Explore Beyond The Usual Bangkok - Things to DO and EAT in Khao Yai!

3:33:00 PM Let's Nom-Nom! 0 Comments


Which destination usually comes into your mind when thinking about short holiday? I guess most of you will mention Bangkok! Talking about the shopping spree, food galore, massage, and so on - who doesn't like it?! But if you are bored with the same traffic jam, the hustle and bustle in the city - how about a short getaway outside of Bangkok?
If you prefer going to the seaside, Hua Hin has become quite fashionable as a weekend getaway spot, plus you can visit Santorini Park in Cha Am along the way (to see more of Santorini Park,click here)

Then, if you like the mountains, Khao Yai (means large mountain in Thai language), the hidden gem, is about 3 hours drive away from Bangkok. The most convenient way to go is to hire a car with the driver, so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. Please message me if you want to get the driver's contact, Khun Anan (His car is Camry).

Without further ado, here are things to do and visit in Khao Yai before they are packed with tourists:

1. Primo Piazza

Primo Piazza defines the tranquility of rural life where you can blend in with nature, enjoy the Italian architecture, and meet the pet farm. The entrance ticket is 100 bath for adult and 50 bath for children. 


See how cute the sheep is! Heard that the sheep and the alpacas are flown directly from Australia. 

In the afternoon, they are released from the barn to roam around - that means more photo session with these cuties!

Address: 861 Moo 6, Thanarat Road, Tambol Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130 (Website: http://www.primopiazza.com/)
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm daily


2. Palio Khao Yai

Palio is the one-of-a-kind shopping centre that bears the resemblance of Tuscan village. I guess the idea here is to bring the Italian charm to the green heart of Thailand. As you walk around, you can find independent shops and stalls selling clothes, gifts, snacks, as well as some cafes and small restaurants. 


I suggest you to come during the weekend as more shops will open and the ambiance is more lively. Also as you can tell, every corner here is so "insta-worthy"! So don your best attire, charge your camera, and get ready to take lots of photos to make your friends jealous ;D

Address: 146/1 Moo.4, Thanarath Road (km.17), Pakchong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130 
Opening Hours: 10am - 9pm daily


3. Thames Valley Khao Yai

Thames Valley is actually a conceptual hotel designed and decorated to reflect the comfortable style of an English country house. Here you will get to experience how it's like to stroll around the riverside as well as the charms of country pubs and traditional tea rooms. If you are not the hotel guests, please note that The Castle Restaurant and Tea Room is the only area open for public. 

Address: 999 Moo 4, Moosi, Pakchong,Nakorn Ratchasima 30130


4. PB Valley Khao Yai Winery
cr: PB Valley
PB Valley has been the largest vineyard in Khao Yai since 1989. They did everything in-house from the harvesting, crushing and pressing, fermentation, up to the aging and bottling. The red and white wine grapes grow only once a year while the fresh table grapes are growing all year round. I guess the best time to visit is during their harvest time, which is from end of January to the middle of March

PB Valley also has a professional guided tour as part of the project to promote Khao Yai wine region as the new tourist destination in Thailand (wine tasting is also included). The tour is conducted 5 times daily and advance bookings are strongly recommended. The rate is 300 bath for adult and 200 bath for children.

Address: 102/2 Moo5, Mitraparp Road Payayen Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30320, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 4.30pm daily


5. The Bloom
cr: Don Mueang Airport
The Bloom is the largest flower garden and filled with flowers all year round. I was told the best time to visit is between November and March (the so-called winter season) as the scenic flower field will look the most beautiful. 

Address: 357 Moo 5 Tambon Prayayen Amphur Pakchong, Khao Yai National Park, Khao Yai, Thailand 30320
Opening Hours: 7am - 8pm daily (entrance fee is 100 bath)


6. Farm Chockchai
cr: Don Mueang Airport 
Umm!..Milk is the exclusive brand of Farm Chockhai Group's premium dairy products. You might have seen this brand in Bangkok as they are available at almost every shopping malls. If you manage to visit, join their farm tour (advanced booking is advisable) and don't forget to try their fresh milk ice cream and other dairy products.

Address: Farm Office K.M. 159-160 Moo 2 Friendship HighwayPak Chong, Thailand


7. The Chocolate Factory
cr: The Chocolate Factory
This place is actually an Italian restaurant and chocolate shop where they also have chocolate making workshop every weekend. There is a large glass room in the restaurant where you can see the chocolate making machine as well as some chocolatier in action showing steps to create a piece of work.

If you manage to visit this place, don't forget to try their yummy cakes and plated desserts, bring some chocolates back, and drink some more hot chocolates!

Address: 352 Moo 2 Thanarat Rd. T. Musee Pakchong Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 9.30pm


Moving on to the other important part of a holiday: FOOD! Thinking about where to eat and what to eat? Fret not! I have this upcoming part for you, so just relax, grab some snacks and continue reading this post ;)

1. Krua Khao Yai

On top of serving home Thai cuisines, Krua Khao Yai also specializes in smoked pork dishes. Here you can taste the original Khao Yai smoke house where their smoked products still pass the same procedures from generation to generation. 

Their Signature Smoked Pork Spare Ribs (also best seller!) shall not be missed when you visit this place. Crispy on the outside but still tender and easy to cut the meat off the bone. The same goes with their Smoked Duck Breast Salad - tasty and tender meat, slightly crisp skin with fresh salad on the side. As for their thick-cut Smoked Pork Ham, unfortunately I found it too dry and tough for my liking.

Ps: The Chocolate Factory is just on the opposite side, so get your dessert stomach ready after the meat feast!

Address: 13.5th KM Thanarat Rd, 27 Moo. 7 Thanarat Rd, Moosee Pakchong Nakorn Ratchasima, Thailand 30130
Opening Hours: 9am - 8pm daily


2. Larn Lee Larh
cr: Don Mueang Airport
This retro vintage place will transfer you back in time with all their interior, wooden tables, as well as the colorful decorations. Quite famous as one of the tourist destinations, they serve traditional Thai food here. 

Address: 199/9 Moo. Thanarat (km 9), Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm Monday - Friday (closed on Tuesday) and 9am - 10pm on the weekend


3. Pen Laos
Started as a small shack, this popular place has now expanded to meet the needs of the crowds. Serving Isaan food, their famous dishes includes Som Tam Lao (papaya salad with fermented fish sauce), Grilled Chicken, Laap Muu (spicy minced pork salad), Pad Mee Korat (local styled fried noodle). Their location is quite close to Primo Piazza too, makes it as a lunch or dinner alternative.

Address: 7/1 Moo 10 Pansuek Anukul-Kudkla Rd., 30130, Tambonn Mu Si, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima
Opening Hours: 9.30am - 6pm Monday - Thursday and 9.30am - 8pm Friday - Sunday


4. Midwinter Green
cr: Amjangjie
*insert GOT song here* ♫♫♫
Align with other European-theme building around the area, this huge complex is actually a restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating, a picnic store, and an outdoor play area for kids. Built in the contemporary medieval style with that white-washed look on the outside, Midwinter Green gives you the subtle luxurious feeling as you walk around the area. Talking about food, they serve international food with good variety, but the price is on the steep side. 

Address: 88/88 Moo 10, Thanarach Road, Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong
Opening Hours: 10am - 11pm daily


5. Dairy Home
cr: Don Mueang Airport

Some of us may say it's so difficult to choose between cone and cup, but Dairy Home solves the issue by serving it only in a.. CUTE CUP! Simply purchase the ice cream coupon from the cashier (80 bath for 2 scoops), you can then choose your favorite cup and your favorite ice cream flavors! They will help you rinse the cup once you finish, so you can bring the cup back home nice and clean (for parents with kids, please note that the cup is breakable).

Address: 100/1 Moo 11, Mitraparp Road | Phayayen Subdistrict, Nakhon Ratchasima 30320, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm daily


6. Ban Mai Chay Nam
cr: Don Mueang Airport
Ban Mai Chay Nam is serving authentic Thai food and also well known as a tourist spot due to their unique retro decoration. You can choose to sit by the riverside or on the inside surrounded by the massive collections. Here you can find almost all of your favorite movies/cartoons/comics/games characters as big as a human or in the form of small miniatures. So, let's eat and play til you drop here!

Address: 21 Moo 11, Mittraphab Rd, Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm daily


7. Pak Chong Night Market
The market is set up every night starting from 5 pm along the north side of Mittraphap near the train station. Most of the stalls serve food for takeaway or munching while you stroll. Here you can find practically everything from Khao Man Gai (chicken rice), fruits, Thai sweets like Khanom Krok (coconut custard), Khanom Bueang (thai crepe), my favorite Kao Kreab Pak Moa (steamed rice pancake with pork and salty sweet peanut), all sorts of sausages and grilled meat, to the deep-fried bugs and larva.


8. The Birder's Lodge Cafe
cr: The Birder's Lodge
This cafe is located inside the open concept wooden huts that has been praised for its beautiful architecture. Situated just next to Primo Piazza, this place can be the spot to chill out in the afternoon.

Address: 282 Moo 10, Tumbol Musi Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8.30am - 6pm Monday - Thursday, 8.30am - 10pm Friday - Saturday


Thanks for reading and please don't hesitate to contact me or drop a comment if you want to ask more about Khao Yai =) Hopefully I can go back to Khao Yai soon in the future and update this list with more places to go!


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