Waterfalls in Kanchanaburi

Kanchanaburi round 2…there are not too many places we have made an effort to revisit while in Asia. Our goal has been to see and do as much as we can, but we made an exception for Kanchanaburi.  As I mentioned in my last post about this charming town (you can read it here) RG and I vowed to make a trip back and see more of what it has to offer.

This time we had a better idea of where to stay and what we wanted to see. We found a relatively new hotel, The Good Times Resort, right on the river in the center of town. It was perfect…the staff spoke English, everyone was friendly and the rooms were modern and comfortable. This sounds pretty standard for a hotel, but you would be surprised how difficult it is to find this in SE Asia. While we thoroughly enjoyed Sabai@kan the last time we visited it was a little further away from the restaurant and nightlife scene than we wanted.

Erawan National Park
Erawan National Park

We decided to sign up for a structured tour to see the nature and history of Kanchanaburi. The first stop was Erawan National Park, about an hour outside of Kanchanaburi. Here we were on our own to explore and given a meeting time three hours later. We spent our time hiking, swimming under waterfalls and using rocks as water slides. The hike itself is probably about an hour to the top and along the way you pass at least seven falls where you can wade, swim and slide in the clear cool blue water. It is beyond gorgeous and so refreshing in the 90+ degree heat. We could have stayed here all day and wish we had. In hindsight we should have rented a taxi and spent the day at Erawan, but you live and learn.

The rest of the day was quite a bore. After the morning at the falls we had a light traditional Thai lunch and then headed to a river for bamboo rafting. The idea of bamboo rafting is so much better than actually doing it. A motor boat pulls the raft upstream for about ten minutes and then you sail down…in total it takes about fifteen minutes and compared to the nature hike the views along this river are nothing special. It was a bit disappointing to say the least.

Bamboo rafting...
Bamboo rafting…
From here we were scheduled for an elephant trek. I know I had said last time (here) I would never ride another elephant but I have heard so many positive stories lately that I thought I would give it another try. What a mistake! This was worst than in Koh Lanta…I will not go into details but these poor animals were definitely mistreated and it was very painful to watch.
Baby elephant
Baby elephant
Onto the last stop…the famous “death railway” that was built by the hands of Japanese POWs during WWII. This was pretty interesting but since we had already seen the bridge and toured the museum it was an anticlimactic end to the day.

Overall we did enjoy ourselves…especially sliding down the rock slides…and met a pair of young Englishmen who we made friends with and ended up hanging out with in Bangkok over the next few days. So I would say it was a success. For any of you heading to Kanchanaburi I would highly recommend a visit to the Bridge over River Kwai and the WWII Museum on your own one morning or afternoon and spend a full day at Erawan National Park. Skip the organized tours and hire a taxi…I promise you won’t regret it!

On our hike before I dove in
On our hike before I dove in

Erawan National park

One of the pools we swam in
One of the pools we swam in

Kanchanaburi waterfalls

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