La dolce vita in Khao Yai
A well-known getaway for Thai locals but not popular for tourists like the seaside within the driving range from Bangkok like Pattaya or Hua Hin, the tranquil scenery of Khao Yai mentally transports you to the west side and reminds of laid-back travel and relaxing summertime.
With 2,5 hour drive from Bangkok, this is a sanctuary hidden in the mountains. With a large lagoon alongside, we are at the boundary of Khao Yai National Park, where there is the best AQI (Air Quality Index) in Thailand and one of the world’s best ozone sources, just steps away from a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is truly heaven away from the busy city life.
What to see
The wind turbines in Khao Yai Thiang
Khao Yai Thiang is a landmark in Korat highlighted by an indigo lake and 12 wind turbines. It is a great place to take a break from the daily stress and spend time with yourself in the serene atmosphere. The place is also a favorite destination for bikers who come to enjoy the myriad of cycling trails and idyllic views.
When we arrived there it was right at the time of sunset, with this magnificent golden light from the sky reflected on the Lam Takhong Reservoir.
Visit under-the-radar museums
Khao Yai is home to a range of under the radar galleries and museums that are just as magnificent as ones you find anywhere else in Thailand. Khao Yai Art Museum houses one of the most widely regarded collections in the country, boasting Siamese traditional Thai art and modern portraits, paintings, sculptures and installations. The outdoor display is set in beautiful gardens. A very nice excursion for art lovers.
One of its kind in Thailand and one of seven fossil museums in the world, Khorat Fossil Museum has a diverse showcase of fossils presentation with multimedia technology.
The museum has three different zones: Petrified Wood Museum - contains fossils which are 800,000-330 million years old and diamond fossils; Ancient Elephant Museum - exhibits fossils of ancient elephants; and Dinosaur Museum - exhibitions of skeletons and fossils of the dinosaur era, the one we visited.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the oldest national park in Thailand, Khao Yai National Park is highly regarded among local nature lovers. It is home to one of the few—and largest—remaining monsoon forests in Southeast Asia, boasting sprawling evergreen jungle, breathtaking waterfalls and massive biodiversity. With the average annual temperature being 21°C, this national park offers a chance to get close to nature, breathe the clean air and find peace within reach of the capital.
Where to stay
Commonly dubbed “Little Italy”, Primo Piazza embodies Tuscany classics. It is a themed attraction in Pak Chong district, set against the lush greenery of Khao Yai.
What to wear
Délice Classic 2.0 hat features a downturn brim and extravagant fabric band being folded in a way inspired by the origami art. With a touch of nature from the plant-dye from the Biancaea sappan, Sesame bag adds a delight to your look, enhanced by Consus baroque pearls earrings and delicate Carolyn high heel shoes.
We stayed at Toscana Valley, which includes three properties: Hotel La Casetta, a Tuscan-style sanctuary hidden in the mountain; Town Square Suites, a cluster of low-rise hotels emphasizing meticulous architectural elements that complement each other to form a village center; and Toscana Piazza, modeled after the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.
We chose Hotel La Casetta to enjoy its countryside scenery and lush garden, a perfect city break. The hotel channels the quintessence of Tuscany beauty in every corner, with a cozy feel from wooden furniture and brick walls.
There’s clearly attention paid to details to stay true to the Italian architecture, with nostalgic terracotta brick houses, colorful flower baskets in front of the balcony, cobblestone streets, and sprawling green fields. Every corner serves a gorgeous backdrop for your photos.
What to wear
White on White
Where to eat
Hotel La Casetta’s restaurant offers a delicious breakfast and dinner. We went to a lovely Japanese coffee farm called Chiso-ya, and we loved that they served appetizing organic food with beautiful gardens. For a taste of Thai cuisine, we dined at Rabieng-pa Khao Yai Restaurant, a lovely, nature-themed dining space with a lovely garden where they grew their vegetables and fruits.