Next time you’re due for a 3 hour getaway in Thailand, why not explore this whimsical city of Khao Yai just 3 hours north of Bangkok?
Flying in to Bangkok but looking for brand new experiences? Khao Yai may just be the perfect vacation you’re looking for. From whimsical accommodation options to cafes that look more like museums and sprawling lands where animals roam and flowers grow, there’s sure to be something to love for every member of the family.
Getting Around in Khao Yai
The only problem is, there’s no public transportation in Khao Yai (not even taxis, Grab or Uber) and the places of attraction are pretty spread out. The best way to getting around would be to rent a car or one with a driver! We got a pre-booked a private tour through Klook which allowed us to plan exactly what we wanted to do in Khao Yai.
If you’re looking to create your own itinerary for Khao Yai, we’ve pulled together an extensive list of 25 fun highlights you can find in this picturesque city. Our pro-tip to planning would be to pick about 4-5 places of interest for each day (including food stops) and plotting them on the map to decide which days to do what.
If you’d prefer something more put together, check out our 4D3N Khao Yai Itinerary. We covered about half of this list but feel free to use it as a base and swap out items to fit interesting experiences from this list instead.
Things to do in Khao Yai
1) Primo Piazza: Feed Sheep and Alpacas in Italy
If you can’t go to Italy, let Khao Yai bring Italy to you in this Italian themed square. Primo Piazza even has its very own farm where you can exchange your entrance ticket for a handful of animal feed. This will most definitely up your animal-whisperer abilities tenfold as the merino sheep, donkeys and even resident alpacas start trotting to the front of the fence.
Entrance Fee: ฿200
Address: 200/2 Moo10, Tambon Musi, Pakchong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 6AM – 6PM (Everyday; hours might differ on Public Holidays)
2) PB Wine Valley: Go wine tasting in Khao Yai’s own vineyard
Vineyards — check, cool weather — check… wait this is still Thailand we’re talking about? Thanks to the higher elevation and drop in temperature during the winter season from Nov – Feb, wine grapes like Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chenin Blanc are able to grow in Khao Yai’s biggest vineyard — PB Wine Valley.
The 1000-acre vineyard runs 4-5 tours daily (9AM, 10:30AM, 12PM, 1:30PM and 3:30PM) going through the huge vineyards for photo taking opportunities, wine factory visits and of course, some wine to taste at the end. Call to pre-book the tours as they get filled up quite quickly.
Cost: ฿320 for a 75 minute tour around the winery (Includes 3 wine tasters)*
Address: 102 Moo 5, Phaya Yen, Pak Chong Nakorn Ratchasima 30320
Opening Hours: 8AM – 4:30PM
*Non alcoholic consumers can request for a full glass of 100% Shiraz Grape Juice.
Contact: Pre-book the wine tours by sending an email to [email protected] or calling them at (+66) 08 1733 8783
3) Jim Thompson Farm: Feast your eyes on never ending flower fields
The Jim Thompson Farm is a little out of the way (2 hours from Khao Yai National Park) but if you love flower fields, this farm is sure to impress. Unfortunately, it’s only open between November – February so be sure to take up the opportunity if you’re in Khao Yai during this period.
From giant pumpkins to giant sunflowers, you can’t help feeling like you’re in some kind of wonderland while exploring these grounds.
Entrance Fee: ฿180 (Includes a ride around the farm)
Address: 2072, Tambon Takhop, Amphoe Pak Thong Chai, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30150, Thailand
Opening Hours: 8AM – 5PM (Closed on Sunday, only open from Nov – Jan)
4) Palio: Shop in an Italian Piazza
Another Italian inspired market square with cobbled streets, accordion music playing in the speakers and sounds of the fountain splattering, here’s where you can get some shopping done. Find old school toy shops, dainty dresses and accessories.
Entrance Fee: Free
Address: 146/1 ม.4 Palio Khaoyai, ถ.ธนะรัชต์ กม.17, Tambon Mu Si, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 9AM – 7PM (Sun – Thurs); 8:30AM – 8PM (Fri & Sat)
5) Hike at Khao Yai National Park
You can’t visit Khao Yai without stepping foot in its very own UNESCO World Heritage site! Spanning across 2000 square kilometres, you can take on hiking trails ranging from 1 hour to 5 hours. Come chase waterfalls, go bird watching or even spot wild elephants if you’re lucky!
Khao Yai National Park is home to 2 gorgeous waterfalls, Haew Narok and Haew Suwat which can be accessed conveniently by car. If you booked a Custom Tour from Klook, ask to be dropped off at the various car parks where it’s an easy 30 minute trek to each point of interest.
Entrance Fee: ฿400 + ฿50 for the car
Opening Hours: 8AM – 6PM
6) Khao Yai National Park: Spot wild animals on a night Safari tour
If you didn’t get to catch the animals in the day, you could give it another go when the sun goes down. For ฿500 (per vehicle), you get to be driven through some of the inner forests of the park via the National Park’s Night Safari Tour. Possibly spot wild elephants, barking deers, naughty gibbons and adorable otters crossing the roads.
Cost: ฿500/vehicle for up to 10 Pax
Booking slots: 7PM & 8PM
*Pre-book your tour at the National Park’s Visitor Centre
7) Take a refreshing dip in Ban Tha Chang Spring water
If you’re here on a hot day, here’s where the locals go to escape the heat! Go swimming in clear, light-blue spring water or pick a shaded spot under the trees for an afternoon picnic. There’s also food stores nearby where you can grab a plate of som tam (papaya salad), grilled chicken or cold drinks.
Entrance Fee: None
Address: Tambon Mu Si, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
8) Catch a Rodeo Show at Farm Chokchai
This 250-acre farm has a huge variety of things to do — both kids and adults will love. There are scheduled tours which last for around 2.5 hours and brings you through the farm’s processes. Get entertained by a rodeo show or rev up the ATV bikes or even learn how to make ice cream using Farm Chokchai’s very own milk brand Umm!…Milk.
Cost: ฿300 for 2.5 hour Farm Tour
Address: 169 หมู่ 2, ถนนมิตรภาพ, ตำบลหนองน้ำแดง อำเภอปากช่อง จังหวัดนครราชสีมา, 30130 Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30320, Thailand
Farm Tours: 10AM & 2PM (Tues – Fri); Every 20 minutes from 10AM – 2:40PM (Sat – Sun) Open on Monday only if it’s a public holiday
Contact: Tours need to be pre-booked by calling (+66) 08 9949 4631
9) Scream your lungs out at Scenical World Amusement Park
Looking for a dose of adrenaline? Then it might be worth slotting this one into your itinerary! Scenical World is made out of 3 themed zones: 1) Excite — which has roller coasters, mega swings, ATV rides and Flying fox; 2) Splash — which is a water park with 11 exciting slides as well as the mandatory wave pool and lazy river; 3) Kids Zone — classics like tea cup spinners and carousel rides. Something for everyone in the family.
Entrance Free: ฿200 (A separate ticket is required for the Various Zones)
– Excite Zone: ฿1,250
– Splash Zone: ฿890
Address: 777 Moo 5 Thanarat Road, Moo See, Pakchong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Opening Hours: 10AM – 6PM
10) GranMonte Vineyard: Wine Tasting at a Family Run Vineyard
A lesser known family run vineyard in Khao Yai (just 5 minutes from PB Wine Valley) is the GranMonte Vineyard; which means Big Mountain in french and is what surrounds the vineyards. While it might not be as big as PB Wine Valley’s, it still boasts a land area of 40 acres and makes 80,000 and 90,000 bottles of wine a year! If slots for PB Wine Valley run out of space, this is a good alternative!
Weekday tours run at 10AM, 11AM, 1:30PM, 3PM, and an extra session at 4:30PM during the weekends. Make sure to pre-book your tour by calling (+66) 92-806-7755 or drop them an email at [email protected].
Apart from wines, you can also find fruit jams, olive dips and pasta sauce, locally produced at GranMonte.
Entrance Fee: ฿330 (includes wine tasting or a bottle of 100% grape juice)
Address: 52 Moo 9 Phayayen, Pakchong, Nakornrachasima, Thailand 30320
Opening Hours: 8AM – 8PM (Everyday)
11) Saraburi Sunflower Field
This one’s a little out of the way on the north western side of Khao Yai National Park but the entrance fee is super affordable and has a pretty impressive land field with nothing but sunflowers! These weren’t as tall as the ones found in Jim Thompson Farm (possibly because it was November) allows you to walk in to various photo spots. There are stalls outside the entrance selling sunflower seeds and other snacks as well as a small kid (baby goat) farm where you can feed one for ฿40.
Entrance Fee: ฿20
Address: 553/1 Pichai Campaign Pak Pak Amphoe Mueang Saraburi Saraburi 18000
Opening Hours: 6AM – 6PM (Only open between Nov – Jan)
12) Get Lost at Pete’s Maze
Located just 5 minutes from The Chocolate Factory, this is a fun stop to make if you’re headed for the Khao Yai Bonanza Exotic Zoo. Spend some time finding your way out before settling at the cafe for a refreshment before hitting the roads again.
Entrance Fee: ฿150
Address: Khanong Phra, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 9AM – 6PM (Closed on Mondays and Fridays)
13) Secret Art Garden
What used to be an open corn field, Secret Art Garden is now a cafe and art house surrounded by lots of big trees and a garden with colourful flowers.
You can sign up for art classes such as folk art painting, clay doll painting or just relax at one of the cafes or restaurants while enjoying the surroundings.
Address: 99 Moo 9, Klangdong Pakchong Nakorn Ratchsima, 30320
Opening Hours: 8AM – 5PM (Closed on Wednesdays)
14) Flora Park
Apart from Jim Thompson Farm, the other famous floral garden is the Flora Park at Wang Nam Khiao. It’s about 1 hour away from the Khao Yai National Park’s north entrance but if you love flowers, this is the place to be. Split into 8 different zones, you can hop on the shuttle bus to explore the 400 over varieties of plants.
Entrance Fee: ฿150
Address: 111 Moo 7, Tambon Wang Nam Kiew. District green Nakhon Ratchasima 30370
Opening Hours: 8AM – 6PM (Daily)
Where to eat in Khao Yai
15) Yellow Submarine Coffee Tank: Photographer’s favourite cafe
Located just 2 minutes from Primo Piazza, this is a photographer’s favourite cafe for its interesting architecture and clean, minimal design.
On the menu, popular items to try are the Hokkaido Coffee (฿140) and Charcoal Honey Toast (฿185) which comes with a delicious scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Address: Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 9AM – 7PM (Closed on Tuesdays & Public Holidays)*
*Might be closed on weekdays during the low season
16) Have Brunch at the Chocolate Factory
The Chocolate Factory isn’t so much a full factory although there’s a small glass section where you can see the machines melting and shaping chocolate into various tarts and cookies. On the same floor, there’re also shelves of pastries you can buy home as gifts for friends and family.
On the second floor, is where the restaurant and the cafe sits. The restaurant serves decent European, Thai and fusion fares while the cafe has cakes and desserts that are sure to satisfy your chocolate cravings.
Cost: Mains starting from ฿180
Address: 352 Moo 2 Thanarat Rd. T. Musee Pakchong Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Opening Hours: 9:30AM – 9PM
17) Experience Fine Dining in a Castle at Midwinter Green
Up for some alfresco fine dining? This place is almost mandatory to dine at when you’re in Khao Yai. Enjoy the sunset from the outside or enjoy the posh decor on the inside. Food is a little pricier than most of the other places but worth the price considering the food and setting. Try the pork ribs with BBQ sauce (฿490) as well as the Aglio Olio (฿295), a must-try if you love spicy food! Live music starts from 6:30pm.
Address: 10 88/88 Soi Ban Sai Thong Mu 24 Soi 2, Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10AM – 10PM
18) Walk Down Memory Lane At The Magical Ban Mai Chay Nam Restaurant
More than a restaurant, this quaint eatery by the river looks like a 90’s kid’s dream. With old school pin ball machines, toys and superhero statues spaced out through Ban Mai Chay Nam, you’ll probably be too distracted with the surroundings to notice the food.
But when you do manage to peel your eyes off the whimsical decor, the food actually tastes pretty good too! Enjoy affordable thai cuisine while taking in the surrounding.
Cost: Dishes start from ฿60
Address: 21, Mittaphap Road, Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10AM – 10PM Everyday
19) Have Homely Thai Food at Kua Kampan
Another popular spot for local Thai food is Kua Kampan. Located just 10 minutes from Primo Piazza and Palio, this cosy open air restaurant serves a mean dish of Fried Ruby Fish (good for 4 pax) and Som Tam (papaya salad).
Address: 94-94 / 1 Moo 6, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Opening Hours: 9AM – 9PM (Daily)
20) Have High Tea At Thames Valley
Inspired by the river Thames in London, Thames Valley is a popular rustic, English-styled accommodation that comes with an equally popular restaurant. The garden is only accessible by guests but if you’re here to dine or have high tea, opt for outdoor seats where you can get a pretty good vantage point of the gorgeous surroundings.
Address: 999 Moo 4, Moosi, Pakchong, Nakorn Ratchasima 30130
21) Witches Brew Restaurant
Located next to Palio — the Italian themed marketsquare — this witch themed restaurant is a great spot for dinner once you’re done with your shopping. Head over for western as well as local thai food and pair it up with an ice cold beer.
Cost: Mains from ฿180
Address: 379/10 Veneto Piazza Thanarad Road, Moosi, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 11AM to 9PM (Closed on Tuesday)
22) Indulge in Local Street Food at Pak Chong Night Market
Night markets are a quintessential experience in Thailand and here’s where the locals hang out post dinner. Come for the standard favourites like Mango sticky rice (฿60), meat skewers (฿35), chicken wings (฿6) as well as flavoured fries (฿39), instant noodle salad (฿60) and fresh cut fruits like papaya (฿20).
You’ll also find trendy clothes that are cheaper than the same piece in Bangkok!
Address: 2422 Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Opening Hours: 5PM – 9:30PM
In Khao Yai, a lot of the accommodation themselves are experiences on their own and don’t serve only as an accommodation. Even if you’re not staying the night, some of these are even worth checking out in the day.
23) Baan Suan Noi: Dress up in Hobbit Houses
Lord Of The Ring fans will love taking a trip here even if you’re not staying the night. Not only are the rooms adorably themed, there’s also an entire room filled with costumes (LOTR, Harry Potter, Snow White etc.). Pick an outfit and have a mini photoshoot around Baan Suan Noi. It’s a little further from most of the other attractions in Khao Yai (about 40 minutes from Farm Chokchai) but worth the trip!
Cost: ฿50 (Entrance Only); ฿100 (Entrance + Costume Rental); From ฿800/night for 2 pax
Address: Lat Bua Khao, Sikhio District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30340, Thailand
24) Lala Mukha Tented Resort: The Ultimate Glamping Experience
If you love glamping, Lala Mukha will probably be one of the greatest highlights of your trip here in Khao Yai. Surrounded by mountains, you can choose from 3 cosy accommodation options: A Tree House Loft, The Deluxe Savana Tent and the Eco Safari Tent. The first two comes with attached bathroom while the last doesn’t. But even with the lack of a personal bathroom, we can assure you’ll enjoy the experience all the same.
Cost: ฿3750 for the Eco Safari Tent; fits 3pax (High season price)
Address: 515 Moo 5 Musi Pakchong Nakhonratchasima, Tambon Mu Si, Amphoe Pak Chong, Chang Wat Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
25) Casa De Montaña: The Caravan Experience
Unfortunately, these caravans don’t go anywhere but fortunately, they’re every bit as cosy as they look in pictures. There are only 5 caravans at Casa De Montaña so do book early as they get snagged up really quick! Each caravan comes with a double bed, a kitchen area and are fully air-conditioned.
Cost: ฿3,300 (fits 2pax)
Address: Casa de montana, Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Fuss-free Khao Yai Essential
These sights can be pretty far apart and aren’t accessible without a car. If you’re not planning to drive on your own, be sure to pre-book a private tour beforehand! On Klook, you can book a driver for 1 – 5 days who will drive you from Bangkok to Khao Yai and back to Bangkok again. Having this option truly made our trip a breeze.
If it’s your first time purchasing on Klook, use promo code <TTIKLOOK> for S$5 off!
For more trip inspiration, hop over to our 4D3N Khao Yai Itinerary.
This post was brought to you by Klook.