Initial plan was to leave Bangkok by sunrise, but as we slept late the previous night we could start only after 7am. We planned to cover 2 water falls, 1 cave and a ferry ride to reach our place of stay Rayaburi resort.
We struggled a lot to exit Bangkok as tolled express ways don’t allow bikes and there were signs of no bikes in the roads Google suggested as well. It took us more than hour to exit and hit the right road to Kanchanaburi. We covered only 60km in 90 mins before our breakfast stop at Mcdonalds, again extremely limited veg options. Ordered French fries, vegetable salad and coffee, then took a good 40 min break and started at 9.30 towards Kanchanaburi. We were already running behind our planned schedule.
Expression Says all
I was cruising at speeds of 80-120 as roads were good, from Kanchanaburi the terrain changes into hilly area and roads are curvy and there are 2 lanes towards Si-Sawat. You get to see lot of strawberry farms,sellings fresh strawberries and strawberry juice.
Finally we reached our first destination- Erawan national park, at 12.30pm. As it was peak season there was a long queue at the entry point.
Erawan falls – Erawan National Park
Erawan falls is multi leveled waterfall located in Erawan national park. Here is excerpt from thainationalparks.com
Erawan Waterfall is located in the east side of the park in a convenient walk distance from HQ. Named after three-headed white elephant in Hindu mythology, Erawan Waterfall flowing with emerald water is the major attraction of the national park. It is 7 tiered and spans over 1.5 km, each tier has also number of smaller falls into ponds full of fishes. A series of trails and footbridges will lead visitors all way up to 6th tier, last tear is accessible by scrambling up to few cliffs for those who like a bit more challenge.
We decided to skip lunch as we were not that hungry and availability of veg food was again a challenge. It was already 1pm as we proceeded to level 1 of the fall. These falls are not big like the ones we get to see in India, water, here, falls from around 30 feet max. It was super crowded and the summer heat was too much. We slowly climbed till level 5 before returning to the base. It was already 3pm and we had 2 more places to cover.If you want to go till the top of the falls then you need to spend atleast half a day here.
My ratings –
Fees – 300 B per adult and 20 B for two wheeler parking
Phra That caves
We were blindly following google maps and they lead us to a dead-end where there was a temple. There were no signs of Caves anywhere. The Map was instructing us to go further but there was no road! We asked the monk in the temple about the cave and showed him pictures of where we wanted to go, He asked u to follow him. We parked bike and followed him in narrow walking path for about 400 mtrs and came across a big board and also the entry point for the cave. Google had confused this narrow path for road and had lead us to this beautiful temple.
We reached the base of the cave at 3.45pm, the Park ranger told us its already closing time and that we cannot go to the cave now. He said we need atleast 45 min to climb up. After requesting them, telling all the stories that we came from India etc, he allowed us to go. By now it had become a race against time. There were around 1000 steps and had to hike about 1km. We were running out of water. We were not sure whether the cave ll be open when we reach the top. But wife wanted to do it at any cost. We literally started running and borrowed can of water from an Indian family who were getting down. Somehow we managed to reach the top in 20 mins. And by then it was just us and a guard there who was infact getting ready to leave.
We asked him if he can show us the cave. Thankfully he nodded his head in affirmative. He went to prepare his Kerosene lamp and we took a much needed break!!!
As we entered the cave, we were stunned by the natural formation of the limestone in various shapes. The paths inside the cave are all cemented and smooth, with the only difficulty being the initial squeeze to reach the very large caverns within. He showed us around the cave for about 30 min patiently. He didn’t hurry or complain about getting late even once. There was absolutely no light inside the cave except the light from his lamp.
We were so happy with our guide that we tipped him 50 B for showing us the cave. Remember we hadn’t had our lunch and it was already 4.35 in the evening. We had walked a lot, first in the Erawan falls and now, this climb. We didn’t have energy to go any further. We shared one bounty chocolate, which was not sufficient.Still there was some energy left to pose for some pics 😉
After reaching the base we saw one small shop having Lays,ice cream etc, along with a small kitchen where the lady in the shop prepared food. We literally begged her for some vegetarian food!! Seeing our condition she said in her broken English “Wait I have something for you” and asked us to wait. Meanwhile we had some juice and icecream. After 15 min she got us rice and fried vegetables. It tasted heavenly to us. After all, we had rice after full 2 days.
We decided to go visit another waterfall the next day as it was already 5.30pm and it would be closed by then and decided to head to our resort for the night.
My ratings –
Fees – 300 B per adult, if you already got ticket from Erawan falls then you can use the same ticket here.
Rayaburi Resort – Si Sawat
It was a 30km ride from the cave. This resort is on the shores of Sinakharin Lake. We had booked the lake view suite as all the floating suites were fully booked. We reached the resort by 6.30pm and after check in we got complimentary breakfast coupons and headed to our room. The room was amazing, overlooking the lake. We got freshened up and headed down for our dinner. This restaurant has good choice of food for vegetarians as well. But you have to explicitly tell them about no eggs for veg food also. After dinner we had a small walk, a quick call with inlaws and called it a day. We had travelled almost 300kms and were very tired coz of the amount of hiking and walking involved.