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Thailand and Laos (and Myanmar if I can manage it)

Hello, Sawatdee kaa and Sabai dee,

My next trip will be Thailand and Laos, and this is all about the before, the trip and the after - similar to my Malaysia/Cambodia blog. I am putting together from start to finish - tickets, do's and don'ts, tours, where to stay, places to see, things to do, as well as useful extras like transport, good places to eat, what to wear, climate, tourist traps, tricks and tips and whatever else I can think of that will be useful.

If you have any tips or advice, please, feel free to leave a comment and add your bit - whatever you think may be helpful or interesting.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

52. Erawan Waterfalls

A long drive
It was a very long drive to Erawan, far longer than I had at first realised. I was very glad I had chosen a car over a tuk-tuk. The sun was becoming quite hot and it was nice to sit back and relax in an air conditioned vehicle while enjoying the scenery as we sped along.

Above: Sangchuto Road
These were taken from a moving vehicle so aren't terribly clear.

Above: The King
Everywhere in Thailand are photos and pictures of the King. This is just one example.

Erawan Waterfalls
Erawan National Park was designated in 1975 and covers an area of 550 square kms. Located 65 kms from Kanchanaburi, its major attraction is Erawan Falls named after the erawan, the three-headed white elephant of Hindu mythology. It is said the seven-tiered falls resemble the erawan.

Said to be one of the most beautiful in Thailand, the falls are situated amongst rough jungle and there is an admission fee of 200 baht.

Be back by 12.30
We arrived at Erawan National Park and my driver said to please be back by 12.30pm because it would take an hour to get to our next stop.

Above: Visitor Centre
Walking from the car, the falls were to the left and then you sort of turn right and start your trek upwards. The visitor centre was on my right.

Above: Boy meets Girl
These quaint bamboo? elephants are to the left of the visitor centre and stand about 10 foot in height. I waited an interminable amount of time for this photo - two women were taking photos of each other draped in various poses around them. I have never understood why people have to stand in front of every object they see, whether it be a building, artwork, temple or just a sign post with a "Look, here's me in front of the tower/thing/whatever"!

Above: The 7 tiers of the Erawan Waterfalls
Each tier is shown on the information board by name and the number of metres it will take you to get there. It's really very informative, you can decide whether or not to skip certain tiers and go straight to the top or make a stop at each fall.

Above: Erawan Falls, 1st fall - Lai Kuen Rung
The first one seemed fairly shallow and there wasn't anybody else here. Pretty with good shade. After taking a few pics and a rest, it was time to head up to the next level.

Above: The 2nd fall - Wang Macha
The going was a bit more uphill and my head was wet with perspiration. Anyway, I reached the second fall but alas the photo is a bit blurry. Pity I didn't think to use the zoom button. As it was the dry season, the falls weren't as spectacular but they were lovely just the same.

Above: The 2nd fall - Wang Macha
This shot came out clearer. Surprisingly, there is a fellow on the right who appears to be fully clothed bending down under a shower of water. The colour of the water is deeper than it shows and it made a pretty picture.

Above: Erawan Falls - swimming in Wang Macha
You can get a better idea of the water colour here. The area was quite large and these two fellows seem to be enjoying their swim. If you look in the lower left hand side, you can see plenty of fish. Dinner chaps?

Above: Erawan Falls ~ Wang Macha
Another shot - this time taken further back and from a different angle. The sound of water is a refreshing one and had I had a lot more time, I'd have spent far longer exploring the scenic beauty of the place.

Above: The 3rd fall - Pha Nam Tok
By the time I made it up to this fall, I was worn out! Boy was it hot. I had sweat dripping down my face, so much in so that my sunglasses became foggy. I remember looking for and finding a spot in the shade on a wooden seat that looked like it had been a piece of tree cut down. I finished the rest of water and was hanging out for more.

Above: The 3rd fall - Pha Nam Tok
I'd love to have gone ahead and seen the other falls, but looking at my watch, I knew I didn't have time. Now I know why brochures and guide books recommend 3 hours to see all seven.

Above: Signpost
Going back, I spotted the nifty sign - strange that I hadn't noticed it on my way up.

Above: The Little House
Seeing this, I realised that I must have been coming back on a different path. It looks so pretty doesn't it? If it weren't for the signage, you'd never realise it's the toilet block. So beautifull maintained and well kept gardens.

Above: Picnic Tables
Woudln't this be a lovely place to have a picnic? Ah, if only I had the time, but time as they say waits for no man, so it's soldier on and off we go.

Above: Water!
Soon I was back at the beginning, and said to my driver that I needed to buy some more water. It's a funny thing you know how prices go up - the bottle of water from 7-11 in Kanchanaburi that was 7 baht was 10 baht here. Oh well. guess that's tourism for you.

After a wee rest, it was back in the car and off to Hellfire Pass.

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