After hearing my roommates talking about day tours to this beautiful National Park close to Kanchanaburi, I decided to go here myself. I still disgustingly hate tours and more than loved to grab the opportunity of making an adventure of it and go here by myself. After getting a few really good tips from Hannah (friend from Oz), who lived in Thailand for over a year, I took the train to Kanchanaburi from Thonburi Station. I had to pay the Forang (Thai for foreigner)-price, which is 100Baht, Thai people only pay 25 Baht for this same 3rd-class train ticket. It took 3 hours to get to Kanchanaburi and luckily I could easily walk to my dirt cheap hostel from the train station. They didn’t have any single bedrooms left, so I had to get a double room for the night which was 80 Baht more. It was still super cheap, as even the shitty 6 bedroom dorm I stayed in in Bangkok was 20 Baht more a night. After I checked in they brought me to the best room in the hotel, the boat-room. It was located right on the Kwae river that runs through Kanchanaburi, I had the best view from my little terras outside the room and the room would rock me to sleep at night as the river would make the boathouse move. It was the best room, by far. That the bed was hard AF and they hadn’t changed the sheets for at least a year didn’t bother me anymore at all.
I straight away hired a scooter the next morning for 180 Baht and drove all the way to Erawan National Park after finishing my breaky. This National Park is a 70km drive from Kanchanaburi and as you can imagine, it took me quite a while to get here. The scooter wasn’t the problem and would easily go 100k/h (I had to try it), but wearing shorts, a singlet, a Thai helmet and having to avoid all the holes in the road, I thought 60kms an hour was going fast enough.
The fee for the National Park turned out to be 300 Baht per Forang, plus 20 Baht per motorcycle. Pretty expensive, but I was not planning on turning around at this point.
The National Park itself is massive, but on this side of it you can only really do one hike, which is the one to the Erawan Waterfalls. The waterfalls are 7 levels high and the hike up to the top is about 4km. From level 4 on it starts to become a bit of climb, but is still not too bad if you compare it to other hikes. It was good. Not as beautiful as I thought it would be unfortunately, and it was busy. And I mean BUSY. Like you’ve been able to see on my Facebook and Instagram, I’ve been trying to take some cool pictures, but these really look a lot better without all those bloody tourists.
– VERY BUSY –
Kanchanaburi itself has got some spots worthwhile visiting as well. There’s the ‘Death Railway’ running right through town. The railway was built by the Japanese Empire in WWII, to support its forces in Burma. They used forced labour and hundreds of thousands of people have died during the construction of it. The project has never been finished and there is a museum at the end of the railway called ‘Hellfire Pass’, named after this last part of the railway. This got its name by literally being a hell to build as it goes right through the mountains and is by far the part where most people have died.
Kanchanaburi itself is heaven. Especially for me after spending some time in Phuket and Bangkok. It’s got a nice appearance, is a bit of a smaller town and has got a really relaxed vibe to it. It’s surrounded by nature and has got a lot of stuff around to see and do. As the cherry on the pie it’s pretty cheap as well. Instead of spending 2,000 Baht on a day tour seeing just the waterfalls for a couple of hours, I spent about 700 Baht to see them for as long as I wanted and to use a scooter for 24 hours. It was all together a much bigger adventure. Tours are just always such a no-go.