Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Erawan National Park and Waterfall - Kanchanaburi

Erawan National Park is a 550-square-kilometer park in western Thailand, located in Kanchanaburi Province, Amphoe Si Sawat in the tambon Tha Kradan. Founded in 1975, it is Thailand's 12th national park.

The major attraction of the park is Erawan Falls (Thai: น้ำตกเอราวัณ), a waterfall named after the erawan, the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology. The seven-tiered falls are said to resemble the erawan. There are also four caves in the park: Mi, Rua, Wang Bahdan, and Pharthat.

With its spectacular seven-tiered waterfalls, Erawan National Park is one of the most popular natural attractions in the country. Located about 65 km northwest of Kanchanaburi town along Route 3199, the 550-sq-km park is situated in the Tenasserim Hills running along the Thai-Burmese border. Mixed species deciduous forests with occasional stands of bamboo characterize the park. More than 80 species of bird have been sighted, as well as gibbon, slow loris, macaque and rhesus monkey.
The highlight of the park is undoubtedly the multi-level waterfall, one of the most powerful and beautiful in the country. The various tiers have deep pools, ideal for swimming, and the area abounds in ferns, orchids and other wild plants. To fully appreciate the beauty of the falls, you should take the winding trail up to the top and most magnificent level. The seventh tier is said to resemble the shape of Erawan, the three-headed elephant of Hindu mythology, and from which the park draws its name.

A number of limestone caves within the park are worth visiting. The Phrathat Cave, 12 km northwest of the visitors' center, is encrusted with monumental stalactites and stalagmites, and swarms with bats. Wang Badan, with its multiple chambers and a subterranean stream, is located in the west of the park.

Accommodation is available in the National Park bungalows or you can pitch a tent nearby. Buses to Erawan depart Kanchanaburi town from 8.00 am. The trip takes about two hours. The last bus back from Erawan leaves at 4.00 pm. As with other waterfalls, Erawan is best visited during the rainy season when the falls are in full volume.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erawan_National_Park,
Images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erawan_National_Park


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