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Sustainable tourism

UNESCO World Heritage Khao Yai Thailand and the Peri Hotel

Author: Andrew J Wood / Date: Mon, 10/10/2022 - 07:56
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The Peri Hotel, Khao Yai Thailand.
This boutique resort is a modern structure with a classical design of water features and pools.
Jungle Explorer 4x4.
Khao Yai National Park is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The magnificent Great Hornbill in full flight.

Khao Yai was established in 1962 as Thailand's first national park. It is the third-largest national park in Thailand. Situated mainly in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Khao Yai extends into Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces.

KHAO YAI - The Peri Hotel, situated on the edge of the wonderful Khao Yai National Park, is just 2.5 hours from Bangkok. If you’re looking for a sustainable way to enjoy your leisure time, visiting a local national park is perfect. This boutique resort is a modern structure with a classical design of water features and pools in a semi-enclosed quadrangle.

Whilst compact, the rooms are very comfortable, all ensuite, modern facilities, including flatscreen TVs and free Wifi and Netflix. The outdoor balcony allows you to look out across the tree tops of this four-star resort in a tropical rainforest.

The pet-friendly resort’s main restaurant is the Chow Barn Café. We had all our meals here during our three-day stay. It was a pleasingly eclectic mix of agricultural farm-meets-African vibe with a tall barn-like ceiling and excellent old leather furniture. With the added comfort of decorative hand-woven rural fabrics and cushions surrounded by exotic palms. 

The staff in the restaurant were quite exceptional, and we got to know them well during our short stay.

The menu includes a selection of classic international favourites and great north-eastern Thai favourites. The grill menu was exceptional and featured several meat dishes from around the world. In the evening, there was also a choice of numerous set menus, which were outstanding value, five dishes for two people served family style for 850 baht, with a great variety, and something for everyone in its clever choice of items.

On my first evening, I elected to be somewhat European and ordered a grilled ribeye steak with all its accompaniments, including the most delicious fresh grilled corn on the cob. The following day, I tried the grilled sticky rice with locally produced grilled pork which was quite extraordinary.

Chow Barn serves a wide selection of cocktails, and they also have an excellent wine display with all the bottles laid out with prices clearly displayed and special offers to entice you. Breakfast served here was Buffet style with an egg station and salad bar. The choice was extensive and beautifully presented.

Afternoon tea can also be served in this area, although it is more of an afternoon meal with a selection of Assorted Cakes, French Toast, Fresh Fruit Skewer, Mixed Vegetable Quesadilla, Assorted Sandwiches, Fries, juice and tea or coffee.

The resort has two meeting rooms. A fully equipped conference room located on the ground floor, with a space of up to 106 sqm the space can accommodate up to 90 people. Located on the second floor of the main building, the glasshouse function room can accommodate up to 40 people.

The Peri Hotel Khao Yai can cater for corporate events, team-building workshops and wedding receptions.

The Peri Hotel Khao Yai combines a comfortable mix of tribal patterns and animal prints and is surrounded by tropical rainforests. The reception area, with its African theme, is a meeting point for the hotel and is a powerful two-storey high open space with views of the quadrangle behind and the forest in front. 

During our first afternoon, we had a hotel tour, including the pool area and the organic kitchen garden. 

Although the weather at this time of year tends to have rain in the afternoon, this did not distract from the enjoyment of not only the resort but also the national park. The national park is over half a million acres in size, and we were fortunate to choose a day with little rain. We had a very early start leaving the resort after breakfast at 8 o’clock. This early start was a godsend as it did rain later in the afternoon. Still, it gave us a good half day of clear weather where we could have a private wildlife safari with our guide and driver, Jay and the lovely Poo, his photographer wife. 

They have their own Trek company offering bespoke tailored guiding tours of the park and using their own unique jungle 4x4 vehicle, the jungle explorer. Wildlife Safari and Jay Jungle Tours

Khao Yai was established in 1962 as Thailand's first national park. It is the third-largest national park in Thailand. Situated mainly in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Khao Yai extends into Prachinburi, Saraburi and Nakhon Nayok provinces. 

The park covers an area of 2,168 km², including rain/evergreen forests and grasslands. At 1,351 metres high, Khao Rom is the highest mountain in the park. The park is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The park’s Northern entrance is just 26km from the Peri Hotel. 

Park entry fees
Thai:

  • Adults: 40 baht Children under 14: 20 baht
  • Foreigners:
  • Adults: 400 baht Children : 200 baht

Cars 30 baht

During our visit to the National park, we were very fortunate to see many animals, including Gibbons. One of the main draws to the park is its two species of gibbon - the White-handed or Lar gibbon and the Pileated gibbon. These are best seen in the morning when they can be heard calling out, either alone or in family groups.

We saw a pair of Great Hornbills, a host of birdlife, giant squirrels and several macaques and insects. We also saw a number of Barking and Sambar deer roaming freely.

The Great Hornbill flies searching for fruiting trees, sometimes crossing high over open areas. It flies with heavy wing beats, 3-4 flaps and a long glide; the massive wings produce a loud whooshing sound.

The Great Hornbill found in the Khao Yai National Park is becoming increasingly rare. Great Hornbills are located in the forests of India, Bhutan, Nepal, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Indonesian Island of Sumatra and the Northeastern region of India. A large bird, 95-130 cm long, with a wide wingspan and a weight of 2 to 4 kg.

When launching to fly, we heard the loud ‘whoosh’ of the wings beating. Two metres across, they are heavy, and the sound birds produce in flight can be heard from a distance. 

In Thailand, the home range of the male hornbill is approximately 4-14 sq km. Figs are significant food sources for all hornbills and important dispersants of many forest tree species. They will also eat small mammals, birds, small reptiles and insects. 

Before exiting the park, we wanted to visit one of Khao Yai’s famous waterfalls. The rainy season is the best time to see spectacular falls in the park. During June, July, and August, they have plenty of water. We visited Haew Suwat waterfall, a must-see for anyone visiting the park. This stunning waterfall was made famous in the film The Beach. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew J Wood

English born Andrew J Wood, is a freelance travel writer and for most of his career a professional hotelier. Andrew has over 40 years of hospitality and travel experience. He is a Skal member and a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew is also a former Director of Skal International (SI), Past President SI THAILAND, 2 times Club President of SI BANGKOK and is currently President SKAL ASIA. He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Thailand and overseas.