Nakhon Nayok is a small province in central Thailand, less than 2 hours’ drive from Bangkok. There are mountains, forests and grasslands of the vast Khao Yai National Park there, which are home to diverse wildlife including bears, elephants and rare birds. This place is a perfect choice for camping out and for numerous outdoor activities. In mid-December our team visited Nakhon Nayok in order to inspect this relatively rarely visited destination with a significant potential.
We set out from Bangkok on December 12th. We reached our camping site called “Suan Kai Wa”, where we set up our tents. It was a real pleasure to prepare our picnic lunch while enjoying the fresh air, listening to the birds singing and hearing a waterfall right next to our campsite.
Suan Kai Wa is equipped with all the modern facilities, so no need to worry about a toilet, a shower or a place to change cloths – they do have all of these. They can even provide tents, mattresses and other necessary equipment at a very reasonable cost. Most people, however, bring their own tents, blankets or food. The price of staying overnight is just 150 THB per person. The campsite provides security guards who stay on duty the whole night. Loud music or noisy behavior is not allowed. Suan Kai Wa is very popular with Bangkokians, especially during the weekends or public holidays, so an advance reservation is highly recommended.
After lunch we walked up to the waterfall. It was really refreshing to dip our feet in the cool water. We enjoyed immensely the brisk air and the temperature of 20-21 degrees C which is rather cold for Thailand. This place is definitely suitable for families, as kids can enjoy refreshing water, clean air and nature.
The highlight of the trip was the overnight stay in tents. We spent long hours telling and listening to stories, enjoying cool breeze and mysterious sounds of the surrounding wildlife.
The next day we woke up early, as the rather cold air and the birds singing wouldn’t allow us sleep till late. But because of this we had plenty of time to enjoy our picnic breakfast, to relax and to take a walk up the nearby hills.
At noon we visited Wat Chulabhorn Wanaram temple, situated in Tambon Ban Phrik, which is well known for a “bamboo tunnel”. Bamboo plants on both sides bend in creating a natural tunnel which is around 500 m long. The temple enshrines a Buddha's relic. Its compound is richly decorated with various plant species, so it is very much worth visiting.
Nakhon Nayok is a great alternative for a weekend trip, as it is not far from Bangkok, it is easily accessible, it offers great nature and clean air. Yet, it stays off the beaten tourist track.