You can read this post in : French
The more the monsoon will be intense and sustained, the more the Erawan waterfalls will be beautiful ; in July they are often a “poor” show. October would be the ideal month to see a beautiful show, with overflowing torrents, strong enough to uproot trees.
On the 8th of July 2013, now, we just get steady rain but nothing like the really heavy rains of the second half of the rainy season, that unfortunately often floods parts of the country like Ayutthaya, Korat and even Bangkok.
Anyway, it’s better than winter, the dry season, usually from November to May, when the visitors have to make do with thin water streams called “waterfalls” by the guides !!!
We are now in the Erawan national park, back on the road, still in a local bus. From the park’s offices, we can hire either big bungalows or smaller chalets, with good equipment, for 800 bahts (20 euros) ideal for 2 to 4 people, this is great !! If i may say so, one should choose a place far from the road so to make the most of the night’s atmosphere and the surrounding forest.We find some decent restaurants near the car-park, So we’ve got it all !!!!
After a deep and peaceful night’s sleep, we start the day going on the waterfalls’s path, through a bamboo forest, these plants grow after deforestation, fires that have probably caused damage to this part of the forest.
Along the path we find a “friend”, very common in South-East Asia, it seats proudly on a leaf, a small cricket of a rather unusual shape.
In the forest of Erawan, that gets deeper while progressing trough it, a large tree trunk is adorned with colored ribbons (you can see/read more in some other posts of my blog). The Thais are very superstitious and have mixed feelings with Buddhist education and Animist beliefs which are persistent.
The trees are inhabited by spirits and it means that they must not come and disturb us, we shall offer them some colorful gifts so that they forget about us, a little … but , this could also make our wishes come true ?? !! It’s all about the meaning of these offerings to the holy trees called Banyans, the tree underneath which Buddha would have aroused. Cutting this tree would be taboo and a real danger because it would free the minds…. For instance, about Thais, spirits and superstitions around the choice of names and surnames, please, look and read the end of my post “Around Chiang Rai : what’s up Doc ? “
Anyway, the tree, looks really great !
While some were counting the ribbons, we climbed up to the 7th level of the falls, a good hour’s walk, maybe more …sometimes slippery, between tree trunks, damp moss and clay. There we are , the most beautiful spot and on higher level, n° 5 is magnificent.
In many Erawan’s pools, our little “friends”, the cleaner fishes, maybe a relative of “Garra Rufa“, come to eat our dead skins, bigger ones get on our legs. These fishes stay just on the border of the pools. Small ones come and “graze” feet and hands, it’s a strange feeling, because we can feel their tiny teeth, it’s alright for a few minutes, but when they come as a crowd, around 30 of them, it makes like an electric shock and it tickles. Most people don’t put their feet on the edges and go straight in the middle of the water point.
Similar fishes are used in spas and in street shops in all the big towns of Thailand, since they do not care much, some species do damage the skin. Is Erawan’s specy THE right one ???? I doubt it , because i did feel the bites ….
Kanchanaburi’s province is a must for lovers of tropical nature, Erawan waterfalls are easy to get to, but there is a lot of other places, and national parks in this aera, less visited and more authentic. One can easily plan a trip of 15 to 30 days in this unique province, the cheapest place in Thailand……………….