Established by Thailand’s Population & Community Development Association, the resort once acted as a Community Development Centre but now focuses on catering to visitors. Profits still contribute to rural development, education and scholarships, HIV/AIDS and sexual health awareness, as well as environmental protection.
Nicknamed ‘Little Pai’, this is a great place to relax, with canoeing, cycling or just chillin’ at the bar among the alternatives for those ‘all hiked out’.
Basic backpacker accommodation, but Greenleaf’s wildlife tours are worth taking even if you don’t stay at the guesthouse. Full and half-day tours led by experienced English-speaking guides will usually encounter wild elephants, hornbills, bats, macaques and other colourful Khao Yai inhabitants.
During the dry season, camping is one of the most fun ways to stay at Khao Yai. Wake up inside World Heritage forest to the sound of gibbon calls. If a tent isn’t your style, bungalows and terraces can also be reserved through the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation – it’s a popular option, so book ahead.
Staying inside the park helps support Khao Yai’s upkeep. Make sure to dispose of any rubbish at the allocated points or take it with you, and bring some extra warm clothing – Khao Yai can get cold at night.
Adventurous travelers who stay with a family in one of the many villages dotted around Khao Yai will enjoy a unique experience. Homestay offers a chance to see how local people live, taste home-cooked thai food, and see FREELAND’s sustainable development projects in action. But be warned, people in the villages around Khao Yai are not wealthy – housing is extremely basic.
These suggestions are provided independently. Other environmentally responsible or interesting recommendations are welcome.