Erawan National Park Kanchanaburi Province
- Erawan National Park comprises mountains, cliffs, waterfalls and extensive wildlife.
- Erawan is in west Central Thailand near the Myanmar Border in Mueang of Si Sawat and Sai Yok of Khanchanaburi. It is also very close to Sai Yok National Park so the two can be seen together.
- Erawan is famous for its waterfalls and hence is a very popular tourist location.
- Erawan comprises 550 square kilometers of the Tenasserim Hills which are made of limestone and granite. The Park is situated between two rivers, The Khwae [Kwai ] Yai River on its north east side and the Khwae Noi River on the south west side. The elevation rises between 165 meters to 995 meters. Thus there are valuable streams.
- Flowing to the east side Mong Lai Stream joins Omtala Stream to water the Erawan Waterfall. The Sadae Stream flows north east to the Srinakarin Dam.
- On the west side the Sai Yok Waterfall is fueled by the waters of the Nong Kop Stream and the Sai Yok River. There are numerous streams in the southern portion, the most significant being Khao Phang Stream which waters the Khao Phang Waterfall.
- The Erawan Falls consist of seven tiers dropping an aggregate 1,500 meters many being dispersed within the topography of the forest. The waterfalls cascade down numerous ledges and the limestone foundation making the water falls and pools of water azure blue. The falls are numerous and gentle.
- The vegetation is Mixed Deciduous Forest [ 80% of the Park ] with the usual species and Dry Evergreen Forest and Dry Dipterocarp Forest. Here the area is protected from much of the Eastern Monsoon and hence gets less rain.
The rainy season here is May to October with rain from the Southwest Monsoon and from the northeast.
There are five wildlife type habitats in Erawan National Park. Wild animals here include, Munjak, Wild Boar, Gibbon, Siamese Hare, Tiger, Elephant, Serow, Squirrel and Deer.
The Caves at Erawan National Park
- The limestone areas of the Park are riddled with caves. Some of these caves, such as Ta Duang Cave, have prehistoric rock paintings of earlier human occupation. Some of these Caves are open for inspection to view impressive stalagmites and stalactites. However in the wet season visitors should be careful about exploring down caves as flooding in Thailand caves is a common occurance and dwellers can be trapped. The main caves are,
- (1) Pratat cave is 12 kilometers from the Park headquarters. Strange shaped stalactites and stalagmites fascinate the eyes, and a huge rock garden with a stupa or eagle-shaped sandstone decorates the centre of the cave.
- (2) Wang Bahdan cave is a big limestone cave located 54 kilometers from the headquarters. Its narrow entrance widens into a large hall festooned with strange limestone formations.
- (3) Ta Duang cave where boulders have collapsed in front of the mouth of this cave and it is not now possible to enter.
- (4) Mee cave which is a large 5 roomed cave with many strange shaped rocks and striking stalactites and stalagmites.
- (5) Rua cave where the main feature of the cave is ancient boat-shape waterbowl carved out of a log. The head of the waterbowl has a nose, 2 eyes, and 2 ears, which help support it from falling. Sadly, the condition of this ancient artifact is deteriorating due to the bat droppings.