Tasting new latitude wines in Khao Yai!

Our crazy road trip around Thailand and Laos on a tricycle (saleng).
  • Saleng expedition #55
  • Phi Mai > Phayayen
  • 179 km / 111 miles
Being a wine lover in Asia is tough, especially searching for good red wine - or let's just say drinkable. Thailand has over 300% import tax, a tropical climate and no wine drinking culture. So if you are lucky to find wine, it's either impossibly expensive, destroyed by heat exposure (even before you buy it) or the bottle has been open for decades... You might end up with a combination or all of them. :)

You can buy 'drinkable' red wine from 7-Eleven, Mont Clair and Jacobs Creek, but you better keep it in the refrigerator once opened and drink it within a day or two before it's gone. Putting ice in red wine is definitely not uncommon in Asia and sometimes it's just for the better. Be careful when you're in a restaurant and it says only 'red' or 'white wine' on the menu without any further specifications, you probably get something incredibly sour due to one of the reasons mentioned before. If you like Bacardi Breezer you can try the Spy wine, a colored sparkling sweet cider that will probably be served in a champagne glass...
Basically most of the 'normal' Thai wines I tried were way too sweet for my liking. But, here's the good news:

Thailand is coming up as the pioneer for new latitude wines, new and different growing areas for grapes. It's great and visiting a winery in the tropics is a must if you like wine, but it's somehow more expensive than all the imported (+300% tax) wines... Having that said, I was really happy visiting three wineries in Thailand: PB Valley Khao Yai Winery, GranMonte Asoke Valley and Hua Hin Hills Vine Yard. They are all luxuriously designed and decorated with a exclusive (not really fine dining but above average) food menu and you basically see only tourists and well-dressed locals.

PB Valley Khao Yai Winery.

GranMonte Asoke Valley.

Check out some pictures of Hua Hin Hills Vine Yard as well! Click here

The road from Phimai to Khao Yai (Phayayen).

Great road conditions, a lot of Amazon Coffee and everybody selling corn with the same red parasols.

My Wind Resort.

The whole area around the Khao Yai National Park is very expensive. There are many high-end resorts, golf courses, themed restaurants, etc. We found a comfortable stay with good coffee. There was no food on offer so you need your own transportation. It was not so expensive compared to the rest, 850 Bath. The funny thing is that we had to buy one of our used towels for 150 Bath since it got dirty... ;)

Road from Phimai to Khao Yai (Phayayen).



To be continued, stay tuned!





  • 5344 km / 3321 miles done total
  • 656 km / 408 miles to go
  • 80 days done
  • 12 days to go
  • 41 provinces crossed
  • 4 provinces to go

Provinces:
Phuket - Phang Nga - Ranong - Chumphon - Prachuap Khiri Khan - Phetchaburi - Ratchaburi - Kanchanaburi - Suphanburi - Ayutthaya - Lopburi - Singburi - Chainat - Uthai Thani - Nakhon Sawan - Phichit - Phitsanulok - Sukhothai - Uttaradit - Phrae - Lampang - Lamphun - Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son - Chiang Rai - Bokeo - Luang Namtha - Udomxai - Luang Prabang - Vientiane (khwaeng) - Vientiane (prefecture) - Kamphaeng Nakhon Wieng Chan - Bolikhamsai - Khammuan - Nakhon Phanom - Mukdahan - Kalasin - Roi Et - Maha Sarakham - Buriram - Nakhon Ratchasima - Nakhon Nayok - Pathum Thani - Nonthaburi - Bangkok

Saleng expedition, intro
Phuket Town to Laem Phrao, and we're off! (Saleng 1)
Laem Phrao to Khao Lak, the Dutch bobsled team! (Saleng 2)
Khao Lak to Praphat, thumbs up! (Saleng 3)
Praphat to Ko Phayam, saleng on board! (Saleng 4)
Ko Phayam, time to relax! (Saleng 5)
Ko Phayam to Ranong, hot springs & Loy Krathong! (Saleng 6)
Ranong to Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon), coast to coast! (Saleng 7)
Thung Wua Laen (Chumphon) to Bang Boet Bay, scenic route! (Saleng 8)
Bang Boet Bay to Thap Sakae, we have a problem! (Saleng 9)
Thap Sakae to Prachuap Khiri Khan, aircrafts crossing! (Saleng 10)
Prachuap Khiri Khan to Hua Hin, snakes and dead end roads! (Saleng 11)
Hua Hin, we need business cards! (Saleng 12)
Hua Hin to Petchaburi, visiting a tropical vine yard! (Saleng 13)
Petchaburi, amazing cave temple and aggressive monkeys! (Saleng 14)
Petchaburi to Kanchanaburi, discovering the walking directions of Google Maps! (Saleng 15)
Kanchanaburi, King's Day & Light & Sound Festival 2015 (Bridge over the river Kwae)! (Saleng 16)
Kanchanaburi, Bridge Over The River Kwae! (Saleng 17)
Kanchanaburi to Ayutthaya, being the attraction and escort service! (Saleng 18)
Ayutthaya, writing Thai and some cultural differences! (Saleng 19)
Ayutthaya, ruins, strange tuk-tuks and Christmas time! (Saleng 20)
Ayutthaya to Lopburi, going Dutch! (Saleng 21)
Lopburi, bikers in monkey town! (Saleng 22)
Lopburi to Pho Prathap Chang, why didn't we get a car? (Saleng 23)
Pho Prathap Chang to Sukhothai, HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY Birthday! (Saleng 24)
Sukhothai, saleng at UNESCO World Heritage site! (Saleng 25)
Sukhothai to Phrae, we're not the slowest! (Saleng 26)
Phrae, think big! (Saleng 27)
Phrae to Lampang, 2000 km done! (Saleng 28)
Lampang, ladies not allowed! (Saleng 29)
Lampang to San Kamphaeng, visiting an elephant hospital! (Saleng 30)
San Kamphaeng to Chiang Mai, we made it before Christmas! (Saleng 31)
Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son, Christmas time in the tropics! (Saleng 32)
Mae Hong Son to Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son loop with saleng! (Saleng 33)
Muay Thai in Chiang Mai! (Saleng 34)
Countdown party 2016 in Chiang Rai! (Saleng 35)
Saleng to Mae Salong, the little engine that could! (Saleng 36)
Mae Salong to Chiang Khong, opium at the Golden Triangle! (Saleng 37)
Border crossing with saleng, we're in Laos! (Saleng 38)
Luang Namtha outdoor adventures! (Saleng 39)
It's too cold in the tropics! (Saleng 40)
Off the beaten track! (Saleng 41)
Relaxing in Luang Prabang! (Saleng 42)
Peak performance: Saleng at 1900 meters /6233 feet! (Saleng 43)
Tubing in Vang Vieng! (44)
Eating dust while reaching 4000 KM / 2485 miles! (Saleng 45)
Fixing the bike, one more time! (Saleng 46)
Reaching base camp, Thakhek loop with extreme cold weather! (Saleng 47)
Konglor Cave, underground river adventure! (Saleng 48)
Finishing the Thakhek Loop with the saleng! (Saleng 49)
Relaxing in Thakhek! (Saleng 50)
Border crossing with an unidentified object! (Saleng 51)
Farang in Isaan! (Saleng 52)
Reaching 5000 KM / 3107 miles around Roi Et! (Saleng 53)
Tree hugging and Khmer temples in Phimai! (Saleng 54)
Tasting new latitude wines in Khao Yai! (Saleng 55)
Cruising through Khao Yai National Park with the saleng! (Saleng 56)
We made it to Bangkok! The final chapter! (Saleng 57)
SOLD the saleng! (Saleng 58)






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