Khao Yai, relatively unknown outside of Thailand golfers, is a mere 2 hours from Bangkok and is the home of Thailand’s second largest national park. Will this area develop into a full-fledged golf destination for tourists?
The short answer is maybe and here are the reasons why and why not.
- Good proximity of Khao Yai to Bangkok and it can also be linked easily with Pattaya for a 2-center golf holiday.
- Critical mass of golf courses. With 10 courses in the area, Khao Yai has more than enough golf courses to make it into a viable golfing destination. The 3 best courses are Rancho Charnvee – well-maintained Bob McFarland design, Panorama – mature parkland layout, and Mountain Creek – challenging 27-hole Seve Ballesteros course.
- Low prices. Green fees start at $15 USD a round and even the better courses mentioned above all have special weekday rates as low as $20 USD. This is a steal for 18-holes of golf anywhere!
- Golf resorts. Most of the Khao Yai golf courses have on-site accommodations the best of which are the 5-star resorts at Mountain Creek and Kirimaya.
- Weather. December to February is absolutely perfect golf weather in Khao Yai with daytime highs around 25 degrees centigrade and no rainfall to speak of.
- Non-golf activities. If you are looking for nightlife, there is none in Khao Yai. Basically the area is a dawn to dusk place with little on offer after dark. There are some sight sightseeing tours in Khao Yai and if relaxing by the pool surrounded by nature is what you enjoy, then Khao Yai might just be the place.
- Quality. The good courses and resorts mentioned above are really good. However, beyond these the quality goes down fast and they are better suited for local golfers, not tourists.
- Weekends and public holidays are very busy. Khao Yai is a weekend destination for Bangkokians escaping from the hustle-and-bustle of the city. It is best to avoid traveling to Khao Yai Thursday to Sunday and on any public holidays.
- Getting around is tough. Unlike Hua Hin or Chiang Mai, transportation in Khao Yai is an absolute must. There are no taxis and the distances between golf courses and resorts can be as much as 50 kilometers. The good news is that there is no traffic and the roads are excellent, so getting from place to place is fast and easy.
- Weather, outside of the winter months Khao Yai can get very hot. Make sure you bring a golf umbrella for the sun as the rays will burn you if you are not used to being above sea level and near the equator. The late summer months of September and October can also be very wet. Make sure you play in the mornings to avoid the afternoon thunderstorms.
Well there you have it. If you are looking to golf in Thailand and prefer to be off the beaten path, then a few days of golf in Khao Yai is for you. Just make sure you stick to the better courses and golf resorts there and you will have a great time.