Early this year (of 2019), decided to something different going to Thailand, we decided to take a little Thailand road trip and travel outside of Bangkok, further up north. Some friends have been raving about Khao Yai and there is this funny little Hobbit place that I’ve been dying to visit and compare to the Hobbiton I went to in New Zealand previously.

Instead of taking up a tour and since there is only the two of us, I found that renting our own car would be more economical and we are more free to visit where we want to, at anytime.

Wally

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Travel to Thailand, Asia

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Sept 19, 2020

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wandering.wally

Our Thailand Road Trip – 5-days, 4-nights route

1. Upon landing into Survarnabumi Airport, before we started our Thailand Road Trip, we of course needed a car first. We rented a car here, at Chic-A-Rent (funny name). The service was good and prompt, and very soon, we were on our way out.

2. From the airport, we drove up to Khao Yai and put up a night in The Series Khao Yai resort.
3. The next day, after visiting a few places along the way, we spent the night at the Baan Suan Noi Resort – which is basically the Hobbiton of Thailand.
4. After checking out, we proceeded to Ayutthaya. After doing our rounds of this historical place, we took the drive back into Bangkok, dropping off our car in the airport.
5. We spent the next few nights back in Bangkok, for some shopping and to stuff our faces with more food :p
We are still quite impressed with ourselves for making this 5-day, 4 nights itinerary and we definitely could not do this without renting a car, but I’d say that we were still overambitious with our time.

Khao Yai

For this part of my Thailand road trip article, I want to start off with all the sights done between Khao Yai and Ayutthaya.
Khao Yai is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, nestled within a mountainous region of National Park that covers 1,351 metres in area of lush jungles and beautiful waterfalls. We did not have time to visit the nature side of things here, so we did not cover much of the national park. However, there are already enough things to see and do here that is worth our visit. Here are some of the places I enjoyed while were there!
You can read more about Khao Yai here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khao_Yai_National_Park.

Yellow Submarine Coffee Tank

Our first stop en route of this Thailand road trip, is this very uniquely set Café. This is a very instagrammable café, set at the outskirts of the Khao Yai National Park, you get a blend of modern architecture and the serenity of the nature around you. While the food is decent, you would welcome the coffee break after a 2.5 hour drive from Bangkok. I did not check initially but I was lucky enough to just be there on the right day because the café is only open Fridays to Sundays, 9am to 11pm.

PB Wine Valley

We decided to also see what the fuss was all about of Thailand’s wine region. Apparently a pretty big wine producing region, exporting its produce to all over the world, especially Australia. We visited this winery and vineyard, taking on a wine-tasting tour to see what its all about. While we enjoyed the little ride around the vineyard and the breath of fresh air of the open spaces and clear blue sky, when we got to the wine tasting, well, we were a little disappointed.
Personally, I still prefer Australian wine over the ones we tasted over here.

Primo Piazza

When I put this into my itinerary, I was somewhat skeptical about this place. However, to my surprise, I quite like this place. Another insta-worthy place, this attraction really does look like it came out of an Italian village. And it comes with its own farm animals to boot! For a small fee, you get to feed some of these non-native animals here, such as sheep and alpaca.

Baan Suan Noi Resort

I’ve been dying to see this place and to compare it with its actual counterpart in New Zealand ever since I saw this featured in someone’s Facebook. To my surprise, this knock-off Hobbiton, which is a tourist attraction cum accommodation, is really quite a fun place to see. Not as restrictive as the Hobbiton (post coming soon!) I have visited in Mata-Mata, New Zealand (also way cheaper), you’re practically allowed to go anywhere and take pictures everywhere… with full costumes included (if you choose to do so). We also chose to put up a night here, just for the heck of it.

Ayutthaya

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

As for Ayutthaya, just like Chiang Mai (you can read about my Chiang Mai adventures here), this is a city with history dating back since 1350. A former capital for Thailand and an important port city, in one ancient city like this, you will be able to see the influence of the Thai and Burmese. All that stands of this city now are several archaeologically important ruins, a shadow of its former glory once described by the French and the Dutch. Read about Ayutthaya here: https://wikitravel.org/en/Ayutthaya.

There are so many historical points to visit here, but being pressed for time, we settled for just a few:

Reminder: Ladies need to dress decently in order to be allowed admittance into these sacred temples/grounds – so no sleeveless, shorts or even skirts. However, worry not as there are shops along the way when you enter where you can purchase or rent a “sarong” to cover up before entering to the temple.

(i) Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

(ii) Wat Phra Mahathat

(iii) Wat Ratburana

(iv) Wat Chai Wattanaram

Our Stay for this Thailand Road Trip : The Series Khao Yai Resort

For our first night in Khao Yai, we splurged a little to put up a night in this resort. A very boutique resort in Khao Yai, we absolutely loved the rooms and all the facilities that come with it. If you are planning to stay the night, do consider The Series Khao Yai resort. We absolutely loved this Balinese-inspired resort and the location is just nice with places of interests nearby. We booked ours at Agoda.

Bangkok

For Bangkok, our focus was very much on food and shopping, so there isn’t much to share except for a one night and one morning market we visited to do our clothes and souvenir shopping:

Neon Night Market

This night market is less crowded and pretty organized. If you are looking to shop for souvenirs or a little but of fashion, this is a good place to go.

Pratunam Morning Market

Wake up early if you want to get the best bargains of clothing and fashion because these stores opens from 4am and closes at around 8am.

Thailand, the Land of Smiles

Overall, if you do visit Khao Yai, you will enjoy the beauty of the national park as you admire the wonders of nature when you move around this region. You will enjoy the cool weather and the various resorts available there for you to stay at very reasonable prices. We highly recommend a car for this Thailand road trip.
Given a choice, I’d like to spend just a little more time in Khao Yai and in Bangkok equally. Ayutthaya can be a good day trip and preferably, you’d want to stay somewhere nearby to have enough time to fully immerse yourself in its history. The Baan Suan Noi is actually a little far from central Khao Yai central, so if you were to come, make sure you allocate enough time for the commute between these two places.
When in Thailand, we won’t also forget that food will always be a main feature in my trips. I have put them all together into my other post right here: Thailand – Khao Yai Road Trip (Part 2)

If you’re keen on other parts of Thailand, check out my other posts too: