Nestled among endless rolling mountains, this eastern region of Thailand sits just a three-hour drive away from Bangkok’s hubbub and remains as raw as Thailand can get. Now, you may be wondering if you really need to have a Khao Yai itinerary, or can you just wing it when you get there. Well, while it’s pretty simple to get from Bangkok to Khao Yai, you should still have a game plan so you can pack as much in your Khao Yai tour. That said, this Khao Yai itinerary is your blueprint for a great time!
Aside from its national park, the rest of Khao Yai remains pretty uncharted to foreign tourism, and it’s a favorite weekend getaway spot for Thais. At Darling Escapes, we’re devotees of the idea that the best places to travel to are the destinations locals frequent, and Khao Yai is exactly that!
Offering the finest things in life with a dose of unraveled adventure, here’s why you should add Khao Yai to your Thailand bucket list.
WHERE TO STAY IN KHAO YAI:
A medieval-looking castle isn’t the kind of landmark you’d expect to encounter while in Thailand, but both My Ozone Khao Yai and Chateau de Khao Yai Hotel might just change your mind. Surrounded by sweeping hillsides, these whimsical castle-like resorts boast splendorous rooms and gigantic pools that are just as majestic as the countryside that backdrops them.
If you’re a flower-enthusiast, you might also want to check out The Bloom Hotel. This charmer oozes with flair and state-of-the-art luxury surrounded by endless flower fields.
Up for an Italian escapade? Head over to Villa Italian, an old mansion surrounded by a picture-perfect flowery landscape.
For those who like the simpler things in life, Casa De Montaña is made up of well-equipped camper vans to give you all the road-trip feels.
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A Khao Yai Itinerary For Those Adventurous Souls
Even though Khao Yai is only a 3-hour drive away from Bangkok, it couldn’t be any different. There are times where you’ll feel like you’re transported to a completely different country or part of the world.
We recommend giving Khao Yai at least 3 days so you can experience what you want to see without rushing since a few of these locations are a bit of a drive.
There are so so many things to do in Khoi Yai, so instead of breaking your time down by the hour, we’ve gone ahead and grouped this Khao Yai itinerary by sharing some of the more interesting things that we loved.
FOR THE NATURE LOVERS: See Elephants in the Wild and Chase Waterfalls at Khao Yai National Park (1-2 days)
On safaring your way through your Khao Yai tour, you’ll get glimpses of wild elephants in their natural abodes, awe at gibbons jumping from one tree to the other like it’s nothing, chase gigantic waterfalls, and try your luck at spotting some of the coolest wildlife southeast Asia has breathing from its verdant jungles. And if you’re a fan of wildlife, then we recommend starting off getting to see these lovely creatures in their natural habitat and finding wonder with majestic waterfalls.
While you can venture out yourself, we recommend getting a guided tour, and opting for a Khao Yai tour that includes a night safari. For those who are a little braver, you can rent a car to drive you or you can do a single day tour and hire a car for the day.
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Bike Your Way Through Vineyards
What better way to unwind after a few days of living it up in the jungle than biking through lush rolling hills chasing vineyards? Unknowingly to most, the Khao Yai region is a wine lover’s haven. Thailand has a growing wine scene and Khao Yai is the go-to place to witness the country’s newly found love affair with fermented grapes.
There are two set trails that can be completed in two days, each of which will take you to exactly where you want to be: Gran Monte and Khao Yai Wineries, two places where you can rest your legs while sampling some of Southeast Asia’s finest wine.
Roam Through Flower gardens
Speaking of biking trails, the Khao Yai region is filled with strawberry and sunflower fields that will make you feel as though you’re in some Alice in Wonderland realm rather than Thailand.
While you’re at it, make sure to stop by at Chokchai Farm to get a hands-on taste of Khao Yai’s ranch scene. If you want to linger a while here, you can spend the night in their boutique tents. Grab a steak at their restaurant, catch a pretty weird and wonderful cowboy show, and get to take part in a farm’s daily activities – have you ever milked a cow or made ice-cream from scratch? Now is your chance to do so!
Live in a Fairytale
Khao Yai boasts an almost inordinate amount of themed cafés and hotels that it would be impossible to visit them all in one go.
Whether playing Alice in Wonderland at Pete’s Maze, a huge labyrinth sitting in the backyard of a quaint outdoor coffee shop or finding Neverland at Ban Mai Chay Nam, a super quirky museum and restaurant where you’ll forget all your adulting woes, Khao Yai will make you feel as though you’ve landed inside the pages of a storybook.
Travel Back in Time To The Prehistoric Era
Sitting in the backyard of a monastery lies Tham Khao Chan Ngam, a cave that consists of interesting rock formations that you don’t want to miss the chance of seeing. The main sight here, however, lies on its walls, which are decorated with prehistoric paintings as old as 3000 years!
Not your typical Thailand activity, but worth a visit, nonetheless! These caves are an interesting place to see, because exploring prehistoric wall art is not the first (or the 10th, either) activity that comes to mind when you think of a typical Thailand itinerary.
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