Erawan Waterfalls, another tourist attraction that can draw you in easily just from the photos touted by local tour offices in Bangkok. Not entirely convinced of the unique nature and offering of the waterfall, we did our research and pleased we had found something worth spending our money on, booked the full day trip for 800 Baht per person. The bus ride to the falls takes 3 hours each way.
The beauty of the seven level waterfalls captivates you initially, and I was also excited that a bit of a hike was involved implying exclusivity. There is a high correlation we find with physical difficulty and exclusivity, so the more physically demanding any attraction the more of it we have to ourselves. Getting away from the tourist hoards is always welcome in our books.
Each level is assigned a number, consecutively from 1 to 7, for example “Level 1”, “Level 2” and so on. From a little research we knew the most attractive waterfalls were at levels 2, 3 and 5. Much to Manali’s discontent, level 5 required a 1.8 km hike from the base. Translated into Thailand distances due to heat and humidity it is more like 3.6 km, but no matter, in 30 minutes we took in our first glimpse of level 5.
Keen on swimming in the pools below certain waterfalls, we were disappointed to see a sign at the park entrance warning us not to swim due to danger from storms the previous evening. Remembering that we had secured our traveler’s medical insurance, we decided to risk it, I more than Manali and took an amazingly refreshing swim in a couple of the waterfall pools. To our surprise we found some pretty aggressive “sucking fish” for lack of an accurate name, greeting us in the murky waters in which we swam. I kept my mouth shut as I begged Manali to join me in the water, and let her discover our little friends for herself. On a side note, we were well aware of these “sucking fish”, as they are promoted everywhere in “Fish Spas” in Bangkok. We’re saving that experience for Malaysia I think, so more on that later.
An aspiring amateur photographer myself, I was very pleased I finally got some great slow shutter speed shots of water flow, resulting in pillowing wisps of gushing water. I like the effect. What do you think?
Biting fish not enough for your inner naturist? How about the monkeys hanging about the falls. They mostly seem to congregate at level 2, and a carefully place signs warns you of their fierce nature! Fierce we did not see, just curious and hungry.
All in all, a beautiful experience and well worth the day trip, around 7AM to 5PM, which included a stop at the Bridge on the River Kwai. Wasn’t there a movie about this with John Wayne? Haven’t had a chance to google that one yet.
Oh, and on the stop off at the Bridge on the River Kwai, Manali played with a little tiger for 100 Baht or so. We were told it was a tiger, but maybe a leopard?