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Explore Khao Yai, the secret European town near Bangkok few tourists know about!

Explore Khao Yai, the secret European town near Bangkok few tourists know about!

[编辑 Editor 黄大人  英译 Translator 刘大人  摄影 Photographer 黄大人]


Forget the notion that Thailand’s all about night markets, shopping and food. Instead, think flower gardens, European-themed streets and even hobbit homes! Up there on the podium with some of the world’s greatest parks, Khao Yai is one of Thailand’s oldest and most visited reserve which was named a Unesco World Heritage Site. If you’re craving a quick getaway to experience Europe without flying the distance, simply grab your next direct flight out from Senai via AirAsia to neighbouring Thailand but skip the crowds at Bangkok and head over to the scenic Khao Yai just 2.5 to 3 hours away.

To book your next flight out via AirAsia, visit:


Primo Piazza

Primo Piazza paints an unforgettable impression of tranquillity with its stunning scenery, elegant Italian architecture with many quaint coffeehouses, restaurants and bars all around. And we haven’t even got as far beyond the entrance yet…

For only 100 Baht per adult (or 50 Baht for children), we got to immerse in the laid-back ambience without having to fly halfway across the world to get a taste of Italy and have the gorgeous pictures to prove it too LOL!

Bellissimo, isn’t it? The quaint cottages in this garden were spectacular on their own, even the entrance statement!

From the terracotta-toned buildings with an unmistakably Mediterranean vibe to the lush greenery, dairy farms and vineyards, we felt like we were in Tuscany (save for the slight drizzle)!

We have always wanted to meet and take photos with an alpaca and other adorable animals, and our hearts thumped away as we got up close and personal! So cute…

📍 Mu Si, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand.
🕘 9am – 6pm


Palio Village

It would be easy to forget that we’re in Thailand as we walk through this Italian-style enclave was it not for the “newness” of the place, the diverse crowd that were mostly Asians, and the kitschy souvenirs and attractions that we would be hard-pressed to find in rural Italy! While it could never take the place of a visit to an authentic Italian village, Palio Village is a tranquil getaway from Bangkok.

Bearing little resemblance to Thailand, the hot, subtropical weather that drove us to have a refreshing drink at one of the numerous sidewalk cafes is a reminder that we’re nowhere near the Mediterranean.

The beautiful landscape is also picture-perfect for a romantic pre-wedding photo shoot that could prove worthwhile and create long lasting memories for lovers tying the knots.

📍 Thanarat Rd, Mu Si, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, 30130, Thailand.
🕘 9am – 7pm


A Cup Of Love

Be transported to Switzerland after bidding Addio to Palio. When embarking on long journeys with young children, we often need several stops along the way. Luckily for us, the good people at A Cup of Love have provided the perfect place to do so, with a little help from their friends. The setting was very picturesque, with an almost western farm theme to the buildings and a small bridge that leads us over a lake for a fun-filled day.

A resolutely green & beautiful sanctuary that appeals to the senses, how’s this for total relaxation?

Needless to say, the sheep here are the star attraction, with the opportunity for us to feed and stroke them.

We can even live our Hobbit fantasies in the “The Shire” at the nearby Hobbit House instead of fly all the way to New Zealand’s Hobbit movie set to look at these adorable houses! What’s more, we can dress up as our favourite LOTR characters for FREE

📍 97 Ban Nam Khieo, Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
🎟️ Admission by ticket only*


The Bloom

Embrace flower power at the largest garden in Thailand that is filled with rows of flowers that instantly brighten up our day. Open all year and home to more than 30 species of winter flowers, no more flying to France to witness nature’s splendour or take a picture in lavender or sunflower fields because The Bloom makes for an even lovelier backdrop, and at a much lower cost too!

Here, we can easily practise our poses because the place is too pretty to miss a snap!

This will unquestionably be ideal for a romantic getaway or a family escape, where the kids, or the big kid in us, will enjoy.

📍 357 Moo 5 ,Tambon Pak Chong,Nakhon Ratchasima,Thailand
🕗 8am – 8pm
🎟️ 周日 100baht,周末 200baht


Midwinter Green

Our trip to Khao Yai won’t be complete without a stop at the “atas” Midwinter Green for some authentic European experience, not just in terms of their menu, but also how the overall building design was inspired by Shakespeare’s play.

There’s also an in-house marketplace aptly named the Picnic Store, which offered a wide array of freshly baked confections and local produce fresh from the farms.

You can dine outside with a gorgeous view, or choose the aircon life and sit indoors. As we found the interior to be too posh, we opted to eat at the al fresco area for a more laidback atmosphere with a great live band to boot!

The excellent menu selection mainly consists of European style dishes and comes with an extensive wine selection as well. Be sure to order their signature Midwinter’s Pizza.

Boy, we were glad we chose to dine here. We really do get to dine like a king!

Be even more amazed and marvel at the laser show when the sky gets dark, so make sure you arrive well before 7.30pm. Bon appétit!

📍 Nong Nam Daeng, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.
🕙 10am – 10pm


U Khao Yai Hotel

Tucked among the majestic mountains of the Sankamphaeng Mountain Range, the recently opened U Khao Yai Hotel offers a romantic, peaceful escape that merges the inspiring spirit and beauty of Khao Yai National Park with the elegance, ambience and warmth of a French country manor. For only RM150 per pax/night (twin-sharing), we were certainly getting more than we have bargained for.

Being a nature-oriented getaway destination, Khao Yai offers little when it comes to nightlife. With most streets lighting at its minimal or non-existent, we are better off staying in and appreciating its nature and wildlife instead of a wild party.

Beautifully landscaped, lush gardens, serene ponds and magnificent scenery, the French-inspired countryside chateaux are arranged in a village-like complex that certainly set this unique destination among the best new hotels in Khao Yai.

We couldn’t help but sent pictures of the hotel surroundings to our family and friends, and their universal replies were “Wow, are you in Europe?”

Leaving the rest still green with envy, we continued to check out the hotel many other unique recreational opportunities such as fitness centre, an indulgent spa, a large free form swimming pool and separate kids’ pool, both of which are surrounded by lush gardens and a waterfall.

Of course, we also get the U signatures of 24-hour check-out timed from our check-in, and breakfast served whenever and wherever you want. How’s that for a real break?

Our Superior Rooms are designed in pale green colour schemes with sofa benches and views of the lush tropical gardens, with every luxury amenity required for a relaxing stay all in place, including a couple of cute bunny bolsters!

📍 99/22 Moo 1,, Mu Si, Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130, Thailand


There’s much more to Khao Yai than meets the eyes, but we figured slow and steady does it for our 3D/2N itinerary. If you’re an avid traveller like us, Khao Yai would be your next favourite destination directly out of JB without blowing your budget. Till then, it’s Sawadee & Addio!

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