Thailand With Kids: Little Tuscany in Palio Khao Yai

Palio Khao Yai - Thailand With Kids

From the picture above, you might think that we just went to Tuscany. But in reality, it was a picture we took from our trip last year to Thailand.

Thailand With Kids: Palio Khao Yai

To be more specific it was at Palio – Khao Yai, an outdoor shopping plaza where tourists flock to pose as a model in front of many Tuscany inspired building. We made a quick stop to check out cute shops, cafe and restaurants after our visit to Khao Yai National Park.

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Thailand With Kids: Haew Suwat Waterfall AKA “The Beach” Waterfall

Thailand With Kids - Waterfall Khao Yai Haew Suwat

On our visit to Saraburi, we visited Khoa Yai National Park as a day trip.

After we entered the national park entrance, we passed many wild animals including families of monkeys who claim the street as their own. As we ascended up the mountain peak, it is clear why Khoa Yai National Park is one of the most visited park in Thailand. The dense forest and green plants blanket both side of the road.

One of our stops was Haew Suwat Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park.

This waterfall is best known as the shooting location for the movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio in ‘The Beach“. It was in the scene where he and his friends followed the map to the waterfall and in order to find this hidden place they would have to jump!

Thailand With Kids - Waterfall Khao Yai View The Beach

The waterfall didn’t look that impressive in this picture because we visited during the dry season. The water level was dramatically lower than usual. But during the rainy season, the park is packed with visitors and campers who can enjoy the waterfall at its best.

Thailand With Kids - Waterfall Khao Yai Trail

There is a walking trail to the bottom of the fall. The trail was easy to walk even with young children. But it still requires you to be careful on your steps. We marched along the trail with big trees protect us from the Sun.

Kids enjoyed climbing on the big rocks and twisted roots. Then we were rewarded with the view of the waterfall. Kids could wade in the water during this time due to low current. But during the rainy season, it is advised to be careful.

It was a quick stop on our long day at Khao Yai National Park. If you plan to visit, I would recommend to go during the rainy season. Yes, you will see more people. But with the park this size, being the only group here seems a bit too scary for me.

Family Tips:

  • Hiking shoes are recommended for walking down this trail
  • Bring extra outfit if kids plan to dip in the water
  • You might want to learn how to use squat toilet if planning to travel in the provinces. It will come in handy. Or try to look for handicapped restroom

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Thailand With Kids: Back to Nature @ Khao Yai National Park

Thailand With Kids - Khao Yai National Park

With just a short drive from Bangkok, Khao Yai National Park is a popular escape for many Thais as a great family weekend destination from the bustling city. The second largest park in Thailand with area of 2,168 square kilometers that expands to more than four provinces incorporates one of the largest monsoon forests along with plants, birds and wild animals.

We visited there during the hot season so there weren’t many visitors. It felt like we were the only group in the whole park.

Thailand With Kids - Khao Yai Monkeys

Well, except the local residents of the park, a large family of monkeys, wandered along the main road as we approached their territory. The sign warned visitors not to feed them as they could become aggressive toward you. It was surreal for us and the kids to just see them walking around.

Thailand With Kids - Khao Yai Monkey and Babies

Even the new mom came to check us out with her baby!

Thailand With Kids - Khao Yai Elephant

As we drove up the mountain toward the visitor center, we passed the Elephant Crossing. Fortunately (or unfortunately depends on how you like to view it), there was no elephant crossing the road at that time.

There are two primary entrance to Khao Yai National Park. The North entrance is through Nakhon Ratchasima province and the South entrance is through Prachinburi province. We stayed in Saraburi so we entered via the North entrance.

There are many camp sites available inside the park if you want to have more adventures than driving around. If you look for privacy then camp during low season. But be careful of all the wildlife that will roam around the park!

Family Tips:

  • Hire a car or a van to take you for a day out in the park.
  • There are many view points to help break down the winding road up the mountain.
  • Bring the gum (for bigger kids) or lollipop (for younger kids) as you will ascend up the high attitude.
  • Stop by the Visitor Center for the map and bathroom break.

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