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Asia travel and leisure guides for hotels, food and drink, shopping, nightlife, and spas | Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia

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Khao Yai

A UNESCO World Heritage site nestled in the heart of Thailand's verdant Sankamphaeng mountain range, Khao Yai was the country's first national park for a good, and simple, reason: the beautiful scenery in which a wide range of flora and fauna thrive. Tigers, elephants, bears, gibbons and the national bird of Thailand, the great hornbill, call the park home; bird watching and night safaris offer visitors a broad look at the region's wildlife. The area is also known for its vineyards, as the unusually cool climate is well suited for harvesting certain varietals of grapes. Accommodations mostly are scattered along the outskirts of this national park, and range from rustic opulence to boutique chic (though the most immersive travelers can camp out). Only a three-hour drive from Bangkok, Khao Yai is perfect option for those seeking respite from the chaos of the capital.

Hotels

The unique position as an isolated national park allows for large, sprawling resorts, often modeled in the European style, as well as smaller, environmentally focused boutique options in tune with the natural surroundings. A number of gold-themed resorts have cemented the region's reputation as a mecca of the sport.

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