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.
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.
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.
- Rainy season is May to October
- Winter season with cooler weather is November to January, avegare temperature of 30°C
- Summer season is February to April
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 quite busy every day and 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.
Visitors who are after a less busier, similar and even more impressive falls are recommended to get to Huai Mae Khamin Falls 43 km north/east of Erawan Falls in Sri Nakharin Dam National Park. In week-days very few people are seen around there.
There are many restaurants, various facilities, bungalows and a campsite next to the visitor center. The price for the bungalows ranges from 800 THB up to 5,000 THB, a significant discount will apply when booked for Mon-Thu. Bungalows can be booked through DNP website in advance. As the money transfer must be done within 2 days and the fact it takes longer time with transfers from abroad, it is only possible to book from within Thailand only. Payments can be done at 7-Eleven convinicence stores or banks.
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. This to ensure that bottles are not left behind or thrown away in the nature.
Attractions of Erawan
Erawan Waterfall is located at the east side of the park in a convinient walk distance from HQ and the visitor center. The waterfall is named after the top tier which said to be resembling three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology.
It has 7 major tiers and few smaller tiers. All tiers are accessible by a series of trails and footbridges all the way up to the 6th tier. Last tier is accessible by scrambling up to few cliffs, for those who like a bit more challenge. The total distanse from the trailhead up to the top tier is nearly 1.5 km. There are many emerald green ponds along the trails which the visitors are allowed to swim in. The ponds are full with fishes.
The first two tiers are relatively easily accessible for most people there are few picnic spots around them. Food is strickly forbidden beyond the second tier, visitors have to leave their food and bottles at a checkpoint for a smaller deposit which can be collected on way back.
Erawan Fallsa are so popular that it is visited by a high number of people every day and gets overcrowded during the week-ends and holidays. For those seeking a bit more quite place, Huai Mae Khamin Falls nearly 40 km further north from Erawan Falls may be a better choice. It has a series of falls like Erawal Waterfall, with nearly 1.8 km long hiking trail along all tiers, it too has emarald green ponds similar to Erawan Falls.
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.
Phra That Cave
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. The habitat around the trail is bamboo mixed forests.
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.
"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.
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.
Wang Bah Dan Cave
Located 54 km from HQ in the south side of the national park, accessible from Chaiyaphruek Village 2 km into the forest. It is a limestone cave with a narrow opening and several chambers. The chambers contains different stalactite and stalagmite formations. There is a permanent waterstream running through the last chamber.
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.
- 034 574 222 (Visitor Center)