After three days of visiting temples, highly cultured…… but slightly bored we went on the look out for something different to do on our first proper day in Kanchanaburi.
After doing a bit of research we settled on a day trip to Erawan National Park, which was about 90 minutes on the bus from Kanchanaburi for a small charge of 50 baht (1 gbp)
Our reason for visiting the Park was the infamous seven tiered waterfall ‘Erawan Falls’. We had strapped on our proper trekking shoes (for the first time) to complete the 2km hike and wore our swimwear in preparation for all the natural pools connected to the waterfall.
At the start of the ‘trek’ we followed the directional arrows to a smooth, slightly uphill path and to be honest we were a little disappointed as we were hoping for a ‘real jungle trekking’ experience. The path however was quickly replaced with steps and soon after we arrived at the ‘proper’ jungle where we began rock climbing, jumping from stone to stone and even walking across tree trunks, strategically positioned a few metres above the water.
On the way up the views of the waterfall were incredible (well most of them) and there were many locals and tourists enjoying a day out by swimming in the pools, having a picnic and just chilling out with friends and families, but still we carried on our ascent and decided that we would try the pools on the way back down as a reward for all our hard work.
The first three tiers were pretty easy-going, it wasn’t really until we reached the 5th tier that we started to breathe heavily, sweat and stop constantly for more water! Whilst struggling through the final two levels we were put to shame by local girls who were dressed more for a day at the mall than a day in the jungle, in jeans and tops, some even wearing wedges and carrying flasks of coffee!! We have to assume they do the trek everyday and therefore could do it with their eyes closed and hands tied behind their backs!
We made it to the 7th tier within a couple of hours after stopping numerous times to take photos (and re-establish our breathing!). The views from the top were breathtaking and well worth the sweat and tears to get there (in Steve’s opinion), personally I preferred the 3rd tier, which was a little annoying as I could have saved myself and my body a lot of pain!
After clambering to reach the summit, literally dragging each other at the end, we were so happy we made it to the top and pretty proud of ourselves since it was our first proper trek! We were just so glad that it was all over and we were looking forward to quickly getting back down to the pools. We figured getting back down should be pretty easy…….we were wrong…….SO WRONG! It was even harder than getting up! After a teensy little bit of moaning on my part we finally made our way back down to the 2nd tier pools where we decided to dump our bags and jump into the crystal clear waters.
With one foot in the water I was quickly ‘attacked’ by millions of fish, which resulted in me screaming before I even realised it (totally embarrassing Steve) and apparently putting all the other tourists off getting into the water! Oops my bad!
Steve however jumped in and enjoyed the freezing cold, well deserved dip. I did get in the water again (not by choice, I literally slipped) in at one point and got straight back out again due to the relentless fish gnawing at my bare skin.
Fish aside I would DEFINITELY recommend Erawan National Park to anyone visiting Thailand or Kanchanaburi specifically, it was and still is one of the main highlights of our trip so far!