Only two hours drive north of Bangkok (if you’re lucky with the traffic), is the beautiful National Park of Khao Yai, which seems a whole world away from the mega urban landscape of Bangkok.
Over 2000 sq kms, the area is home to wild elephants, rare hornbills, gibbons, and a wealth of other flora and fauna. The forest is magnificent, with a mixture of vegetation, including evergreen rainforest (100m to 400m); semi-evergreen rainforest (400m to 900m); mixed deciduous forest (northern slopes at 400m to 600m) and hill evergreen forest.
Just outside the park are a range of Thai vineyards, hotels and restaurants, of which Vino di Zanotti (sister branch of Zanotti in Bangkok) was our favourite – good Italian cooking with a lovely open deck area at the back of the restaurant. We only managed to squeeze in a couple of days, but with so much to see and do here, we want to make a return visit soon. If you’re planning a trip, check for Thai holidays, as half of Bangkok seems to escape here, the traffic leaving Bangkok becomes a nightmare, and accommodation scarce