Friday, January 8, 2010

Now go through this cave ...

Kanchanaburi province, Thailand is along the well trodden tourist path which takes in the River Kwai railway as well as jungle surroundings. It's home to some of Thailand's more famous waterfalls such as Erawan and Sai Yok.

Off this west-east tourist path is located the national park of Chaloem Rattanakosin. Getting here means taking highway 3086 60 km north of Kanchanaburi town to Nong Prue and then going west for about 20 km along the 3480 which brings you to the national park entrance.

Though off the tourist path, locals are out in numbers in late December 2009. Just beyond the entrance is a large car park with restaurants, bungalows and camping facilities. On this day there is even a first aid tent with its complete (limited) stock of medicines on show.

Most tourists are all heading for the same waterfall, Tri Trong. To get here one needs to pass 300 m through a cave (Tham Lod Noi) as the stream on which the waterfall lies does the same. Lights are on during day. From the cave it's another 1 km to the waterfalls.

Tri Trong has three levels and the picture above is of the first level. The path here is beautiful, both the cave as well as the path following a stream along a deep valley which provides for radiant growth. Beyond the falls the path steepens and ends in a even larger cave (Tham Lod Yai).

Elsewhere in the national park are the waterfalls of Tran Ngern / Tran Thong and Slider.

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