WEEKEND travelers always look for places to visit and stay overnight. That means these places normally have to be in the range of 100-200 kilometers from Bangkok.
This time of the year, people usually go either to Pattaya, Hua Hin or Rayong to enjoy swimming in the sea especially in April when temperatures normally hover above 30 degrees Celsius.
But may we suggest going to Khao Yai this month when the temperature is still not too high and the number of weekend tourists has just subsided as the winter season just ended.
There are quite a number of attractions aside from Khao Yai National Park for tourists to enjoy. Nice hotels, good restaurants and coffee shops, museum to name but a few.
Where the park is concerned, Khao Yai National Park covers an area of 2,168 square kilometers in the Phanom Dong Rak mountain range and is comprised of mixed forests and rainforests with some wide plains and grasslands interspersed with verdant forests. There are many valuable plants, including commercial plants, scented plants and herbs. In addition, there are mountains with peaks ranging from 800 to 3,000 meters above sea level making Khao Yai a cool climate area, even in summer.
Activities in the park include butterfly and bird watching, animal watching and trekking. Among places of Interest in the park are a few waterfalls. Admission fee is 400 baht for an adult and 200 baht for a child and the fee of one car is 50 baht.
For those who are not interested in touring the park, it would be convenient traveling by car from Bangkok, after booking a hotel for a night online and there you go. Departing Bangkok in the morning on your way to Khao Yai, you can enjoy places like Banmaichinam restaurant for lunch. It is in Pakchong. Just turn left when you are about to approach Thanarat Road in Khao Yai and after that follow Google map. It is more than a restaurant as it is a museum of antiques and retro artifacts such life sized mannequins of Monroe and Batman. There must be thousands of items including traditional figurine toys sold at their shop. After strolling through the museum, you just enjoy the view dining next to the river. The menu is traditional Thai. Almost every dish is authentic and delicious.
Or you can just visit the museum and then go back to Khao Yai through Thanarat Road. On your way you are recommended to visit Palio Khao Yai. There are around 95 hotels near Palio for you to choose from, among them Thames Valley and Hotel Des Artists. Palio is a picturesque center, themed around a Tuscan village where visitors can enjoy shopping out-of-the-ordinary combination of clothes, gifts, live entertainment and a mix of independent shops and stalls. There is even MK restaurant with a very nice decoration there.
From Palio, you can then travel further to the end of Thanarat Road where you will see the entrance of Khao Yai National Park. Turning left, you will be on prime property location in Khao Yai on the road leading to Wang Nam Khiao.
Less than 10 km from there you will see Kirimaya Khao Yai Resort and Golf Club on the right and a bit further on the left you will see Krua Kampan, a recommended popular Thai food restaurant.
Driving a bit further passing Chatau de Khao Yai Hotel and Resort, you will see an entrance to the newly opened DusitD2, a hotel with a nice mountain view.
In the evening, there are quite a number of places to dine and we would like to recommend two restaurants on Thanarat Road, Ribs Mannn, well known for homemade BBQ and Lookkai if you want to try a steak. A dish we recommend is pork chop.
On your way back to Bangkok, you can visit agro–tourism spots like Farm Chokchai, Dairy Home and Suwan Farm or as we call it “Rai-Su-wan” to buy natural sweet corn to bring back home.
Top: Newly-opened DusitD2 is surrounded by Khao Yai’s verdant hills.
Inset: Lookkai restaurant in Khao Yao is famous for its steaks.
Below: An outdoor photo shoot of a model dressed up as a bride at Palio Khao Yai.
By Kowit Sanandang