Visitors to Erawan National Park often find themselves wondering what the waterfall would be like without the hordes. The answer is Namtok Huay Mae Khamin.
Despite access on a good sealed road just 45km northwest of Erawan, this stunning cerulean waterfall at the heart of the 1532-sq-km park is usually peaceful and private. While Erawan might win a straight-out beauty contest, when you add atmosphere to the equation, Huay Mae Khamin unquestionably comes out on top.
Like Erawan, Huay Mae Khamin has seven named falls (though others between them are just as large and beautiful) along its forested course and swimming is permitted. The trailhead is at level four where a boardwalk leads down to level one, arguably the most beautiful of them all. It's a 1100m return trip and, if time is limited, this is the better half. Upstream, a gravel path, 2350m return, passes levels five to seven, though a sinkhole has robbed level five of its water. Additional trails branch off this path, but they're unmarked and seldom used. Allow at least three hours for a leisurely visit to all seven levels.
In the rainy season (particularly September and October) it would be wise to call ahead or check with the tourist office in Kanchanaburi before driving out here because sometimes floods force trail closures.
There are good bungalows and a campground, both with lake views.
The waterfall is 110km from Kanchanaburi city. There's no public transport. Hiring a car from Kanchanaburi will cost at least 2000B for the day.