Founded in 1975 as Thailands 12th National Park, it is covering an area of km². Located on West Thailand in the Tenasserim Hills of Kanchanaburi Province, it is one of the most famous national parks in Thailand.
81% of the park is mixed deciduous forests and the rest deciduous dipterocarp and dry evergreen forest. The park concists of limestone hills with elevetion between 165-996m above the sea level, plains and number of streams. The hills protects the park from eastern monsoon resulting in less rainfall in avarage.
The major attraction of the park is Erawan Falls with emerald green ponds, named after the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology. The top tier of the falls is said to resemble the elephant’s head.
Due to limited number of trails, wildlife watching possibilities around the waterfalls are very limited, macaques are common, occasionally water monitor lizards can be seen walking around water streams. Deeper into the forest some more exciting animals like Indian muntjac, wild elephants, lar gibbon, Indochinese serow, wild boar, sambar deer can be found.
Some of common birds in the park are crested serpent eagle, black-naped monarch, blue whistling thrush, black-crested bulbul, blue-winged leafbird, dark-necked tailorbird, green-billed malkoha, grey peacock-pheasant and kalij pheasant.
Erawan National Park is open for visitors 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m everyday all year round. Although the official clouse time is 4:30 pm, rangers start cleaning from the top tier around 3 pm and asks visitors to leave as they slowly move down tier by tier. The lower tiers could be open up until 5 pm, depends on how quick/slow the daily cleaning goes. The park is generally very busy during the week-ends and public holidays. During the annual Songkran Festival 13-15 April, the waterfall tiers turns into a celebration place with water fights. It is not recommended to cary non-waterproof electronic equipments like sensitive cameras or mobile phones during the festivities.
There are restaurants, various facilities, bungalows and a campsite next to the HQ. Bungalows are for 2-50 persons and the price varies from 800 THB to 4000 THB. The entrance fee is 300 THB for foreigners (children 200 THB), 100 THB for locals (children 50 THB), 20 THB for a motorbike and 30 THB for other vehicles. The park is easily accessible by public busses from Kanchanaburi, see our get there section for more info. It is possible to rent bicycles at visitor center area for 20 THB/day. Tents can be rent from 150 Baht a day for 2 people and 250 a day for 3 people, sleeping bag for 25 Baht, pillow for 10 Baht and sleeping mat for 20 Baht.
Bear in mind that food is strictly forbidden beyond the 2nd tier. Visitors must pay a 20 THB fee per bottle of any drinks which can be refunded when the bottles are returned.
National Park Office – HQ
Located on the northeast side of the national park. There are many shops, restaurants and various facilities as well as a big car park and an area where public transportation vehicles stop by. The campsite area and bungalows are just few hundred meters away. Bungalows can be rent from the visitor center next to headquarter from 800 THB for 2 persons, 1200 THB for 4 persons and some bigger “bungalows” up to 50 persons with prices up to 4000 THB.
Located 12 km north west from the HQ, the cave consists of both stalactites and stalagmites withing a limestone hill. It is accessible by a short trail starting from a nearby carpark.
Erawan Waterfall is located in the east side of the park in a convinient walk distance from HQ. Named after three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology, Erawan Waterfall flowing with emerald water is the major attraction of the national park. It is 7 tiered and spans over 1.5 km, each tier has also number of smaller falls into ponds full of fishes. A series of trails and footbridged will lead visitors all way up to 6th tier, last tear is accessible by scrambling up to few cliffs for those who like a bit more challenge.
Most tears are running into ponds, great for swimming. There are few picnic spots around the lower tiers, food is strickly forbidden beyond the second tier.
Ta Duang Cave
Located 30 km from HQ at the south east corner of the national park, 700-800 meters into the forest from Tha Thung Na village. The cave has rock paintings of trees and human shapes. Evidence of past human habitation, pottery and used tools may be seen.
There are several trails into the forest from the HQ area, of those;
Khao Hin Lan Pee Nature Trail, approximately 5 km and takes 2-3 hours to walk. It ends at 5th tier of Erawan Falls.
Mong Lay Dry Evergreen Forest Natural Trail among waterfall, takes less than an hour to walk.
Reua is a 40-50 meters deep cave situated at the south side of the park, not too far away from Mi Cave. It doesn’t have any stalagmites or stalactites. Several coffins has been found in this cave. It is approxtimately 1 km walk into the forest from Ban Thap Sila village.
“Mi” means bear in Thai and cave believed to have got it’s name because it thought to be occupied by bears. It has 5 chambers. The cave is located on south side of the park, accessible through Ban Thap Sila village on the south side of the park. The cave consists of of stalagmites, stalactites and stones. 7 km of tracking needed to reach to the cave.
Wang Bah Dan Cave
Located 54 km from HQ in the south side of the national park, accessible from Chaiyaphruek Village couple of kilometers into the forest. It is a limestone cave with a narrow opening. Chambers contains different stalactite and stalagmite formations. There is a permanent waterstream running through last chamber.