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Khao Yai or Khao Sam Roi Yot or Other?

Khao Yai or Khao Sam Roi Yot or Other?

Old Jan 9, 19, 4:45 pm
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Khao Yai or Khao Sam Roi Yot or Other?

Hello. My gf and I are planning a trip to Thailand late-August. We will be coming from DAD and only have, at most, 4 days before needing to be at SIN. We're most likely going to fly into BKK, but that is flexible. Which park would be best considering our short time for self-guided hikes- Khao Yai, Khao Sam Roi Yot? Do you recommend another park?

Additional activities on the itinerary is to visit an elephant refuge and temples. I specifically had Wat Pho since it's in Bangkok. Many thanks!
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Old Jan 10, 19, 9:32 am
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I've been to Khao Yai in a private car before. I'm curious how you plan to get around Khao Yai? Also, at 4 days, your time is very limited. Are you planning to stay overnight or hoping to do a day trip? I'm not familiar with elephant refuges in central Thailand, but 10 seconds of googling shows there's one on the way to Khao Sam Roi Yot. Again, without a private car and limited time, I'm not quite sure how you would get there. Sorry to sound like a downer, but it seems to me that transportation is going to your first issue.

I've never been to Khao Sam Roi Yot or know anything about it.
I'd probably fly into BKK, and immediately take the airport bus to Hua Hin. Get to Hua Hin. Find a driver that will take you to (or book a tour of) Khao Sam Roi Yot and perhaps an elephant refuge (if it turns out to be legit) the next day. Have dinner in Hua Hin, sleep at hotel. Next day do your touring. Have dinner at Hua Hin, sleep at hotel. Drive back to Bangkok. See your Bangkok sights. Sleep at hotel. Fly to next place.
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Old Jan 10, 19, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
I've been to Khao Yai in a private car before. I'm curious how you plan to get around Khao Yai? Also, at 4 days, your time is very limited. Are you planning to stay overnight or hoping to do a day trip? I'm not familiar with elephant refuges in central Thailand, but 10 seconds of googling shows there's one on the way to Khao Sam Roi Yot. Again, without a private car and limited time, I'm not quite sure how you would get there. Sorry to sound like a downer, but it seems to me that transportation is going to your first issue.

I've never been to Khao Sam Roi Yot or know anything about it.
I'd probably fly into BKK, and immediately take the airport bus to Hua Hin. Get to Hua Hin. Find a driver that will take you to (or book a tour of) Khao Sam Roi Yot and perhaps an elephant refuge (if it turns out to be legit) the next day. Have dinner in Hua Hin, sleep at hotel. Next day do your touring. Have dinner at Hua Hin, sleep at hotel. Drive back to Bangkok. See your Bangkok sights. Sleep at hotel. Fly to next place.
No worries about being a downer! It's actually sobering and more helpful! Transportation is definitely our biggest issue. It's hard to gauge just how much time it will get from Point A to Point B- even harder in unfamiliar places.

Seems like we'd need to schedule a taxi to get to either of these places. I mentioned the two parks because hiking and wilderness backpacking are what we're familiar. Obviously overnight camping in international forest would be no go (that'd be really cool tho!) so I figured hikes national parks would be nice. I like the Khao Sam Roi Yot itinerary to visit a refuge. Would you recommend flying into another airport?
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Old Jan 11, 19, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by fishfly View Post
No worries about being a downer! It's actually sobering and more helpful! Transportation is definitely our biggest issue. It's hard to gauge just how much time it will get from Point A to Point B- even harder in unfamiliar places.

Seems like we'd need to schedule a taxi to get to either of these places. I mentioned the two parks because hiking and wilderness backpacking are what we're familiar. Obviously overnight camping in international forest would be no go (that'd be really cool tho!) so I figured hikes national parks would be nice. I like the Khao Sam Roi Yot itinerary to visit a refuge. Would you recommend flying into another airport?
I would say the main reason transportation is an issue is because of your very limited time. You have to be very organized, have most everything pre-planned, and move efficiently. You can't really afford to fly into Bangkok and then look for a ride afterwards. I would recommend flying into Bangkok, because that's where your flights from Da Nang (or maybe Van Don) will fly to.
Khao Yai does have camping, but then what is your taxi driver going to do? Sleep in the tent next to yours? He/She will need to pick you up the next day. Also Thailand is similar to Vietnam in that there are not taxis everywhere. Your taxi to the jungle may just end up being a guy driving you around that was contracted out by your hotel/tour booker. This driver will need to understand that you wish to go out hiking for a few hours and he/she will need to wait for you. This service exists, you just need to make sure the driver knows this, which will be difficult if they can't speak English.

Maybe somebody else will reply that has a bit more knowledge on doing the national parks without a car, or give other hiking recommendations that are not in a national park and not too far from Bangkok.

To completely change the story, how about flying from Hanoi to Chiang Mai and completely skipping Bangkok? Lots of jungle trekking there, good food variety, international airport, lower prices than Bangkok.
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Old Jan 11, 19, 11:44 pm
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Whilst Khao Yai and Khao Sam Roi Yot and both within reasonable travelling distances from Bangkok, as a previous poster has pointed out, you will seriously need to consider how you will get to, and back, from either of these National Parks particularly if you do not have your own transport (hire car), and given your limited time in Thailand this is going to present a (not insurmountable) problem.

Given your limited time frame, I would strongly recommend you consider The Erawan National Park which is located North West of Kanchanaburi.

Kanchanaburi is easily reached from Bangkok by train or bus – approximately 3 hours. There is a regular bus service from the bus station in Kanchanaburi to Erawan National Park – approximately 1 hour.

The Park has some great waterfalls, caves and several hiking trails. If I remember correctly the park has some fairly basic facilities for people wishing to stay overnight. There are also a few cheap ‘home-stay’ accommodation facilities nearby.

There are also a couple of elephant rescue centres on the outskirts of Kancahnaburi on route to Erawan Park, but you will need to negotiate with a taxi driver to take you to one and wait for you.

The attached web page has some info that may be of interest to you .https://www.thelostpassport.com/erawan-national-park-thailand/

FYI – If you are not already aware, August to October in Thailand can be somewhat wet – the rainy season.

I hope you have an enjoyable visit.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 9:33 am
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Why not rent a car? Hertz, Avis, etc.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 7:30 pm
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Never thought of these parks. Thanks for the ideas
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Old Jan 13, 19, 3:18 pm
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With four days I might stay based in Bangkok and take day trips out towards Kanchanburi and Autthaya. You could use public transpo or arrange private transpo.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by fishfly View Post
Hello. My gf and I are planning a trip to Thailand late-August. We will be coming from DAD and only have, at most, 4 days before needing to be at SIN. We're most likely going to fly into BKK, but that is flexible. Which park would be best considering our short time for self-guided hikes- Khao Yai, Khao Sam Roi Yot? Do you recommend another park?

Additional activities on the itinerary is to visit an elephant refuge and temples. I specifically had Wat Pho since it's in Bangkok. Many thanks!
Out of curiosity have you been to any other parks in Thailand? If so, do you have any favourites?
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Old Jan 13, 19, 6:22 pm
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Thanks for the comments about taxis. I didn't realize taxis don't just drop you off into Point B. Seems like we'd have to join an overnight tour to visit these places.

Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post
Out of curiosity have you been to any other parks in Thailand? If so, do you have any favourites?
Never been to Thailand but these parks really piqued my interests.

Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Why not rent a car? Hertz, Avis, etc.
Would I need a an IDP or a US license ok? There are conflicting comments. But seems like we'd have to take guided tours to get outside of Bangkok to be safe.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Oldtiger View Post
Whilst Khao Yai and Khao Sam Roi Yot and both within reasonable travelling distances from Bangkok, as a previous poster has pointed out, you will seriously need to consider how you will get to, and back, from either of these National Parks particularly if you do not have your own transport (hire car), and given your limited time in Thailand this is going to present a (not insurmountable) problem.

Given your limited time frame, I would strongly recommend you consider The Erawan National Park which is located North West of Kanchanaburi.

Kanchanaburi is easily reached from Bangkok by train or bus – approximately 3 hours. There is a regular bus service from the bus station in Kanchanaburi to Erawan National Park – approximately 1 hour.

The Park has some great waterfalls, caves and several hiking trails. If I remember correctly the park has some fairly basic facilities for people wishing to stay overnight. There are also a few cheap ‘home-stay’ accommodation facilities nearby.

There are also a couple of elephant rescue centres on the outskirts of Kancahnaburi on route to Erawan Park, but you will need to negotiate with a taxi driver to take you to one and wait for you.

The attached web page has some info that may be of interest to you .https://www.thelostpassport.com/erawan-national-park-thailand/

FYI – If you are not already aware, August to October in Thailand can be somewhat wet – the rainy season.

I hope you have an enjoyable visit.
THanks for the recommendation! Looks like a good idea given our short time. We've accepted it's going to be a wet experience haha.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by fishfly View Post
Thanks for the comments about taxis. I didn't realize taxis don't just drop you off into Point B. Seems like we'd have to join an overnight tour to visit these places.

Would I need a an IDP or a US license ok? There are conflicting comments. But seems like we'd have to take guided tours to get outside of Bangkok to be safe.
First comment about taxis. Sometimes taxi drivers are willing to chaffeur your around for a flat fare. In fact, most of the drivers have a price chart hanging on the back of the seat for various destinations. For them this is good as they have a confirmed income so often works out well.
The big issue you will have is trying to communicate your intentions to stay longer and still need them to hang around as most taxi drivers don't have great English skills.They know destinations but trying to say you want to stay overnight might be a challenge - solved by asking your hotel concierge to talk with them.
Also while this is the "land of smiles" you will need to have some caution in the way you approach this.

Second, if you are not familiar with driving in Thailand, it is not something I would recommend. Driving etiquette is probably not what you are used to. For example you might be used to using your car horn when people cut you up, but in Thailand, it might end up being an invite for a fight.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by fishfly View Post
Thanks for the comments about taxis. I didn't realize taxis don't just drop you off into Point B.
Oh they definitely drop you off at Point B. But that's not what you want. You will need that taxi to return you back from where you came from!
Khao Yai is 300 square kilometers. Khao Sam Roi Yot is 100 square kilometers. You're not really going to a point. You will want to be driving all around. I've never been to Yellowstone in the US, but I'd imagine it's something like that....meaning it's a large area that you explore in a car for several hours/days. (Yes, I realize Yellowstone is different, I'm just trying to get the point across that it's a big park and OP will need roundtrip transportation)

You will have to somehow communicate with the driver exactly what you want to do. Again, the main issue here is the language barrier. Finding a driver is somewhat easy, but communicating that you want to stop at point A for 40 mins, then point B for 20 mins, then point C for as long as it take you to hike up the mountain and come back and if we're not back in 4 hours you should be concerned and at 5 hours please call for help, that's going to be the problem. And yes, people do go up hiking and get lost and have to be rescued. Basically, just start Googling for tour guide/drivers.

Last edited by CrazyInteg; Jan 14, 19 at 8:13 am
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Old Jan 14, 19, 9:54 am
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Just rent a car. An Intl driving permit will run 20 bucks at AAA. I wouldn’t drive in BKK but a few times a year I drive down to Hua Hin, around Phuket, in and around Chiang Mai, Phayao and Chiang Rai. Waze works well. It will be much easier than trying to find a taxi driver that wants to sleep in the back of his car in some park.

https://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html

Last edited by yosithezet; Jan 14, 19 at 10:01 am
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Old Jan 14, 19, 11:00 pm
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Originally Posted by SQTraveller View Post
First comment about taxis. Sometimes taxi drivers are willing to chaffeur your around for a flat fare. In fact, most of the drivers have a price chart hanging on the back of the seat for various destinations. For them this is good as they have a confirmed income so often works out well.
The big issue you will have is trying to communicate your intentions to stay longer and still need them to hang around as most taxi drivers don't have great English skills.They know destinations but trying to say you want to stay overnight might be a challenge - solved by asking your hotel concierge to talk with them.
Also while this is the "land of smiles" you will need to have some caution in the way you approach this.

Second, if you are not familiar with driving in Thailand, it is not something I would recommend. Driving etiquette is probably not what you are used to. For example you might be used to using your car horn when people cut you up, but in Thailand, it might end up being an invite for a fight.
Do you know if it's similar to Manila? If it's like that...I definitely wouldn't want to drive there.

Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
Oh they definitely drop you off at Point B. But that's not what you want. You will need that taxi to return you back from where you came from!
Khao Yai is 300 square kilometers. Khao Sam Roi Yot is 100 square kilometers. You're not really going to a point. You will want to be driving all around. I've never been to Yellowstone in the US, but I'd imagine it's something like that....meaning it's a large area that you explore in a car for several hours/days. (Yes, I realize Yellowstone is different, I'm just trying to get the point across that it's a big park and OP will need roundtrip transportation)

You will have to somehow communicate with the driver exactly what you want to do. Again, the main issue here is the language barrier. Finding a driver is somewhat easy, but communicating that you want to stop at point A for 40 mins, then point B for 20 mins, then point C for as long as it take you to hike up the mountain and come back and if we're not back in 4 hours you should be concerned and at 5 hours please call for help, that's going to be the problem. And yes, people do go up hiking and get lost and have to be rescued. Basically, just start Googling for tour guide/drivers.
Those are great points (pun intended). You made me think about my experiences in Yosemite, Zion, etc. You're definitely right - transportation was crucial in going to multiple hikes and viewpoints. Really seems like the best way is joining a tour group for a daytrip or get a rental for two days. This is our first international trip, so it's probably best to stick to popular areas.

Originally Posted by yosithezet View Post
Just rent a car. An Intl driving permit will run 20 bucks at AAA. I wouldn’t drive in BKK but a few times a year I drive down to Hua Hin, around Phuket, in and around Chiang Mai, Phayao and Chiang Rai. Waze works well. It will be much easier than trying to find a taxi driver that wants to sleep in the back of his car in some park.

https://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html
Thank you. I need to read up more on driving etiquette but if it's chill, Hua Hin looks like a promising destination!
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