Why you should visit this whimsical Thai destination before it becomes too mainstream. Source: Shutterstock.
PLANNING on venturing into lands anew for something unusual and quirky to do? Thinking you may have already seen the best of Thailand?
Then you need to put the idyllic town of Khao Yai on your travel bucket list.
Located three hours’ drive away from Bangkok, the Unesco World Heritage-listed Khao Yao is spread across four provinces – Saraburi (west), Nakhon Nayok (east), Nakhon Ratchasima (north), Prachinburi (east) – and is one of Thailand’s best-kept secrets.
Whether you are a nature lover or a wine connoisseur you are bound to have the best time possible and a truly memorable stay.
Khao Yai is rich in natural resources because it is blessed with a lush, mountainous landscape offering endless greens, fertile valleys, and jungle-clad breathtaking waterfalls.
Your Instagram will thank you too as Khao Yai boasts the perfect postcard-worthy backdrops for your feed.
From the rows upon rows of pastel winter flowers at the sprawling The Bloom to Thailand’s very own The Shire that will be the envy of all your Lord of the Rings-loving friends.
If you are big on wine tasting, be sure to get on a farm and wine trail for an enjoyable excursion to a handful of vineyards in Khao Yai’s wine region.
Enjoy the scenic views of sunflower patches and rolling hills before kicking back and settling in at the vineyard with a cold glass of award-winning Pirom Khao Yai Reserve.
And if you think could not possibly be any more that Khao Yai will have to offer, wait till you see Palio Village, a cluster of stores themed around a Tuscan village.
Be transported to a mini Italy as you stroll along the quaint neighborhood’s Italian-themed streets dotted with an eclectic mix of cafes, fashion boutiques, souvenir shops, and bakeries.
Like all Thai destinations, food is also abundant in Khao Yai so when you are not busy soaking up the picturesque region, grab a meal at one of its many unique restaurants.
Savor the delectable Thai-French fusion cuisine at the stately Lookkai Khao Yai garden restaurant or visit the vintage Lan + Lee + Lar Restaurant for a traditional Thai food.
Khao Yai is also popular for its pretty cafes so be sure to put 22°C Cafe, Bunny Coffee, The Mew Cafe, 382 Space Coffee & Bakery, and The Witches Brew Restaurant on your cafe-hopping checklist.
Take a look at all the magic that Khao Yai has to offer:
Getting there: The easiest and fastest way to get there is by car and you will need a car to get around Khao Yai. You can rent one from just about anywhere in Bangkok or look up platforms like Klook or Kayak for deals.