A Weekend in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand
Khao Yai National Park was Thailand’s first national park, established in 1962.
It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is the third largest national park in Thailand.
There are plenty of trails to choose from and you’ll end up seeing some of Thailand’s magnificent wildlife.
It is one of Thailand’s most popular spots among tourists. People travel from all over the world to catch a glimpse of the wildlife and views. Once you go there, you will see why.
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Khao Yai National Park in Thailand is over 2,000 square kilometers (837 square miles), and the attractions are endless. You can book a day tour, spend a full day, or spend a few days at this wonderful park.
Keep in mind that Thailand’s dry season is from November to February.
To Khao Yai National Park from Bangkok
Khao Yai National Park is located in Nakhon Nayok province. It’s about two and a half hours north of the capital of Bangkok.
The trip started out in Bangkok at a rental car place. The park is huge so if you are able to, I highly recommend renting a car.
You will see people bike riding and walking/hiking throughout the park. There were many hills and curves so I couldn’t even imagine riding a bike throughout Khao Yai.
Driving in Thailand is not easy. We’re from the US so we drive on the right side.
Luckily, Christina, one of the girls that I went with, was brave enough to rent and drive on the left side of the road.
Accommodation in Khao Yai National Park
Our accommodation was at 23 Degree Condo and it was very roomy and had plenty of space for the five of us. We had two bathrooms and two bedrooms. There was also a living room, balcony, and kitchen. It was also in a great location as it was about 30 minutes from the park. Anyhow, if you are looking to stay close to the park, there are other options available as well.
Visiting Khao Yai National Park
The Khao Yai National Park entrance fee is THB 400 (USD 12).
You can stop at the visitor center and grab a guide or map, or simply find one of the many tours that are offered.
The views are breathtaking and if you are lucky enough, you can see the monkeys. They are cute but also a bit terrifying. Hold your belongings tightly because they are known to snag shiny things.
And make sure you are on the lookout for some Khao Yai National Park elephants.
Things to Do in Khao Yai National Park
You can book a tour or do your own thing and wander through the park aimlessly as we did.
You can also camp at Khao Yai National Park, which is pretty cool. I’m not sure how much it costs but I think it would be worth it. You might also see a bunch of tents and cars in a designated camping area.
Bike riding or hiking are other common activities to do.
Make sure you check out one or two of the Khao Yai National Park Waterfalls!
Haew Suwat Waterfall:
It will take about 40 minutes to drive to Haew Suwat Waterfall from the entrance.
Haew Suwat is about 20 meters (66 feet). Even during the dry season, it was beautiful. It is in the movie “The Beach,” starring Leonardo Dicaprio, which I found to be pretty cool. If you get the chance, watch the movie before visiting Khao Yai.
The upside of going to Khao Yai during the dry season is that there aren’t as many tourists.
However, if you can go during the rainy season, I am sure that this will be one of your favorite national parks. If you can’t it is still as pretty as a picture.
Other Khao Yai Attractions
Kong Kaew Waterfall, Khao Chiew Viewpoint, and made it to Pha From Jai Cliff at 1,290 meters (4,233 feet).
The park also has this trail called “The US Friendship Trail.” It is a 2.25-kilometer (1.4 miles) trail dedicated to 200 years of friendship shared between Thailand and the US.
Other Places to Visit in/Near The Park
There are countless restaurants around the area. However, since it’s a touristy area, there are tourist prices.
We tried an Italian restaurant called Roma that had OK food. It was pretty expensive. I’d give it a 5/10.
If you enjoy wine and wineries, you should spend an evening at PB Valley Khao Yai Winery. It was my first experience at a winery and it did not disappoint. The wine was flavorful and the views were extraordinary.
I still love looking at the pictures that we took there because the place was so lovely. You can sit down at a table, share a few bottles of wine, and take in the magnificent views. You can also bring the wine along with you while you walk through the winery.
Inside the winery, there are loads of flowers and paths that you can walk through; it is truly amazing.
We were lucky enough to witness the sunset there. The sunset was purple and pinkish. I have yet to see another beautiful sunset as great as that one. It will forever be imprinted in my memory.
On our last day, I made breakfast for everyone and some grilled cheeses to bring with us on the ride home. Before heading to Bangkok, we stopped at Toscana Valley and saw a piece of fake Italy.
The traffic was heavy heading back to Bangkok. Then again, we decided to go during a long weekend so that could have added to it.
Khao Yai was such a memorable trip. I do wish we got to see some wild elephants. Maybe next time.
If you plan on going to Thailand I highly recommend you spend a few days at the national park so you can take your time. You will not regret it.
⬆️ Inside the park & PB Winery
Check out the video I made of our trip to Khao Yai National Park!
Wow, you have a great vacation, though it was just for three days. The perfect sunset at the sea always stayed with you. I visited a place where the monkeys were on the roadsides, and It got scarier at times. Lovely photos, and wish you all the best for 2021.
Thank you!! Yeah it was a great mini vacation! Monkeys are cute but definitely a bit frightening haha
Hey Maria! Just found your post about Khao Yai, it was helpful and informative! Glad you enjoyed your holiday. Quick question, I also live in Mahachai and we are planning to go to Khao Yai next month, did you drive from Bangkok or Mahachai? And how was traffic? Thank you!!
Hey! Thank you! We ended up renting a car in Bangkok after taking the van from Mahachai to Bangkok. The traffic getting there wasn’t too bad. It was just getting back to Bangkok that was tough. But we also went during a long weekend so that could’ve added to the traffic too! Enjoy your trip and let me know if you have any other questions!!