Situated in the Thai province of Nakhon Ratchasima, Khao Yai is one of the most versatile tourist destinations in the world as this location boasts of a wide range of tourist attractions that cater to various interests where it seamlessly blends modern and multicultural elements with idyllic landscapes and exciting safari trails. Whether one is travelling to Thailand with a group, as a family, or embarking on a solo adventure, Khao Yai offers a wealth of options to suit every preference.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Isada Saovaros, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Mumbai, highlighted that every visit to Khao Yai promises fresh discoveries, allowing you to continually uncover its many prominent and alluring features, including:
- Khao Yai National Park – Khao Yai National Park is one of Thailand’s largest and most abundant nature reserves, occupying over 2,000 sq. km of lush space. It is home to 800 plus species of mammals, birds, and reptiles, as well as more than 100,000 species of insects! A safari into this lush park will lead its wanderers to Thailand’s abundant flora and fauna, including some of the endangered species in the world[is1] , such as the Asian elephant, Asian Black Bear and Serow. Visitors also have access to activities like camping, trekking, night safari, birdwatching, and stargazing[is2] . Tourists can also take advantage of its protracted hiking and biking trails and check out its tall waterfalls including the Haew Narok and Haew Suwat, immortalised by Danny Boyle’s ‘The Beach’ which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.
2. Primo Piazza – Khao Yai also contains attractions that pay homage to various cultures, like Primo Piazza – A little Italian town that perfectly mirrors the charms of a rustic Tuscan village. A popular stopover for visitors, Primo Piazza is brimmed with elegant Italian architecture and countryside quirks, including farms that house animals like merino sheep, and alpacas. Tourists can interact with and feed these animals by visiting the barn. Apart from Italian buildings, shops and alleyways, this quaint little town is well-groomed with colourful flower beds and green meadows backed by the view of majestic mountains.
3. Wineries and night markets – The region is gifted with numerous wineries, due to Khao Yai’s rich soil and climate which is ideal for growing wine-quality grapes. PB Valley Khao Yai Winery is the largest vineyard in the area and is perfect for indulging in wine-tasting sessions and learning about the intricacies of winemaking. The winery grows red wine grapes like Shiraz, Tempranillo and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as white wine grapes like Chenin Blanc and Colombard, making it a hotspot for oenophiles. To cap the day off, head to Pak Chong Night Market, a small night market in Khao Yai that is lined with delicious street food and shops that sell local produce, clothes, and accessories at affordable prices.
4. Magnificent farms and floral gardens – Khao Yai provides a much-needed escape from the noise and commotion of cities and overcrowded tourist hotspots. To enjoy a countryside experience, visit the Farm Chokchai – Asia’s largest dairy farm. Farm Chokchai organises tours where the visitors can immerse themselves in rustic farm life. From activities like cow milking and animal feeding to riding a horse or exploring lush surroundings on ATV, the farm has plenty to offer. One can also savour ice cream and delicious steak made from the farm’s produce. When travelling between the months of early November to late January, one might witness sunflower fields in full bloom in Manee Sorn Sunflower Field (Rai Manee Sorn) which is just a few minutes away from the main road in Khao Yai. The mesmerising field of sunflowers spread across acres of land is a fantastic sight and draws meandering tourists off the road. The park also has a miniature market where visitors can buy sunflower seeds and enjoy food and drink.
5. Haven of recreation and relaxation – Beyond the thrilling escapades, the region boasts a multitude of attractions where visitors can unwind, rejuvenate, and partake in leisurely activities. For those seeking a touch of euphoria, Ban Tha Chang Spring provides an exquisite spot for a refreshing dip. Meanwhile, avid golf enthusiasts can indulge their passion on the expertly crafted Toscana Valley Golf Course. Khao Yai also presents a plethora of amusement parks and recreation facilities, with highlights such as the thrilling Khao Yai Speedway Speedkart, tailored to provide endless entertainment for the young and the young at heart. For couples seeking a romantic retreat, Khao Yai offers a selection of enchanting resorts. The four-star French country manor U Khao Yai and the European-castle-inspired Mövenpick Resort Khao Yai set the stage for an idyllic escape.
6. A profusion of unique themed restaurants and cafe – The region’s charm extends to its assortment of unique themed resorts and dining experiences. The enchanting ambience of The Witches Brew Restaurant Khao Yai, the Michelin-starred culinary excellence of Midwinter Green, the toothsome offerings of The Chocolate Factory Khao Yai, and the tranquil Waterside House campsite create a tapestry of culinary and aesthetic delights. Establishments like Ribs Mannn, Dairy Home Farm Shop and Priom Café, also offer distinctive flavours and ambience, contributing to Khao Yai’s vibrant dining experiences.