Thailand is often regarded as the best place to visit for its pristine beaches and endless shopping, but did you know that just outside of Bangkok is an incredible wonderland waiting to be discovered?
Welcome to Khao Yai – possibly Thailand's best-kept secret with its picturesque landscapes and amazing wildlife! In case you need more convincing, here are 8 reasons why this magical place will blow you away!
1. Charming European-themed villages
Saving up for the ultimate Europe tour doesn't mean you need to put all other travel plans on hold. In fact, you can experience the charm of quaint European villages right here in Khao Yai!
Here at Palio Village, you will be transported to the Tuscan countryside in Italy!
Credit: Triumph Star Travels on Facebook
There’s also quirky cafes and of course, lots of photo opportunities.
Credit: MIA Travel on FacebookOpening hours
: Weekdays 9am-7pm, Weekend 8.30am-8pm
Just ten minutes away from Palio Village is Primo Piazza, where you can soak in the Italian vibes for a while more ?
Credit: @ronak_3012on Instagram
Fall in love with the charming 'houses' painted in warm golden tones as you pace across the cobblestone square styled after typical Italian neighbourhoods!
Credit: @tragteu on Instagram
Hang out with your buddies for a chat at the balcony to admire the view from above!
Credit: @ivanukh on InstagramCredit: @yoyoohsimon on InstagramOpening hours
: Daily from 9am-6pm
If you want to experience the serenity and beautiful landscape on English countryside, the Thames Valley has it all.
Credit: @mayntn on Instagram
It offers a beautiful charm of a southern English village, complete with neat, landscaped gardens, riverside walks and even bridges!
Credit: @pitta_patitta on Instagram
2. Meet (and feed!) fluffy animals
The barn at Primo Piazza
At Primo Piazza, you have a chance to meet fluffy barn animals from alpacas to merino sheep ?
Credit: @nookiitty on Instagram
Animal lovers, this is an activity you won't want to miss to complete your European experience ?
Credit: attaantr on Instagram
This is really how fluffy the wool on merino sheep can be!
Credit: @mrymdw on Instagram
3. Step into a Hobbit's house
Lord of the Rings fans behold – now you don’t need to travel all the way to New Zealand just to get a feel of the Hobbiton! Khao Yai has its own Hobbit House, known as Baan Suan Noi, with everything set up to resemble Bilbo’s house in Hobbiton.
Credit: @janeamarin on Instagram
It has rooms decorated with props that you can see in the epic movie, and even a chance for you to dress up and become a fellow fantasy character yourself.
4. Stay at one-of-a-kind places
Here are some examples of the fun and quirky places to check in at Khao Yai:
Panther Creek Resort
The cowboy in you will surely scream Yeehaw once you arrive at this Western-inspired resort.
Credit: tiutiuk2 on Instagram
Everything resembles a cowboy town, complete with a resurrection of Western battles, railways, trains and teepees.
Credit: @petchupaige on InstagramAddress
: 123 Moo 15 Thanarat Road, Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Casa de Montana
Ever wanted to go on a roadtrip with a campervan, but don't want to rough it out? Stay at Casa de Montana instead!
Credit: Zzprissy Girlzz on Facebook
The best part of checking into these chic, stationary campervans is that - you never have to go without your creature comforts!
Credit: Supinya Chanthasing on Facebook
Every campervan is equipped with a double bed, couch, TV and a tiny pantry.
Credit: Noowa Muanard on Facebook
As the evening skies fill up with dazzling stars, cuddle up at the communal campfire with your travel buddies and new friends for some storytelling and campfire songs! ?
Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Lala Mukha Tented ResortCredit: @LalaMukhaKhaoYai on Instagram
Ever heard of the word glamping? Yes, you can do it here. Check in to a posh tent and you get your glamping experience checked off your list.
Credit: @lalamukhakhaoyai on InstagramAddress
: Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
5. Stunning natural scenery
Khao Yai is blessed with a UNESCO World Heritage national park which means there are lots of nature activities waiting for adventure junkies.
Credit: brubear on Instagram
Enveloped in lush greenery and vast biodiversity, exploring the natural wonders of Khao Yai will definitely be an experience to treasure:
Haew Narok Waterfall
The most popular and gorgeous waterfall, with three drop levels of over 150m in height, is Haew Narok.
Credit: vin_nies on Instagram
Haew Suwat WaterfallCredit: Tapanuth Photography on Facebook
Haew Suwat is a beautiful waterfall with an ethereal cave made popular by the movie, The Beach.
Credit: Attapon Yoskai on Facebook
6. Incredible wildlife interactions
One way of exploring the natural scenery in Khao Yai, and encounter the diverse wildlife it contains is to go on a hike!
Credit: Mirasierra Khaoyai on Facebook
There are plenty of hiking trails in the park, depending on how far or how near you’d want to go. It is advisable to hire a guide for the longer routes though, so be smart and plan ahead.
There is a park-organized night safari available with a guide if you would love a close encounter with nocturnal park residents.
Credit: VRgo Travel-Thailand on Facebook
7. Gorgeous flower gardens
Make sure you have a lot of storage space in your cameras when you travel to Khao Yai, because there are a lot of places you can visit to enjoy a photo opportunity while basking in a whimsical and country vibe.
This gorgeous flower farm is home to over 30 species of flowers spanned in an area of 100 acres.
Credit: cathrine2617 on Instagram
It’s easy to fall in love with this place. Flowers always brighten up anyone’s day!
Credits: iroseapple on Instagram Opening hours:
Weekdays 7AM-7PM, Weekends 7AM-10PM
If you are in Khao Yai around November to January, don’t miss out the opportunity to view this amazing field of sunny yellow sunflowers.
Credit:Yeoh Keat Yuen on Facebook
You won't believe how tall these sunflowers can grow!
8. Go for multiple rides at the theme park!
Scenical World Khao YaiCredit: TravelHolic ชีวิตติดเที่ยว on Facebook
While this theme park is rather quiet compared to many others, it just means you almost never have to queue for the rides!
This article could go on and on if it's up to me, but I'll leave it to you to explore Khao Yai yourself. So, pack your bags and start your adventure in Khao Yai!