Recently, I went to Khao Yai, Thailand for a short holiday. Honestly, I am quite excited about this trip as I wanted to go to Khao Yai, as I kept hearing about it for a few years. On top of that, I would really love to embrace the sight of the sunflowers. This was also the last trip of the year. It's also one of the rare occasions that I went on the trip with my family to Thailand. I decided to pen this down while my memory is still fresh.
We booked the air tickets and accommodation relatively late. Hence, the overall price of the air tickets and accommodation were on the higher end. On top of that, most of the hotels and resorts were fully booked! It was quite hard to find one during the dates that we were there. Nevertheless, we managed to have everything settled 2 weeks before the trip.
On the day of the day of the trip, we took Thai Airways to Bangkok. We hired a car charter with a driver for the entire trip. I would suggest doing this as the driver would drive you not just to Khao Yai, and it's definitely easier to get around the town. There is no public transport in Khao Yai, and I didn't see any tuk tuk while I was in Khao Yai too. The drive from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Khao Yai was slightly less than 3 hours, as we managed to get a really smooth traffic that day and we even had a short stop to buy some snacks.
Stop 1 - PB Valley Khao Yai Winery
The first stop of the trip was a visit to PB Valley Khao Yai Winery. Initially, we wanted to take a tour around the winery first. However, we reached 20 minutes late to the place, the buggy had driven off, and we could only join in for the next tour(, provided there were seats available).
One important point to take note is that if you have to book the trip 1 week in advance! They had a huge notice placed at their counter. We were lucky to be able to join the next tour partly because our driver was able to negotiate with the saleslady. (That's another bonus for hiring a private driver.) To be on a safe side, it best to book the tour in advance and be there early as they would start to push the crowd to take the buggy half an hour before the start of the tour. Anyway, since we have some time to spend, we decided to have lunch at their restaurant first.
Fried Pork Knuckle
The Fried Pork Knuckle was the first dish that was served to us, and we were famished; hence we devoured it when it arrived. Honestly, it was pretty good. It reminded me of Germany, but it wasn't as good as theirs. The meat was a bit dried. However, I have to comment on the mashed potato and the sauce. The combination of these 2 was perfect. Honestly, that was my favourite part of the dish.
We were pretty hungry and ordered quite a number of dishes. I don't eat spicy food hence I ordered a salmon fillet for myself. The salmon was cooked nicely. You could see a tinge of slight pink when you sliced the meat. The texture of the fish was not too hard.
Most importantly, this serving was good enough for 1. Anyway, Khao Yai is not surrounded by ocean. Hence, their seafood is slightly on the pricier side.
Seafood Pad Thai
Like most Thai food, the Seafood Pad Thai was slightly on the sweeter side. The prawns were tasty. I am not a fan of Thai Food, so I don't really fancy this dish.
Strawberry and Grape Sparkling Juice
This was the highlight! The drink was refreshing in a good way. They mixed strawberry, homemade grape juice and soda together. The result was perfect! It's a great drink to have at the end of a long ride on a hot and sunny day! There were sliced strawberries in the juice as well, which I enjoyed eating! I am a fan of strawberries.
These weren't all the dishes that we ordered, but as I said I am not a fan of Thai Food and the meals were spicy. Hence, I would not be discussing much them.
Anyway, you could enjoy a 10% discount if you are going on a tour here. The ticket comes with a 10% voucher, so remember to use it!
Now, let's talk about the tour! All of us took the buggy on tour around the farm. The tour has 3 stops; grapevine farm, production factory and a shortstop for wine tasting. At the first stop, we get to have a 10 minutes photo stop at the grapevine farm. There was only a small section of the farm opened for our viewing. The grapes were pretty tiny. It's smaller than the grapes that you see in the supermarket. At the second stop, we went to the production factory. Honestly, there was nothing much to view. Most of the guests were looking forward to the last stop; wine tasting! To my utter disappointment, the wine was not fantastic. It can't be compared to French/New Zealand and Australian Wine. However, their grape juice tasted so much better, and that was the saving grace for the tour. Honestly, I find the trip a little underwhelming, but it is still a good education tour of wine in Asia.
Things to do if you want to go PB Valley Khao Yai Winery:
Book the tour at least 1 week in advance
Reach the winery at least half an hour before the actual time of the visit
Put on sunblock as the sun is really glaring!
I would continue Day 1 in another post, so stay tuned!