Come to Khao Yai to visit wineries, museums and safari parks. Around a two to three hours’ drive from the capital, this is one of the few places on the planet where you can still encounter wild elephants. As such it’s a magical place to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat. And there’s plenty of other wildlife besides, such as gibbons, pig-tailed macaques, muntjacs and sambar deer. Do visit the Khao Yai National Park (it was the first of its kind in the country), if you want to get up close to nature and swim in waterfalls.
Khao Yai Intercontinental
Created by hotelier Bill Bensley, this destination hotel is loosely themed on a luxury train of old, having been inspired by the nearby 19th-century Pak Chong Railway station. You can inhabit your own upcycled vintage railway carriage (these form the suites), with marble shower rooms, carved wooden headboards and Laotian silk textiles in the mix. Somying’s Kitchen, Poirot and Papillon are the dining options, there’s a spa (playfully entitled “Back on Track) and a kids’ club — indeed the whole resort caters ably to little ones, particularly those lovers of the “choo choo”.