There’s more to Khao Yai than just forest forays
KHAO YAI ART MUSEUM: Hidden away on a small hill just outside the national park (Ban Tha Chang Soi 6, Moo 16) sits the Khao Yai Art Museum. This 1,700 sq.m space features art pieces from the private collection of Pongchai Chindasook, a leading Thai businessman. The gallery is packed with contemporary paintings by leading Thai artists, while the tastefully designed outdoor space is home to a sculpture garden. The grounds also contain six modern rental residences, known collectively as the ‘Art Space’, which can sleep up to 8-10 guests. There is also a shop and a restaurant on the premises. The museum is open Monday to Thursday from 10am till 6pm, and Friday through Sunday from 9am till 8pm. For more information call 04 475 6060-6.
THE BLOOM: Fans of flowers can visit the biggest floral garden in the country at The Bloom by TV Pool (357 Phayayen, Pakchong). This 100 rai plot of land is owned by a Thai TV mogul, who has turned it into a humungous horticultural habitat. Inside are various themed gardens, as well as a small hotel with restaurant. The gardens are open daily from 9am till 6pm, and entry on weekdays is B100 (weekends B200). For more information call 092 279 1222.
PETE MAZE: Prepare to lose yourself in your surroundings (literally) with a trip to Pete Maze (Yothathikarn Rd, Kahanong Phra) a zig-zagging garden labyrinth and a true challenge for anyone without a GPS tracker. The maze is open weekends and public holidays, from 9am to 6pm, and entry is B150. For more information call 080 168 9601.
GOLF: If kiddie attractions are not your style you can always hit the links at any one of Khao Yai’s 10 different golf courses, including the Bonanza Golf & Country Club, and the Mountain Creek Golf Resort (a 27-hole Seve Ballesteros designed course). There’s also two courses designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus: the Khao Yai Golf Club, and the course at the Kirimaya Golf Resort & Spa.