After our short relaxing trip to Bali, me and my girlfriend went to Khao Yai for another short getaway. We booked Thai Airways as we have not tried the airline before.
We reached the airport earlier so we can enjoy the food and drinks at Plaza Premium Lounge at KLIA. I have written a review on it here.
Once we got into the plane, the air steward passed me the Kosher Meal that I pre-booked to check that all the seals are intact. According to Wikipedia, Kosher meal is prepared based on foods that Jews are permitted to eat and prepared according to Jewish Law. The box stated the production date, best before date, and all the food and items in the box.
This is the first time I tried a Kosher meal and I must say it is quite good. So next time if you see it being offered by your airline, you might want to give it a try.
Head to Khao Yai
Once we reached Suvarnabhumi Airport, we collect our rental car between Exit Gate 7 and 8 which we booked with Thai Rent A Car via Kayak which is like Expedia for flights, hotel, and car rentals. They will charge a deposit of 5k via credit card in case of accident. Besides that, you can inquire about the EasyPass & M-Pass which is like Touch ‘n Go but it is not needed. From Suvarnabhumi Airport to Khai Yai, you just need to prepare 60 Baht (2 tolls, 30 Baht each).
Once you exit Suvarnabhumi Airport, the highway has a 120km/h speed limit but most of the time you will see cars speed past 120. After you exit to the next highway, please take note it only has 90km/h speed limit. Besides that, along the highways, there are a lot of camera signs and warnings in Waze. However, you will see some cars will speed past those warning points. To be safe, just stay within the speed limit to avoid being fined.
Day 1 – Pak Chong Night Market and Banmai Chay Nam Pak Chong
Happiness Guesthouse – recommended
We check in to Happiness Guesthouse first to put our bags. The room is big and clean and the place is quite cooling as there is a lush green mountain behind. However, please take note that there is no lift and there is a steep staircase to the second floor. Therefore, if you have big luggage, you might want to request for first floor rooms.
Address: 2422 ต.ปากช่อง อ.ปากช่อง, Pak Chong
After that, we go to the Pak Chong Night Market which is few minutes drive from Happiness Guesthouse.
Pak Chong Night Market – not really recommended
The food choices are quite limited. Besides that, there is only 1 stall selling the coconut smoothie. However, the prices are lower than those in the town.
Address: 2422 Tambon Pak Chong, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Daily from 5pm-10pm
Banmai Chay Nam Pak Chong – recommended
Next, we drive a few minutes to Banmai Chay Nam Pak Chong. It is a restaurant cum museum where they have a lot of retro items on display that will bring out your nostalgic memories.
We ordered omelette, stir fry sunflower sprouts, and glass vermicelli with prawns.
We feel that the food is so-so and somewhat pricey. However, you can try the stir fry sunflower sprouts as it is something that is not found in Malaysia. The taste and texture is somewhat like the big bean sprouts. Besides that, even if you do not eat here, do visit here to take some nice photos for your social media.
Address: 21, Mittaphap Road, Tambon Pak Chong, Amphoe Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Daily from 9am-9pm
Day 2 – Primo Piazza, The Birder’s Lodge, Yellow Submarine, Palio Khao Yai, The Chocolate Factory
The first attraction for the second day is Primo Piazza.
Primo Piazza – recommended
The main attractions here are the European-style buildings and feeding the animals – merino, alpaca, and donkey.
Depending on the weather, you would either be feeding the animals in the barn or the field beside it.
Besides taking photos of the buildings and feeding the animals, there is nothing else to do here though.
Address: 200/2 หมู่ที่ 10 Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 9am-6pm.
Entrance fee: Adult 200 Baht, Child 100 Baht. Do keep the tickets to get the ‘food’ for the animals
The Birder’s Lodge – recommended
Next, we went to The Birder’s Lodge which is few minutes away from Primo Piazza.
The drinks are very photo-worthy and the food is good but the omelette with minced pork and basil is quite spicy.
Address: 282 หมู่ที่ 10 Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30450, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 8.30am to 6pm except Friday and Saturday where they are opened until 9pm.
Yellow Submarine – recommended
The next stop Yellow Submarine is also very near which is a few minutes drive from The Birder’s Lodge.
The drink is refreshing and the toast is perfect with the ice cream in a hot weather.
Address: Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Friday to Sunday only from 9am-7pm
Palio Khao Yai – not really recommended
Next stop, we went to the Palio Khao Yai to take some photos.
Truth be told, you can skip here as there is not much to see.
Address: 146 Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Daily from 9am-7pm.
The Chocolate Factory – recommended
After the short stop at Palio Khao Yai, we went to The Chocolate Factory.
They have a restaurant as well so you can have your meal here.
Address: 352 หมู่ 2 Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 9.30am to 10pm except Monday which is until 9pm
Rabieng-pa Khao Yai Restaurant – recommended
After that, we went to Rabieng-pa Khao Yai Restaurant for a dinner before calling it a day.
Nice surroundings with good food and the portion is quite big especially for the meat. They take cash only so please bring enough money if you are having dinner here.
Address: 53 Thanarat Road, Tambon Moosi, AMphoe Moosi, Khao-yai Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30450 Thailand
Business hours: Closed on Thursdays, opens from 5-9pm except Saturday and Sunday 11am – 9pm
Isaan Isan Resort Khao Yai – recommended
We checked in to Isaan Isan Resort Khao Yai which is very near to the Khao Yai National Park.
You can even have dinner ala picnic style as they have outdoor movie viewing every night if weather permits.
Address: 54 Moo.17, Moosi, Pakchong, Khao Yai, 30130, Thailand
Day 3 – Farm Chokchai, Baan Suan Noi, Midwinter Khao Yai
The third day was a very interesting day. We set our Waze to go to Farm Chokchai. However, instead of using main roads, we were led to a bumpy muddy road within Khao Yai Golf Club as per the photo below:
The road can only fit one car and it is creepy as there were no other cars besides us. Although the distance is short, but it takes about 12-15 mins for around 1km before we were connected to the main roads again. Therefore, if Waze bring you into Khao Yai Golf Club, I would highly suggest you to find another route.
We booked the tickets for Farm Chokchai via Klook, however, it was not accepted by Farm Chokchai even after we reminded them via Klook reminder. Therefore, as they do not have any record, they could not give us the tickets. And as you can see from the photo below, the tickets are only on sale from 1.20pm that day. Luckily, the lady was kind enough to offer us a 10.20am tour which is the next earliest tour after the first tour at 10am. Make sure you purchase your tickets via Klook beforehand and make sure they accepted the booking to avoid any hassles. If you do not have Klook account yet, sign up here and you will get RM15.
Farm Chokchai – recommended
The Farm Chokchai tour consists of 5 different stations and take approximately 2 hours. However, do take note that except for the introduction by the tour guide, the whole tour is conducted in Thai.
The tour is so-so because we cannot understand Thai but there’s a lot of activities that you can do there by purchasing the respective tickets at the counter.
Address: 169 หมู่ที่ 2 Mittraphap Rd, Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Daily from 10am-8.30pm, closed on Mondays
Entrance fee: Adult 300 Baht, child 150 Baht
After visiting Farm Chokchai, we went to fill up the fuel tank. After filling up, the attendant spoke to me in Thai and pointed at the rear left tyre. Apparently it is punctured which I suspected could be caused by the sharp rocks on the narrow road in Khao Yai Golf Club. So I asked where can I get it fixed and he pointed towards the road in front and off we go.
Not too far from there there’s a shop with a lot of tyres in front of it. There’s a lady inside the shop and I told her our tyre was punctured and pointed to our car. After seeing it, she asked a guy out and he took the spare tyre and changed it with the punctured tyre. I tried to use hand gestures and pointed at the tyre repair tool that he brought along but he said they don’t have it. The lady asked me to try B-Quik which is the only 2 words that I can understand from the whole conversation. I paid her 60 Baht which she told me before she changed the tyre and off we go.
B-Quik – highly recommended
We Waze for the nearest B-Quik and luckily there is one nearby. I spoke to a young guy who attended to me. But this time I brought my phone with a photo of tyre repair kit. I used a lot of hand gestures while speaking English which includes – fix the tyre and swap the spare tyre with the original tyre. Although he replied me back in Thai but he seemed to understand me well. I asked for the price and he said free. I had my doubts but while waiting, we went to the Tesco Lotus beside it. After around 45 mins, I got the car and signed on a paper and that’s it. It’s really FREE! There’s only 3 possible reasons:
- We bought additional car insurance so it was included which they will claim back from the company
- The car rental company have car insurance so it was included
- It is really FREE
Regardless which is the reason, if there is anything minor happened to your car (touch wood), you can try B-Quik instead of the emergency number that the car rental company gives you.
After the minor hiccups, we continue on our journey to Baan Suan Noi.
Baan Suan Noi – highly recommended
One of the main activities here is the cosplay which costs 150 Baht for adult and 100 Baht for child with unlimited number of outfits. However, you can feel they are ‘less friendly’ after changing to the 3rd or 4th outfits. Besides that, if you can’t recognize the lady in the photo below, she is Leng Yein who is a famous DJ in Malaysia. The reason they use a Malaysian to advertise is because when we were there, all of the other visitors are also Malaysian. And this is applicable to a lot of other tourist attractions in Khao Yai where you can find a lot, if not all are Malaysians and Singaporeans.
Lots of costumes to be chosen for those prince/princess shots with nice decorations and backgrounds.
Address: 292, Lat Bua Khao, Sikhio District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30340, Thailand
Business hours: Daily from 8am-11pm.
Entrance fee: 100 Baht for adult and 50 Baht for child
Midwinter Khao Yai – highly recommended
We came at a perfect timing as Midwinter Khao Yai is decorated with Christmas tress and decorations which lighten up the place and opportunity to take a lot of nice photos. Besides that, romantic environment with live band paired with nice food makes this place a highly recommended. Perfect if you come during Christmas season. I would suggest you to make reservation especially for outside seats to avoid disappointment.
Address: 88 88 หมู่ 10 ถนน ธนะรัชต์ Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 10am – 10pm except Friday and Saturday which is opened until 11pm
Day 4 – Sunflower Field Rai Manee Sorn, My Ozone Khao Yai, Toscana Valley
Sunflower Field Rai Manee Sorn – highly recommended
The next morning, we started off by visiting sunflower field Rai Manee Sorn. We visited Khao Yai in late November which is slightly early where not all sunflowers are bloomed. However, we were lucky to see sections of the field are full with bloomed sunflowers.
There were not many people so we take our time to take those nice photos without feeling pressured.
Address: Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 6am – 6pm
Entrance fee: 80 Baht per adult
My Ozone Khao Yai – not really recommended
Next, we went to My Ozone Khao Yai to take some photos.
You can ride a horse around the My Ozone Animal Club and take some photos. The fees depends on which package you choose. Other than that, there’s nothing much to see here except the castle outlook of this place.
Address: 334 Moo 6 Ban Patakian T. Wangsai, A.Pakchong, Nakornratchasima 30130, Thailand
Toscana Valley – recommended
The second and also last location that we went for the day is Toscana Valley as we are staying in the imitation of Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Within the Toscana Valley, there is a Town Square.
Caffe del Museo – highly recommended
We had our late lunch at Caffe del Museo at Town Square.
The food is tasty and reasonably priced making this place a highly recommended.
Address: 2 Moo 11 Bannenthong Pongtalong Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30450, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 10.30am to 10pm. If you stay at Toscana Piazza, the breakfast will be served here as well.
Day 5 – The Bloom and Pirom Cafe
The Bloom – not really recommended
The next day, we went to The Bloom, Khao Yai.
There’s not much decorations for photos although the flowers are fully bloomed so not really worth the travel to come here purposely.
Address: 357 หมู่ที่ 5 บ้านโนนกระโดน, Phaya Yen, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30320, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 8am – 8pm
Entrance fee: minimum 120 Baht for adult (entrance ticket + buggy ride)
Pirom Cafe – not really recommended
As Pirom Cafe is very near to The Bloom, we decided to take a visit since we are here.
The lake view is quite normal and the food and drinks are nothing to shout about. So basically you can skip this area as The Bloom and Pirom Cafe are not really recommended.
Address: 234, Phaya Yen, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30320, Thailand
Business hours: Opens daily from 9am – 6pm
After that, we drove back to Bangkok for our remaining days in Thailand which can be read here.
Overall, Khao Yai is a great place to enjoy the scenery and relax your mind. However, do take note that a lot of establishments either do not accept credit cards or have a minimum of 500 Baht (300 Baht for some) so please bring more cash.
What are your memories if you have been to Khao Yai? Feel free to share us your experiences in the comments section.