If there is one reason why Kanchanaburi is so visited besides the death railway, that would be the Erawan waterfalls. I haven’t seen many waterfalls in Thailand, but I dare to say these are the most beautiful ones. If you know about the Kuang Si falls in Luang Prabang Laos, this is the most similar I have seen to it. Drop dead beautiful levels of waterfalls with crystal clear blue shades. Usually, normal waterfalls don’t have such colors, that’s I I loved Erawan waterfalls so much.
Getting from Kanchanaburi to Erawan waterfalls is easy as there is a public bus connecting the two of them. The Erawan waterfalls are not so near the city center, about 70km away from Kanchanaburi, and about 1h30 by bus to get there. I stayed a few meters away from the train station at Asleep Hostel where there is a night market, and the location couldn’t be better as the bus stops a few meters away. You can just wait at 7/eleven across the street and wave at the bus for it to stop. It is a colorful big bus with big letters saying ”Erawan”, therefore, it is easy to spot.
I met another guy at the hostel and we went together at 9 am because I wanted to enjoy the day at the falls slowly as the last bus departing from Erawan to Kanchanaburi leaves at 4 pm.
The bus journey was smooth with nice views along the way with some mountains in the background and sometimes a glimpse of the river. It is in fact a pleasant journey and the bus was pretty empty… I think probably this bus is majorly used by tourists to get to the waterfall as this would be the cheapest option.
I didn’t search much about Erawan waterfalls so I had no idea that it was similar to the Kuang Si falls that I have already mentioned. So, I was very pleasantly surprised by the place. It overcame my expectations.
So, basically, the waterfall consists of 7 levels, which means 7 different waterfalls and very distinctive sceneries for each one of them. If you walk straight to the top without stops, which is basically impossible due to the amazing surrounding landscape that makes you wanna stop constantly, it would take about 1 hour to reach the 7th level of Erawan waterfalls, the furthest one. The journey is all the way up through the jungle. A very nice jungle trek…
We ended up taking about 3h to reach the top because as I told you, the place is too beautiful to simply walk past. Plus, we wanted to enjoy the waterfalls. We could go for a swim and relax. Not every level is a good spot to stop and swim. To swim, I would highlight levels 2,3,4 and 7. My favorite was level 3.
So, we start our journey after paying the entrance ticket of 300bh and as soon as we reach the 1st level, we are already surprised with beautiful blue shades among the lush green scenery. I’m already too excited with level 1 and I’ve seen nothing of the Erawan waterfalls. It’s just that blue that is mesmerizing to my eye. It is possible to see some fishies swimming around and in some spots, you can see the ground clearly with some fallen trees which makes the scenario even more enchanted.
We took so long to reach level 7 because we were really admiring and breathing in all the surrounding ambiance, and taking thousands of pictures haha couldn’t resist the blue waters…
However, we stopped longer at level 3 which has a wide pool to swim in and one of the tallest falls. The scenery here is beautiful with some trees in the middle of the water holes, but there is one particular reason why we stopped here for so long- oh, and no, the water is not warm.
On the 3rd level of the Erawan waterfalls, I was surprised by bites on my feet once I put them in the water. That was hell scary because I was not expecting it. Plus I had the stingray trauma very fresh in my mind so I screamed out loud that something have bitten me. I was terrified of what could have been because I was not looking at the ground and didn’t notice the small fish around me. It was them. Those small fish were biting me, so I relaxed for a bit. I noticed that as soon as I have 1 cm of foot in the water, they swim as fast as they can toward me to start biting my feet. That’s when I realized that these are those fish that I have seen before in aquariums where people pay to have the fish clean their feet. I was truly not expecting to find these fishies here and it turned out to be a lovely surprise. It took a while and several tries to get used to the dozens of bites at once. Yes!! There were dozens and dozens of fish that would take over my foot until I couldn’t see an inch of my skin. So many bites at once were so ticklish, that’s why it took many minutes for me to get used to them. After that, I enjoyed my free spa day and let those fish clean my feet as much as they wanted. And damn, my feet must have been filthy because they never left haha
As much as I was enjoying this new experience, we still had a lot to see, so we proceeded to the very top of the waterfall. From level 3 higher, it really turned into a jungle trek and the views are different as you keep walking. That’s why Erawan waterfalls are so unique because you end up seeing so many different spots that feel like you have been to several different places.
The 7th level and last one don’t have as many people as the lower ones. It is beautiful, with crystal clear blue waters once more, fishies swimming, and very lush green vegetation around. I guess that the fall was kinda dry when I visited because I saw the very last spot of land up there seemed to be smoothed by water, but there was no water. So my guess is that probably during the rainy season the waterfall has an even more impressive view from level 7.
We enjoyed the view and headed back to enjoy a bit more of level 3, and the fishies, before we go back. Going down was much faster so we still had time before the last bus departed. The problem was that it started to rain heavily forcing everyone to leave the falls and look for some shelter. Gladly I took my raincoat, which followed me everywhere, but everyone else was soaked wet. For this reason, we didn’t enjoy the waterfalls much longer, but we were lucky that it didn’t rain before, and we could see everything that Erawan waterfalls has to offer clearly.
I suggest you spend the whole day there relaxing and you won’t regret it. I took food and water with me because inside everything is much more expensive and you only find stuff at the beginning of your trek. It was a very well-spent day and I loved it. Erawan waterfalls were one of the highlights of my time in Thailand.
Check out more things to visit in Kanchanaburi HERE!