In addition to countless domestic and expat holiday-makers, Thailand receives 14 million foreign tourists a year and they all have to stay somewhere. I can maybe put one of you up for a night on my couch at a push, but that’s it. That leaves 13,999,999 looking for a place to stay. Fortunately, Thailand has plenty of hotels or resorts to choose from and catering to every taste and budget. Get a head start from our heads up, but hurry. There are 13,999,998 behind you.
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Kratomhin Nuntapuk (Korat / Khao Yai) – adapted from Naked Farang: Four Weddings and a Coup
In December 2006, I took my wife and son on an adventure holiday to Khao Yai National Park, about 200km north east of Bangkok. I booked us into a resort called Kratomhin Nuntapuk near the village of Wang Nam Keaw some 80km north east of Khao Yai and 100km south of Nakhon Ratchasima, and I rented a car, which was essential for exploring Khao Yai, Wang Nam Keaw and, indeed, the huge resort itself.
At over 2,000 baht per night, it was slightly over our usual budget, but worth very satang. We had a simple but beautifully designed and furnished one-bedroom wooden house with a huge veranda on stilts built right on the edge of a large lily pond. There were a few other similar houses near us, but they were empty the whole time we were there, leaving us totally secluded. We were a long way from the reception area and there was probably no-one else staying within a kilometre of us.
The resort was a working farm and we were right on its border. It was beautifully landscaped with ponds, salas, gardens and a handful of wooden and stone houses for guests spread over a huge area. All the buildings were carefully designed to blend into the landscape, giving it a very natural, rustic feel. There was even a play area near the reception and restaurant, with a slide, swings and a roundabout all hand-crafted from wood.
The resort on its own was worth a holiday, but it was only to be the base for our Khao Yai adventure. Nevertheless, we spent the first day just relaxing and enjoying our new surroundings.
In the late afternoon, we decided to order room service and have dinner on our veranda as the sun set behind the distant hills beyond the lily pond. I’ve never had room service delivered by a van before, but I’d definitely recommend it.
I’d like to say that it was tranquil at night, but the chorus of horny frogs and crickets was far noisier than our quiet Bangkok soi, yet it still felt more natural and easier on the ear than the barking dogs or screaming motorcycles and tuk-tuks that occasionally invade our peace back in the city.
At night it also got chilly. Thai friends back in Bangkok had used the word “freezing” when I had told them where we were going for our year-end trip, but while it fell well below 10C at night, their interpretation of the word differed greatly from mine and was used in a decidedly relative context.
Breakfast was from 7:00 until 10:00. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a Thai or farang breakfast, so I helped myself to both from the buffet with fried eggs, ham, hot dog sausages and toast accompanied by fried rice and fruit.
It proved to be not only a great base to explore Khao Yai and the surrounding countryside, but also an excellent resort in its own right. It’s an excellent place for a relaxing family holiday.
Find out more from their website (and mention us if you contact them) www.kratomhin.com