Quick Guide: Visiting Erawan Waterfall From Bangkok, Thailand
The Best Weekend Getaway From Bangkok
Visitors to Thailand are immediately immersed in countless cultural experiences, and Bangkok holds many of the best of these. Incredible temples seem to be around every corner, and streets are jam-packed with market stalls and street food stands ready to amaze and astound. Aside from culture, there is one other thing that most travellers in Thailand want to experience, and that is the spectacular nature. Of course, at the top of the list are the Thai waterfalls!
Luckily for tourists visiting Bangkok, one of Thailand's most spectacular waterfalls can be reached from the city in just a few hours.
Erawan National Park is home to a 7-tiered waterfall that will absolutely blow your mind. In my opinion, this is the best weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.
How to Get to Erawan National Park
The trip to Erawan National Park has to be done in two legs: Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and Kanchanaburi to Erawan. The only alternative is to take a taxi, in which case you should be able pay extra to go all the way to the park. But if you decide to go that route, you can expect to pay up to 4,000 bhat or 125 USD. If you are travelling in a group or have the cash to spare, this may well be the way to go. If not, read on!
Bangkok to Kanchanaburi via Bus
Taking a bus to Kanchanaburi is by far the easiest option. Buses and minibuses leave from Sai Tai Mai (Southern Terminal), Morchit (Northern Terminal), and Victory Monument.
Buses leave every hour starting at the crack of dawn. You can check out 12go.asia if you want to buy tickets in advance, but it is probably even easier just to show up.
Bangkok to Kanchanaburi via Train
The train from Bangkok is a wonderful option. This is a local option, so don't expect a luxurious ride, but the scenery in this area is absolutely gorgeous and for this reason, most people agree that the train is the best option for getting to Kanchanaburi.
The reason most people do not end up taking the train is that they don't run out of Bangkok's main station, Hua Lamphong, but instead from Thonburi Railway Station, which is somewhat more difficult to get to. Taxi drivers are not keen to go, but if you decide to go that way anyway, make sure they use the meter!
A better (and more fun) option is to take the Chao Phraya Express. This set of public transportation boats, although often ignored, is one of the most enjoyable and convenient ways to get around the city. You can check the schedules and routes here. Thonburi Railway Station Pier is stop #11. The fare should be between 10 and 15 bhat and you can pay the boat attendant on board. It looks like all the boats should stop at #11, but some sources say that only the no flag boats make this stop. Although I've never had a problem, I do recommend double checking when the boat docks briefly.
When you arrive at Thonburi Railway Station Pier, it is just a short 10-minute walk to get to the trains.
Trains leave at 7:50 and 13:55 and take two and a half to three hours. You can buy a ticket at the station. Keep in mind, if you take the 13:55 train, you will arrive too late to do almost anything that day.
Kanchanaburi to Erawan National Park via Bus
The bus from Kanchanaburi to Erawan is a colourful affair—both literally and figuratively—and the scenery is gorgeous! The bus ride was actually one of my favourite parts of this whole trip!
Here is the schedule:
Kanchanaburi to Erawan
8:00, 8:55, 9:50, 10:45, 11:50, 13:00, 14:10, 15:25, 16:30, 17:50
Erawan to Kanchanaburi
5:20, 6:10, 7:20, 8:30, 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00
This info is correct as of 2019, but I got this from a handwritten dry erase sign in the Kanchanaburi Bus Station, so I'm guessing it might change. You can buy a ticket at the station, where many people will be happy to show you the way. The bus takes about an hour and a half.
Where to Stay in Kanchanaburi
Erawan National Park is far away enough from Bangkok that you will certainly want to stay at least one night, but it's beautiful enough that one night just isn't enough! I guarantee you will want to stay for as long as possible.
There are many places to stay around the park, but what most people don't know is that you can also stay in the park! I highly recommend staying in the park, as you have the option to visit the waterfall before any other tourists arrive. It is the best way to maximise your time, and the accommodations are lovely!
The website is notoriously difficult to find, but luckily, you came to the right place!
You can book your guesthouse or campground here. The tricky part about booking through the government of Thailand is payment. You need to pay at either the Parks Department of Thailand or the bank. I highly recommend going to the bank. It was actually quite an easy process. I brought my printed receipt, took a number, and paid the teller. Easy peasy!
- Leave as early as you can, and stay as long as you can!
- Do go up to the 7th tier; it's beautiful.
- Bring a dry bag for your phone and valuables, and keep an eye on your stuff.
- Bring a reusable water bottle. No single-usee plastics are allowed past the second level.
- Water shoes would be a great idea, if you have a pair.
- Bring snacks! The food stalls in the park close early!
- Have an early dinner too! If you miss the restaurants, there is nothing else nearby!
- Bring a book. Once it's dark, there is not much to do in this rural area.
- Pack for a day of swimming. The waterfall has many gorgeous ponds to frolic in.
- Have fun! This is my favourite day trip from Bangkok and my favourite place in Thailand!
Where Is Erawan National Park?
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© 2019 Matilda Woods