I am a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and I have long wanted to see Hobbiton in New Zealand, where some parts of the movies were shot. The otherworldly movie set, with its little houses and round doors, have always been a fascination. I thought that I needed to wait for a long time before I can lay eyes on this make-believe world, so imagine how delighted I was to discover that there is a cheap alternative in Khao Yai, a city just an hour away from Bangkok, Thailand.
Well if I couldn’t go to Hobbiton yet, the next best thing is to go somewhere that looks exactly like it and that was what I did last December 2017 for my holiday break. Extra money and unused annual leave from work meant adventure and travel for me. I am based in Singapore so going to Khao Yai, Thailand was convenient for me and meant I didn’t need to spend a lot of money, save for the occasional holiday airline price hikes. Here I could live out my Lord of the Rings fantasies!
The owners have paid attention to detail to the houses and recreated the hotel to make it look just like the Middle Earth in the popular movie franchise. If you fancy pretending as one of the characters in the movie, you can easily borrow costumes for a fee.
Stay overnight to fully experience this magical place with prices starting from THB600. There are several rooms to choose from such as the Dragon Inn, Little Cave, Little Hole, Dale City and Bagshot House. If you don’t fancy staying overnight and would just like to see the place during the day, you just need to pay THB50 but if you would like to rent the costumes the rate is THB100.
HOW TO GET THERE
Baan Suan Noi is a little out of the way and we could not find a decent public transport in Khao Yai so we hired a private car with a driver to take us around the city. Be sure to give your driver the correct address, 292 Moo 15, Tambon Lat Bua Khao, Sikhio, Nakhon Ratchasima, 30340, Thailand. Baan Suan Noi is just a 30-minute drive away from Farm Chokchai, which is another must-see in Khao Yai.
WHAT TO WEAR
Thailand, like the rest of Southeast Asia, is a tropical country so do wear light fabrics. However, it can get a little cold in December so make sure to bring a scarf with you or a cardigan.
EATING AT BAAN SUAN NOI
There are no restaurants near Baan Suan Noi so do fill your tummies first before you go on a quest of the hobbit houses. I have read that the hotel does serve breakfast for guests who are staying there but I am not sure if they take food orders from people who are just there for a tour.