I was so tired last night that I just couldn't make myself set the alarm. So this morning I was dead to the world until nine. So much for our early start to Erawan Falls. Plus I was still feeling so sleepy that I convinced Stacy that we should catch the 10:30 bus and let me sleep another hour. I even considered going tomorrow but that would have been pushing getting back to Bangkok and Stacy has an early morning flight out the next day so I got up.
As we left I realized that it's mostly sunny - by far the nicest day I've had in Thailand. At the bus station we must have just missed the bus because we had to wait an hour and it's supposed to run every 50 minutes. The bus was one of the local busses with absolutely no leg room but there weren't many people so it wasn't uncomfortable. The ride went up through the mountains - very pretty, sharp peaks and dense forest. The only problem was that I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. One bonus was that the bus now goes through the park entrance and actually dropped off at the start of the falls trail, the guide book said it would drop us off three kilometers away. This ended up being important as with sleeping in, waiting for the bus, and a four o'clock last bust we only have two and a half hours to hike.
Unfortunately I was surprised to find that the falls were absolutely packed with people at least they appear to be mostly local. It's a really accessible, pretty spot and it's obvious that nearby people take advantage of it. It reminded me a lot of the crowd you would find at Snoqualmie Falls on the first sunny weekend in awhile. Erawan Falls is actually a series of seven falls, or tiers, dropping a total of two thousand meters! Between each tier there are multiple swimming holes and lush little islands. Most of the falls are really just steep rapids, but the seventh step is a huge free fall. It is so perfect, the rocks are nice and rough - not slippery at all, the pools, the landscaping - at some point it was really difficult to believe the thing hadn't been built by Disney. We made it to the bottom of the seventh tier but there were still lots of people. The amount of time we had was perfect to make it to the final fall and back but it didn't give us any time to explore (we actually tuned around a little later than we'd planned, but we couldn't turn around when we were so close). So we rushed back to the bus and actually scored the last seat available - good thing because it was a very full bus - and it ran out of gas causing a thirty minute delay - at least we were sitting. Back in Kanchanaburi we weren't paying attention and missed the stop. The next one would have been the bus station - a good 40 minute hike - we had to go a couple extra kilometers but then the bus slowed down enough to jump off. Just as we were getting back to the guest house it started to rain - perfect timing!
I had a very much needed shower - it's amazing how much one sweats in near 10051328midity. We finished off the night having dinner and a few beers while listening to the rain, reading, and watching the fire flies.