Thursday, August 20, 2015

Backpacker's Note - Erawan Waterfall

Sawadeekaa readers,

Back again to my third days in Kanchanaburi. I decided to go to Erawan Waterfall after I saw some reviews and Pictures on Google.

I went to Kanchanaburi Bus Terminal located in the back of Tourism Thailand Authority at 8.30 am. The bus to Erawan non air con only is 50 Baht. The bus will take you to the gate of Erawan.You have to buy the ticket first before you get in the bus.

Erawan Waterfalls (65 km)
non air-con bus bus no. duration fare
8170 1.5 hrs. 50 Baht

Kanchanaburi - Erawan Falls: 8:00 AM to 5:20 PM - every 50 minutes
Last bus back at 4:00 PM!

Since The bus departed on 9.30, I went to the market across the terminal to have some breakfast. I don't remember the restaurant's name, but the food was so delicious. I ate crispy pork with sweet and sour sauce. It was the most delicious pork I've ever taste.

Restaurant across the Terminal

The food was 40 Baht.

So after approximately 1.5 to 2 hours trip (The view was also amazing, we passed a big dam), I finally arrived at the welcome gate of Erawan Falls. We didn't get off here, the bus took us to the final gate.

Erawan National Park

Hiking starting point starts from here. From 1 to 4 step of waterfall, the hiking trail is made of road so it's quite easy and everybody can do it with slippers or decent shoes. From 4 to 7 step of the waterfall, there's no road just trails, wood trails, but it's not really hard if you often exercised. You will pass rocks and waters on the way. I've read the reviews, that you have to wear decent shoes and to get to the 7 step it might take you almost two hours. I find the reviews exaggerating a bit though. No offense, I reached the 7 step in 45 minutes and I stopped all the steps to take photos. And yes, you'll be more comfortable wearing decent shoes but I used slippers after I got back to 7 step because I was wet after swimming in the 7 step and I want to swim again in every step of Erawan. The hike is not too hard, I think everybody can make it to 7 step of Erawan but you have to be careful since you have to pass a broken bridge and broken stairs.

So, let's start on the 1 step of Erawan Falls.

The 1 step is not too crowded and nobody swims there but the first view is beautiful with the turquoise water. 

After 5 minutes walk, I arrived at the 2 step of Erawan Falls, this is the most crowded step. Some called it the most beautiful step. But my favorite was the 7 step. 

Stairs to 2nd Step

The 3 step is a bit far from the 2 step. We passed the bridge to the 3 step. To go to the 3 step, you have to deposit your drinking bottle to the counter or you put it in the counter, each bottle is 20 baht. You can get your money back once you're back and bring your bottles. The purpose is to avoid visitors to throw bottles or trashing the place.

Bridge to 3rd Step

3rd step

Next, to the 4 step of Erawan Fall. On the 4 step you can slide down the rocks. It's quite crowded because of the sliding rock. From 4 to 5, the trail will be closed on 4.30. Make sure to get there early since you would want to swim around after the hike.

sliding rock

4th step

Head on to the 5 step of Erawan Falls, starting from here the trails is a little bit harder. We have to cross a bridge to the 5 step. Don't worry, the bridge is in good condition.

Bridge to 5th step

On the 5 step, you can relax and sit on a tree across the river.

The waterfall in the 5 step is not big but if you want to swim around, this one is a good location since it's really wide and not too hard to get to the other side.

The trail to 6 step is getting harder. These are some of the pictures, and there's no sign but you won't get lost since the trail is only one and a lot of people go there.

Walking through the rocks

The Hike

To go to 6 step you have to pass a broken bridge. I passed it and somehow it's still strong despite the broken part.

Broken Bridge to  6th Step

The 6 step is a tiny waterfall, it will just take you like 5 minutes to take pictures.

The road to 7 step. Here later on you pass a water stream and either you walk on the water or you jump to one rock to another or you can climb the rocks on the side of the stream. I didn't have the picture because it was so crowded.

Hike To 7th Step

White Rocks on 7th Step

In my opinion, the 7 step is the most beautiful with white rocks and turquoise water. 

7th Step

If you want to swim on the waterfall, don't forget to bring swim suit and also don't be afraid of the fishes. The fishes only biting your dead skin cells, usually on your feet, but if you have any wound it's better to cover it since it will attract the fishes and it's totally uncomfortable if they get to your wound. From what I read, Prisoner of Wars in WWII used to heal their wound with the fish bites.

Fishes  biting on the dead skin cell

Also, the rocks are quite slippery so be careful when you step on it.

After swimming around, I take a break on 2 step because there are rest places made of bamboo and a stall that sell foods and drinks. Lay around with the river view is a very relaxing experience.

Chilling out on the river side

Then to get back to Kanchanaburi, I took the bus outside the gate, where the previous bus took us before. The fare is 50 baht, remember the last bus is at 4 pm! 

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