Khao Yai Thiang is an idyllic mountainous region located in the province of Nakhon Ratchasima, 200km northeast of Bangkok. It is home to predominantly Muslim and Buddhist communities whom operate guesthouses and resorts towards the north of the highlands. These resorts are popular among residents of Bangkok due to it’s close proximity to the capitol, beautiful mountain scenery and cool weather during the winter months as well as wide variety of dining options such as Halal, vegetarian, western and Thai.
Resorts offer all the amenities one could need and cater for all budgets. There are places for camping enthusiasts to set up their tents as well giving plenty of options.
Numerous wind turbines are dotted around the landscape towards the south of the highlands, and more recently this area has become a mecca for mountain bikers who come to enjoy the myriad of cycling trails which have been created by and maintained by the local community and cycling enthusiasts from Bangkok.
Many of the mountain biking routes overlook the stunning Lam Takhong Reservoir and beyond and there are many other scenic spots to enjoy the amazing views and landscapes. The mountain biking trails are designed for people of all abilities and appeals to enthusiasts of numerous mountain biking disciplines such as cross country and enduro. Riders can generally expect flowy singletrack trails with sections of rock gardens with a mostly gentle gradient. Features such as jumps and berms are dotted all over the trails and most of the trails are under the canopy of the forest which keeps riding conditions comfortable, even in the hot season.
Khao Yai Thiang is also where the Trailhead Enduro event is hosted. This popular mountain biking race attracts enthusiasts from all over the kingdom and southeast Asia to enjoy the amazing trails and to soak in the fantastic mountain atmosphere.
Things to do Around Khao Yai Thiang
Enjoy a Sumptuous Feast at a Resort
There is an abundance of fantastic resorts and restaurants at Khao Yai Thiang so it’s well worthwhile enjoying a day or 2 in the area relaxing and enjoying the wine selections and amazing food high up in the hills overlooking the surrounding countryside. Baan Rai Plainoen is our recommendation for the best restaurant in the area with plenty of seating indoors and out, spectacular views and a huge variety of Thai and Western cuisine as well as cakes and other deserts available served by friendly staff. Visit them on Facebook for menu options and opening times.
Explore the Geopark
In 2015 the Khao Yai Thiang region was designated a geopark in order to protect the unique geological features of the region. An abundance of dinosaur fossils are present in the area and prehistoric paintings made by humans several thousand years ago. There are numerous sights you can visit, as well as 2 learning centers in the area and a museum in Nakhon Ratchasima city which is well worth an explore.
Cruise Around on a Buggy
Mountain biking is not the only way to explore the many trails in the area, Jungle Jump Buggy offers a number of 4×4 buggy’s for rent and make for a fun adventure through the forest along dirt roads. You can visit some amazing off the beaten track areas and have fun with family and friends for a few hours. For rental options visit them on Facebook.
Khao Yai National Park
Aside from the local attractions, there is plenty to see and do nearby Khao Yai Thiang. Most notably is Khao Yai national park – a UNESCO World Heritage site and the first area to be designated a national park in Thailand. The park is home to some unique wildlife such as wild elephants, deer, monkeys and bears and there are dozens of spectacular waterfalls, caves and mountain top vistas to visit. We recommend staying a night in the park as there is so much to explore!
Visit a Vineyard
Many visitors are surprised to find vineyards around Khao Yai Thiang and there are in fact 2 wineries in the region. GranMonte has a fantastic restaurant that overlooks the vineyards and even offers tours which teach you about the growing techniques, grape varieties and fermentation. Of course wine tasting comes as standard at the end of the tour! PB Valley is the other winery which along with its vineyard has an excellent restaurant servicing Thai and fusion cuisine.
Check out an Amusement Park
Scenical World Amusement and Water Theme Park is fun for kids and adults of all ages! The amusement park has a huge variety of attractions with water slides, kids games, carnival processions music and performances. Visitors can enjoy 15 different water attractions with the amazing mountains as a backdrop.
Visit Pimo Piazza
This hugely popular attraction has a number of European influenced buildings, which make for lots of photo opportunities. There are café’s, restaurants and gift shops as well as an alpaca farm. The area has a great atmosphere and is well worthwhile visiting for a couple of hours.