This day trip from Bangkok was supposed to be a short getaway with my husband, and we never had a day trip from Bangkok before. I then googled for some possible places that we could visit and Khao Yai caught my attention. Planning the itinerary for Khao Yai was hassle-free as there were already quite a few guides on the top few places you could visit while you were there. This was not sponsored but we made use of the guide written by Klook. In fact, we made use of one of the Klook products/tickets to hire a private driver to chauffeur us from Bangkok to Khao Yai in comfort.
Our pick up was directly from our hotel at 7.30am. It took us roughly 2.5 hours to reach Khao Yai. The driver came in a sedan and once we boarded, we actually fell asleep and by the time we woke up, we were reaching Khao Yai. The private tour is a 12-hour charter service.
One of the main attractions we wanted to visit was the Pa Deo Die cliffs and the Haew Suwat waterfall. However, as it was raining the past few days, the area was deemed slippery and was closed off for all tourists. Our driver managed to inform us as he checked with his colleagues who were doing private tours around the same area as well. This saved us some time and prevented a fruitless trip down to the waterfalls and cliffs.
We stuck to our itinerary in the first part of the trip, but as it reached lunchtime, there was a heavy downpour (we travelled during the monsoon season so it was a bad choice). We had to tweak our plan again as our selected lunch location was actually a little further away. Furthermore, it was not the sunflower season so we were also unable to visit the sunflower garden which Khao Yai was famous for. So do you research before heading down! Some of the cafes or restaurants were also closed on certain days, like Yellow Submarine Coffee Tank being closed on Tuesdays. Do take note of that as well.
In the end, this was our itinerary for the day:
- PB Valley Winery
- Te Amo Restaurant
- Primo Piazza
- Palio Village
- Ban tha chang hot spring
PB Valley Winery
We get to visit the winery and learn about the process of winemaking. Our first part of the tour was to visit their vineyard and you get to see the grapes in real life. The second part was the winemaking process before proceeding to the part where most are excited about – wine tasting. At 350 metres above sea-level, Khao Yai has the perfect weather conditions for the biggest winery in Thailand. It is best to pre-book the tour before you get to the winery. Their tour tickets can be purchased on their website. We spent a good 3 hours at this location.
Address: 102/2 Moo5, Mitraparp Road Payayen Pakchong, 30320, Thailand
There are 2 similar Italy inspired villages in Khao Yai and I would recommend Primo Piazza the most – only because they have animals there. We had a fun time feeding the barn animals (food has to be paid). There were llamas, sheep and even alpacas. The area was also quite picturesque with lots of instagrammable spots. Entrance Fee is at ?200.
Address: Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
Te Amo Restaurant
We actually wanted to visit another restaurant, but because of the rain and also I think the driver didn’t want to venture too far, he brought us to this restaurant instead. I think for the entire trip, it didn’t feel like we were in Thailand as the places we visit all have European influences.
This restaurant has a mixture of Chinese, Thai and Italian dishes. I went for the more traditional fried rice and it came in a heart shape. How adorable. The food was mediocre but it’s fascinating to eat in a European-styled restaurant. The price was average too, and not too expensive. My husband went for their steak which was passable.
Address: Thanarat road, Musi KhaoYai-Pak chong Amphoe Pak Chong
This was not in our original itinerary but because it was still raining, we gave this a shot as most of the areas are indoor. This has slightly more shopping than sightseeing spots but even then, it is still quite quiet with only a handful of shops open. At least there are no entrance fees for this.
Address: Thanarat Rd, Mu Si, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, 30130, Thailand.
Ban Tha Chang spring / Pak Chong Spring
This hot spring is relatively unknown and my husband actually found this on Google map on our way back to Bangkok. Since we had some time left, we popped by to have a look. Even the driver had not heard of this place before. It’s really interesting to find a hot spring that only locals know about.
Address: Soi DPT., Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand
End of the trip, here are some things to take note of when planning for your visit to Khao Yai:
- Rest days of some cafes or restaurants
- The distance between each spot – sometimes the driver may persuade you to visit other areas as the location you want to go are not on the way
- Weather forecast is very important
- Check the bloom and sunflower seasons for the gardens
- Tour hours and book in advance
- Leave Khao Yai earlier if you want to avoid traffic jam going back to the city
- One day is not enough if you want to explore the entire Khao Yai
I hope this guide is useful for those who just want a 1-day trip!
Thanks for reading ~