Khao Yai Travelogue 4: What To See, Do, Eat and Stay in Khao Yai

If you have been following my blog closely, you would have realised that this is my second trip to Khao Yai this year. I visited the area in September with friends, and this time it was with my sister. This blog post will not include details about the places I visited during my first trip as well as safari at the National Park, so if you want to find out more about Khao Yai and how to get there, here are my other posts:

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I have created a map to show the major attractions in Khao Yai and the relative distance between them so that you can have a rough gauge.

What To See

  1. Sunflowers at Saraburi Sunflower Field (November to January)
  2. Flowers at The Bloom

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To get to Saraburi Sunflower Field, it is a slight detour from the route from Bangkok to Khao Yai. It should cost you about an additional 200 Baht if you are taking private transport. While blooming period is from November to January, the sunflowers only started blooming in December this year, so it would be good to check before going there.

What To Do

  1. Feed alpacas and donkeys at Primo Piazza
  2. Buy tie-dye clothes at Icon House
  3. Walk around Palio Village
  4. Pick strawberries at Strawberry of Love
  5. Learn more about cattle and dairy at Farm Chokchai

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I would not recommend having the gelato at Primo Piazza, but feeding alpacas was a new and exciting experience for me. I have never seen these animals up close before! To be honest, the pictures of this tourist attraction made the place seem bigger that it is. It is still a pretty place nonetheless.

Primo Piazza
861 Moo 6, Thanarat Road, Tambol Nong Nam Daeng,
Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Tel: 081 922 9000
Opening Hours:
Opens daily from 0900-1800hrs

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Icon House is a distinctive blue building just opposite Primo Piazza that you simply cannot miss. The display of their tie-dye clothes was what drew us there. The prices are up for bargaining, and I left with a top and a dress.

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Palio Village is a shopping promenade at Palio Inn (a hotel), with many shops ranging from cute cartoon merchandise to cafes and a 4D theatre. Unfortunately, many of the shops were closed when we got there. We did not choose to stay at the hotel as the ratings were just average.

Palio Village
146/1 Moo 4, Thanarath Road,
Moo-si Sub-district, Pakchong  District,
Nakomratchasima 30130
Tel: +66 (044) 365 899

strawberry

There are a few strawberry farms around the area, and we decided to go strawberry picking at the one opposite our hotel (since it was the nearest). The pickings were slim, and it was not exactly cheap (60 Baht/ 100g), but it was still quite fun a bonding activity with my sister.

What To Eat

  1. Finger food and coffee at The Birder’s Lodge Cafe
  2. High Tea at The Castle Restaurant, Thames Valley
  3. Food and dessert at The Chocolate Factory

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The Birder’s Lodge Cafe is swarming with Instagrammers, and you can find them in every nook and cranny. You have to wait for your turn to take pictures. It is no surprise as the cafe is so beautiful! I have found my ideal house.

If you are not sure what to order, you will see that every table has one Italian Soda (80 Baht). The soda comes in a few flavours and is topped with cotton candy. The finger food here is delicious too. Sis had the Som Tum Papaya Salad (80 Baht), and I had the Deep Fried Chicken Wings with Crispy Lemongrass (110 Baht).

The Birder’s Lodge Café
282 Moo 10, Mu Si, Park Chong District,
Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Tel: +66 44 300 185

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The best place for high tea is The Castle Restaurant at Thames Valley. You will feel like you have been transported out of Asia and into an English countryside! The ambience is classy, and it is a good place to lean back and relax while sipping tea and enjoying your scones.

I would strongly recommend the Tom Yam Castle Mocktail (150 Baht). It contains lemongrass, lemon juice, kaffir lime leaf and coke. I am not a fan of the Crispy Toast with Cha Thai Sauce (120 Baht).

The Castle Restaurant (Thames Valley)
999 Moo 4, Mu Si, Pakchong,
Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Tel: +66 44 009 999

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I was not impressed by my visit to the cafe this time around. The chocolates were alright and drinks too sweet (tasted like sugar syrup, and I am speaking from the viewpoint of a sweet tooth). My plated dessert fell apart almost as soon as it arrived at the table. I could only take one shot.

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I do like the restaurant at The Chocolate Factory, but even though they sell western food, I always end up ordering Thai. I think I might be persuaded otherwise if the menu featured chocolate infused items.

The Chocolate Factory
352 Moo 2, Thanarat Rd. T. Mu Si, Pakchong,
Nakhon Ratchasima 30130
Tel: 092 443 8881
Opening Hours:
Opens daily from 0930-2130hrs

Where To Stay

  1. Le Monte Hotel (For access to the main street)
  2. Hotel La Casetta by Toscana Valley (For a taste of Italy)
  3. Dasada-The Flower Es’senses Resort (For spa and relaxation)
  4. Thames Valley (For English-style countryside living)
  5. Lala Mukha Tented Resort (For a glamping/ safari-style experience)

I have only stayed at the first three, and the other two were on my list, but hotels were full on the dates I travelled. Khao Yai has many types of lodgings available, but it is mainly famous for themed hotels.

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As you can see, Le Monte is just an ordinary and new four-star hotel. The breakfast selection was limited, but I enjoyed the local fare, which was available only on weekends. The staff were friendly and helpful. The one thing that they could improve on was the toilet. It had a musky and damp smell after use, and the shower was lukewarm at the hottest setting.

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The restaurant at our hotel just started serving dinner, and we decided to give it a go. The western dishes were not available, but the Thai food that we tried were superb, especially the Massaman Curry with Beef (23o Baht).

 

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