Discovering the enchanting beauty and rich heritage of Khao Yai is a must-do experience for those seeking a countryside destination that offers a total cultural immersion, surrounded by the beauty of nature.
Located in the heart of Thailand, 2.5 hours’ drive north-east of Bangkok, Khao Yai is a captivating destination for travellers seeking a perfect blend of natural beauty, local culture, wildlife, adventure and much more. The UNESCO World Heritage Site offers lush landscapes, diverse ecosystems and a plethora of activities that promise an unforgettable experience for visitors.
For those seeking an adrenalin rush, Khao Yai presents an array of adventurous activities. Trek through lush bush trails, take a thrilling zip line ride or embark on a mountain biking expenditure to explore the park’s rugged terrain. The options for outdoor enthusiasts are many and varied.
Vineyard and Culinary Delights – a Foodie’s Paradise
Beyond its natural wonders, Khao Yai is renowned for its growing wine industry. Visit local vineyards and enjoy wine tastings amidst scenic landscapes. The region has a diverse culinary scene with orchards, organic farms and even a floating marketing as well as a variety of charming cafes and restaurants offering a wide range of appetizing Thai and international dishes.
World Class Golf Courses
More than a dozen world class courses can be found in the area, including two designed by Jack Nicklaus. Two of our favourite courses are Rancho Charnvee and Toscana Valley. Both were designed by legendary architect Bob McFarland and have idyllic backdrops with stunning scenery.
Khao Yai National Park is one of the country’s oldest and most majestic national parks. Spanning over 2,000 square kilometers, the park is a haven for nature lovers. Visitors can explore dense forests, cascading waterfalls and scenic viewpoints that provide breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding landscape.
Home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, Khao Yai offers unique opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts. Spot exotic species such as wild elephants, gibbons and a diverse arrange of birdlife as you venture through the park. The Haew Narok Waterfall, one of the park’s iconic attractions, serves as a tranquil backdrop for observing the natural behaviour of various species.
Experience the vibrant local culture, exploring nearby villages and markets. Engage with the warm and welcoming communities and sample traditional dishes and tasty Thai treats while discovering the rich heritage that is the very essence of this charming destination.
Other highlights include the Khao Yai Art Museum as well as two prominent Buddhist temples; Wat Then Phithak Punnaram and Wat Pa Poo Hai Long. The crystal-clear water at the scenic Ban Tha Chang Spring creates crystal clear ponds for swimming and makes a perfect picnic and Instagram spot.
Visit organic farms and local eco-tourism attractions (mushroom farm, mulberry farm, wineries, traditional herb garden), the Khao Yai floating market, take an art class, travel on a local train, check out cascading waterfalls or, take a cycle tour. Other experiences include a full or half day visit to the historic town of Pak Chong, local hiking or watching the dramatic flight of the bats at dusk. The possibilities are endless and we can create a tailored itinerary for you around your areas of interest to showcase this wonderful destination.
The experience begins with a leisurely, scenic 2.5-hour drive from Bangkok. The completion of a new highway due later this year and a new high-speed rail connection due for completion in 2026 will shorten the journey. A new private charter 8-seater seaplane flight will be launched soon, offering an alternative option, with a flight time of 50 minutes.
Where to Stay
With 45 luxurious rooms and 16 suites, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort opened in late 2022 and is located in 19 hectares of lush tropical landscape with over 30,000 trees and five lakes. Combined with renowned Thai hospitality and intuitive service, the resort offers the finest accommodation in Khao Yai with signature restaurants that raise the bar for dining and culinary experiences.
Designed by acclaimed architect and designer Bill Bensley, InterContinental Khao Yai Resort incorporates the romance of train travel, drawing on the historical inspiration from the area’s history as a gateway for rail transportation to north-eastern Thailand during the reign of King Rama V. Its unique design includes 19 abandoned heritage train carriages from the 19th century that have been meticulously and exquisitely restored and upcycled into luxurious suites. The resort offers a memorable experience that transports guests to the glamorous age of train travel.
BENSLEY’s rich storytelling is built into the design concept around a train conductor and afficionado called Somsak and his love for train travel in Thailand and beyond to neighbouring Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Singapore. Somying’s Kitchen offers all-day dining and is named after the mother of the train conductor. Within two upcycled train carriages are the Papillion Bar to welcome social butterflies and the Tea carriage. The Poirot Restaurant is named after Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot. Their quarterly murder mystery dinners are reason enough alone to visit this exquisite and captivating property. The function lawn is perfect for outdoor – tented garden style parties, celebrations and special events.
Other facilities include the 12 x 6m outdoor Water Tank Pool, a fitness centre and the Back on Track Spa which is located in an upcycled heritage railcar with 4 individual treatment suites. The hugely popular Planet Trekkers Kids Club is also housed in a heritage railcar and has its own garden. The little ones just love it.