not your thing (or you just weirdly forgot your bathing suit), check out dedicated trails such as Khao Hin Lan Pee Nature Trail which is 5 km long ending at the 5th Level and will take approximately 3 hours.  

Mong Lay Dry Evergreen Forest Natural Trail is the same trek that snakes along the waterfalls which is great if you’re looking for a shorter, easier trek. It is signposted with interesting interpretation signs and you get to check out the fun of the revellers in the pools.  

I was captivated by the prayer flags we saw wrapped around the trees, some had silk garments too.  See if you can spot them on your trek!

Find the limestone caves in Erawan National Park

I only read about the limestone caves in Erawan National Park on my return unfortunately so I wanted to highlight them if you are planning your trip. It will require more time as they are not located on the waterfall trail and may need to add an extra day to your trip.

You can see the following caves in the Erawan National Park: Tham MiTham RueaTham Wang Badan, and Tham Phra That which are often closed when heavy rainfalls, mainly because they can be very slippery and keep your entry receipt from Erawan National Park.

What you need to know about Erawan National Park

Erawan National Park champions litter-free tourism

Littering is problematic in tourist spots and is a huge menace to wildlife and their environment. It is refreshing to see Erawan National Park tackling this head-on with various schemes meaning you can expect your day soaking up the natural falls not to be marred by rubbish.

Visitors will be subject to fines of 1000 BHT for bringing alcohol, glass, polystyrene, guitar (weird), and pets in the waterfall area. There is a wooden kiosk to exchange foam and glass on entering the park and if you wish to take plastic bottles, pay a deposit which is refundable as you leave – you can expect some checks along the way for non-recyclable materials.

There is a list of regulations resulting in fines such as no smoking, no shampoo or soap, no writing on rocks, don’t feed wildlife, and children not allowed to go swimming alone. It’s common sense really to ensure you stay safe along with combating the negative effects of tourism.

Erawan National Park Entrance Fee

The entrance fee for Erawan waterfalls is 300 Baht for foreigners (children 200 Baht), 100 Baht for locals (children 50 Baht), 20 Baht for a motorbike, and 30 Baht for a car. The fee goes towards conservation and preserving biological diversity – it’s a small price to pay!

Facilities at Erawan National Park

CHANGING AREAS – After a long day trekking or flinging yourself in natural pools, it’s great to have a changing area so you can comfortably head out on your travels whether it is by bus or to a local dining spot.

CAFE & RESTAURANTS – Finish off your day with a super tasty Thai dish from the eateries by the car park – don’t forget to add Coconut ice cream to your order too! If you find they are a little on the pricey side, there are many restaurants to choose from near Erawan National Park too.

ACCOMMODATION – For adventurous visitors who want to explore for over 2 days, there are bungalow and camping options too.

Best time to visit Erawan National Park

Erawan National Park is open for visitors from 8 am to 4:30 pm every day all year round.

Get there early to enjoy the serenity before the day-trippers from Bangkok arrive around 11 am.

Bear in mind, the time it takes to get back to the park entrances so don’t be surprised to see a ranger ushering you down from Level 7 at 3 pm!

Ideally, midweek is a good time to head to Erawan National Park to avoid the crowds that gather over the weekend or public holidays. Although, I bet this would be a fun place to celebrate the annual Songkran Festival 13-15 April to get involved in the water fights on the tiers.

Best season to visit Erawan National Park

The Kanchanaburi Province has a notably hot tropical climate. The best time to visit the falls at Erawan National Park is between November to March. I went at the end of January and it was perfect!

The monsoon rains are from May to November and the dry season is from March to May meaning the water in the pools may decrease. It will be humid walking around but at least you have the water to cool you down.

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