One of the most notable transformations for both domestic and international travellers in Thailand post-pandemic has been the realization that the old-school beach holiday stereotype is out the window. Rivers, mountains, farms, or even a jungle trek are now the hot ticket. For those who went to the just-wound-up Wonderfruit, you’ve already caught the vibe, and it won’t go away.
One of the latest destinations in Thailand that are buzzing is Khao Yai. A quick two a half hour drive from Bangkok, it can best be summed up as a ‘drive in’ getaway. Moving into the adventure zone, or going back to nature is also about escaping the four walls of a traditional cookie-cutter hotel, complete with those miniature umbrella-topped welcome drinks.
Set to the tune of a road trip soundtrack, it’s high time to admire the great outdoors with a visit to Marasca Khao Yai. This is a new boho-chic getaway with a tasty collection of 18 glamping tents, glamper suites, villas, and one very, very cool glamper van.
If you want space, you got it. Nature, a posh little bolt hole in the woods and next to the stunning World Heritage registered Dong Phayayen–Khao Yai Forest Complex. Complete with hiking and biking trails, it’s a place to try and get lost in (and hopefully found). Wander by a waterfall and, indulge in the cool weather. So cool in fact, you might want to light up that personal firepit or dive into your wooden hot tub at the Marasca.
Meanwhile back to the mountain chatter, another red-hot escape is the spanking new
Intercontinental Khao Yai Resort was designed by the creative icon Bill Bensley. This is a thematic-styled outing and homage to travel by rail. It’s romantic, has flair with all the mod-cons, and definitely goes over the top as only Bensley can.
Taking a step ahead is a fast-developing trend in the area, the country home property market. Bolstered by the ‘Zoom Boom’ and work-from-home shift, city-weary Bangkokians are increasingly buying or building estate homes in the area at a frenzied pace according to leading Thai online real estate marketplace FazWaz.
For Thailand’s adventure set, another top journey out of the box and into the tent is the 9 Hornbills Tented Camp on Koh Yao Yai Island in Phang Nga Bay. A quick trip from Phuket International Airport to the Ao Po Grand Marina and a chance to unwind on a scenic boat trip lands you at one of the country’s most picture-perfect locations. Small, intimate, and stunning views of the famed Bond islands create a fine opportunity to reconnect with nature.
With glamping now coming into more and more Thai holiday destinations, one of Asia’s best glamping tent and fit-out suppliers is Bali’s Escape Nomade whose motto is aptly summed up as ‘Living Without Walls’. Their designs, quality, and attention to detail are world-class.
With that, I have to get back to tending my firepit at Marasca, a name that means ‘cherry on top’, Now if I can just find a bottle of single malt scotch, I have a sky full of stars to gaze up at, and no box in sight.
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