Easily reachable from Bangkok, this wild-at-heart Thailand province takes you to fauna-filled national parks via budget-friendly bases and sociable places to stay.
Nakhon Ratchasima is the biggest province in Thailand, centred around a city of the same name that is often referred to as ‘Korat’. A region spread across wide plateaus and undulating, mountainous terrain, it’s the gateway to Khao Yai National Park, home to macaques, sambar deer, civets and elusive Asian elephants. Apart from trekking and hiking through the sprawling national park, make time to visit other attractions such as Phimai Historical Park, where you’ll find fascinating Khmer-era ruins, as well as Korat Fossil Museum, which houses an impressive collection of dinosaur bones that were discovered in northeast Thailand. Looking for a place to rest and recharge? These wallet-friendly stays have you covered.
Housed within a refurbished building, this trendy hostel offers a mix of accommodation types – private, dorm-style and group-gathering rooms. If you’re travelling alone, there are plenty of excuses to make friends with fellow guests at the hostel’s bar, outdoor terrace or spacious common room, stocked with board games. Bonus: Khao Yai National Park is located just 30 minutes away by car.
From its bamboo-clad walls to its giant outdoor mural of a vividly-hued toucan, Pakchong Center Poshtel is not your ordinary hostel. This sleekly designed stay offers an elevated experience, with mod-cons and free bath amenities in both the private and dorm-style rooms. Guests are invited to have breakfast at the Hopter Cafe, which serves a delicious assortment of Thai and European dishes.
Located just 30 minutes from Khao Yai – Thailand’s third-largest national park and home to a wide array of wildlife – Hello Hostel Pakchong is the perfect base for nature lovers and adventure seekers looking to explore the wilds of rural Thailand. With just three rooms (a four-bed dorm, a six-bed dorm and one private double), this hostel offers cool marble floors, whitewashed walls and crisp linens that act as a welcome foil for the tropical heat. Industrial-style lockers are on hand and cool, mural-lined communal spaces include a kitchen, bathroom and lounge.
Whether you’re travelling solo or as a family with young kids in tow, this budget-friendly hotel offers clean and comfortable lodgings for your time in Nakhon Ratchasima. The 40-room hotel has a small restaurant serving Thai and international dishes or there are many restaurants and shopping malls in the vicinity, such as the CentralPlaza NakhonRatchasima or Terminal 21 Korat.
With its clean lines and boxy design, this modern hostel looks more like a designer home than a hostel. Its interiors feature a similar aesthetic – think glossy white tiles and black timber windows. The rooms are eclectic in design, with bicycles mounted on walls in one and street signs adorning another. Gym goers can also take advantage of the free use of a nearby fitness facility.
With just eight bedrooms, this compact hostel offers a cosy, relaxed vibe for solo travellers and couples alike. While the rooms are simple, they are clean, fully air-conditioned and, unusually for a hostel, come with your own en suite. There’s also a restaurant serving traditional Thai dishes, but you can easily hop on a bike to explore the surrounding city centre, too.
Those looking to get reacquainted with Mother Nature should check in to the lush, leafy confines of Narisa Place. Located in the heart of Wang Nam Khiao district – often described as the ‘Switzerland of Thailand’ – this verdant resort offers bungalows of various sizes as well as two-man tents for those who prefer going back to basics. Just a few minutes away, you’ll find the scenic Huai Yai waterfall, as well as several local farms that are open to visitors.
Conveniently located in the city centre, close to the Pak Chong train station, this adults-only hostel offers both private rooms and mixed dorms. Kick back with a cup of local coffee at the on-site cafe, enjoy a full meal at the hostel restaurant or take a wander around the neighbourhood where you’ll find restaurants to suit every taste.
Experience a slice of countryside living at this rustic retreat, which features thatched-roof bungalows spread across a leafy compound. Some of the bungalows here have four bedrooms, making this spot perfect for large groups and families. There are also picnic benches and barbecue facilities for those who want to whip up their own dinner. Looking to explore the area? The resplendent Wat Luang Phor Toh and Mahawiharn Temple are both situated a convenient 10-minute drive away.
Located in the heart of Korat, this family-run hostel offers a home away from home, with 10 spacious, tastefully decorated rooms – each with its own en suite. Guests are treated to a daily breakfast, which mixes Western and Thai favourites and includes tasty dishes like hot-pan eggs and milk toast. For a bird’s-eye view of the city, head up to the open-air rooftop.