Khao Yai hotels

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Questing Khao Yai

If you’re into all-inclusive resorts, bustling shopping streets and beachfront cocktails, what are you doing in Khao Yai? But if you’d much rather holiday without those things, this Thai region centred on Khao Yai National Park is a jungle paradise and an explorer’s dream. Far removed from any other tourism destination in Thailand, the only thing you’ll find familiar is English-speaking staff.

Start by really getting the lie of the land by hiking to the 1,351m (4,432ft) summit of Khao Rom. You can also try your hand at mountain biking, rafting or bird watching – although the latter seems a little dull when the park alone boats 250 elephants. Visit Jim Thompson Farm to see how the locals make their money and then settle in for some native Thai food on the Nam Kheo side of town. Basically, if you want adventure, you want Khao Yai!

Khao Yai's Top 10

10. Dan Kwian Pottery Village Come see how the locals do it and pick up some pressies (or ideas).

5. Namtok Heo Narok This three-tiered waterfall cascades down a whopping 200 metres (656 feet).

9. The Wine Trail We normally don’t advocate drinking and riding, but a mountain bike is the best way to get to the lesser-known wineries of the area.

4. Pak Thong Chai Silk Village See how the local ladies earn their baht at one of the most famous silk villages in Thailand.

8. Nakhon Ratchasima This is a great place to do some shopping for authentic silk.

3. GranMonte Local winemakers stamp their claim on the industry. Don’t miss the views from the upstairs rooms.

7. Khao Lak Chang Bat Cave Tuck your trousers into your socks and take a sunset hike to this popular spot.

2. PB Valley Khao Yai Winery This seems an unusual place to grow grapes, but a taste test suggests otherwise.

6. Ongkharak Plant Market This market is famous for its colourful plants and huge range of cut flowers.

1. Khao Yai National Park World Heritage-listed and Thailand’s oldest and most visited park.

Khao Yai History

  • Old Khorat City – An old city that dates back to the Dvaravati period with the only remains being the city wall.
  • Phrasat Hin Phimai Temple – The most important Khmer temple with buildings that date to the late 11th century.
  • Khao Chan Ngam Cave Paintings – The cave paintings in Khao Yai are more than 3,000 years old.
  • Prasat Hin Phanom Rung – A stone temple located on the edge of an extinct volcano built during the 10th century.
  • Wat Thammikarat – A working wat that contains a large brick hall in ruins and other ruins of a large Chedi.

Khao Yai Art & Culture

  • Jim Thompson’s Silk Farm – Learn all about how silk is made and take a guided tour of the silk farm in Khao Yai.
  • Phimai National Museum – Contains many artefacts and information about ancient Isaan.
  • Maha Wirawong National Museum – Located in the provincial hall, the exhibits are dedicated to Buddha states from the nearby areas.
  • Dan Kwian Pottery Village – A village where traders stopped and where pottery made from Moon River clay was produced.
  • Baan Hollanda – A museum that provides information about the original Dutch settlements in the nearby area.

Khao Yai Shopping

  • Ongkharak Plant Market – Browse through a range of ornamental plants and cut flowers.
  • Outlet Village – Before entering the national park, stop off at this outlet village right along the highway.
  • Art Floating Market – Arts and crafts are available for purchase in Khao Yai.
  • Pak Chong Market – The morning market offers vegetables, seafood and raw meat at low prices.
  • Chai Phrom Market – A market next to the Pasak River, stop here to pick up day-to-day items.

Gay & Lesbian Khao Yai

  • Hommeunlee Hill Resort – A gay-friendly resort located near the park in Pakchong.
  • Mtuhi Maya – Offering an escape from the city, this gay-friendly hotel has a forest pool villa.
  • Charlize Pub – A pub that has a live rock band and an always-packed dance floor in Khao Yai.
  • Sky Bar – Located at the Veravian Resort and perfect for stargazers.
  • Sala Bar – A hilltop bar that offers 360-degree panoramic views and an alfresco terrace.

Khao Yai Outdoor

  • Hew Narok Waterfall – Take a walk to the highest and largest waterfall in the area.
  • Nong Pak Chi – A nature trail that has excellent bird-watching spots.
  • Mo Sing To – A roadside reservoir where many animals come to drink in the early morning and late evening in Khao Yai.
  • Khao Yai National Park – Spend the day exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site that is made up of jungle and teeming with wildlife.
  • Khao Paeng Ma – Climb to the top of this mountain to view the wild gaurs.

Khao Yai Sport

  • Hike through the many trails found in this natural park in Khao Yai.
  • Canoe down the rivers in the park to view wildlife on guided tours from the Wild Lodge.
  • Play a round of golf amid the jungle and mountain scenery at Kiriyama Golf Resort.
  • Mountain bike through the Pakchong district to see the waterfalls and mountains.
  • Cool off by taking a swim at the base of the many waterfalls in the park, such as the Haew Sai or Haew Narok waterfalls.

Khao Yai Events

Winter Chill Live brings top musicians to the city in January. The chill refers to the vibe, not the Thailand temperatures.

The country’s biggest outdoor event is the Thailand International Balloon Festival,drawing crowds of between 150,000 and 300,000 gawking spectators.

Phimai Festival and Boat Races take place around late October, and have been doing so for over 1,000 years.

The Loy Krathong Festivities and Prasat Hin Phimai Festival invest Khao Yai with a hefty dose of national pride around October and November.

When To Go

  • Just like the rest of Thailand, there is a hot season, cold season and a wet season. The average temperature throughout the year is around 23°C (73ºF).
  • The hot season, between March and April, swelters. The days remain warm even in the cold season, but it can live up to its name at night.
  • The rainy season lasts from May to October. Beware the extreme humidity at this time.

Getting Around

  • A great way to get around is by renting a motorbike.You should be able to hire one for around 300 baht a day.
  • Car hire is another popular option, but take extra care if you’re not used to these often-crazy roads.
  • Walking is a great way to explore once you’ve settled in. You’ll stumble upon loads that you wouldn’t normally see.

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