On our second visit to Thailand we decided to travel to Kanchanaburi, which we heard many good things about – And truth be told, we weren’t disappointed. We arrived with a private driver from Bangkok. We went on a two-day trip with him, which included stopping at markets, rafting and more.
How do you reach the falls from Kanchanaburi?
We took a bus from the central bus station in Kanchanaburi. Map. The ride costs 50 baht and it takes about two hours to reach the falls.
The bus’s timetable:
There are buses back to Kanchanaburi, the last of which leaves at 17:00.
*I’d recommend getting to the station 15 minutes early, as the bus might be filled to maximum capacity forcing you to either sit on the floor or wait for the next one.
Entry costs 300 baht per person. We weren’t aware of the price and hadn’t brought enough cash with us. There aren’t any ATMs in the area, so be sure to have enough money on hand for transportation, entry, food and drinks. Luckily, we met a nice Israeli couple and asked them to loan us some money, making a transfer of funds back to them later. (Part of what I love about traveling is meeting nice people on the road).
The waterfall area is very large, containing seven separate waterfalls. If you wish to visit all seven, you should consider the time it takes to travel from one to the next – It is a 2 kilometer climb to the seventh fall. The climb itself isn’t too hard, but from the fifth waterfall onward it becomes steeper and more difficult.
I would recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes and not sandals (Put those in your bags). The best way, in our opinion, is to go straight to the seventh waterfall, followed by the others. That way you can beat the crowds there by arriving early, and you’ll also have more energy for the comparatively difficult climb to the seventh waterfall. Most of the walking is in the tree-shade but the difficulty comes from the high humidity and heat (We went at the end of January), so it can nonetheless be quite tiring.
Another important suggestion: Bring drinks and snacks with you or buy them at the entrance to the falls. We only bought a single large water bottle, only to later find that at the falls themselves there’s nowhere to buy food or drinks, and the climb up to the seventh waterfall left us feeling thirsty and peckish.
The first waterfall lies about a 20-minute walk from the entrance, and the walk itself is pretty much planar. The first few waterfalls are close to one another, and a few minutes later you’ll arrive at the 2nd, 3rd and 4th falls.
The waterfalls themselves are really stunning and I think it’s worth it, at the very least, to make it to the 4th and 5th falls. It was also a great deal of fun to jump in the water after walking in the heat.
Personally, I found the water to be too cold (But I think it might have been only me, since I hadn’t noticed anyone else complaining about it 🙂 ) and the water houses many fish that eat the dry skin off your feet (Some girls were very alarmed by it, so it’s important to be aware of).
The entrance area has many restaurants in which you can either sit down for lunch or buy food to take to the falls. We ate at one of the restaurants and the food was good. It’s touristic Thai food, but it’s not bad at all.
How to return from the falls to Kanchanaburi?
We took the four o’clock bus, which is one before last. We arrived at 5 minutes to four, by which time the bus had already been filled up. I found a seat and Roman sat on the floor. The ride isn’t terrible, but having a seat is better.
Conclusion of Erawan falls
They are definitely worth a visit if you’re in Kanchanaburi. The falls are beautiful. The tips I included in this post are important to pay heed to, as we weren’t aware of them at the time and it ended up hurting our experience somewhat.
Tips regarding the falls
- Bring plenty of cash
- Arrive at the bus stations a quarter hour early so you can find free seats, or you’ll have to sit on the floor or wait for the next bus.
- Bring food or snacks to the falls themselves (Fruit, snacks, etc.)
- Wear comfortable walking shoes
- Put your bathing suit on at the entrance, or at the 1st or 2nd waterfalls (There are restrooms and showers at those, but not at the farther ones)
- Better to arrive early in the morning and not during the afternoon, so you can have plenty of time at the waterfalls – and they’ll be less crowded, as well.
- As for prices: Bus tickets, 50 baht. Entry, 300 baht. Lunch, approximately 200 baht per person. Water, approximately 40 baht per person.