Chaing Rai is known for its natural beauty and secluded mountains on the northern part of Thailand. The most famous mountains are Doi Tung and Doi Mae Salong, in Thai word “Doi” means “Mountain”. At the location of Doi Mae Salong, 600 metres above the sea level, there authentic bamboo cottages perched on the hilltop, nestled in a peaceful surrounding under the lush green vegetation, Phu Chaisai Resort & Spa is an evidence of real northern style of living – 50 guestrooms divide into 8 categories ranging from superior to three-bedroom pool villa. Whether a cottage or Thai style house, it was designed to unify with their natural surroundings while the use of natural materials broaden the ambiance. The rooms are specious featuring bamboo four-poster bed with mosquito net, air-conditioning with individual controls, fully equipped facilities for all convenience, and a complete set of bathroom amenities provided. The entire room is covered with pieces of bamboo formed like a bamboo wall. On a balcony, an outdoor sitting area is a private relaxing corner painted in orange brick like colour overlooking a superb panoramic view of mountains. What makes it so unique is the plantation of flowers on the roof; the exotic blooms of the flowers hang down from the roof while listening to the birds sing particularly early in the morning… a moment of indulging yourself with a wildlife sanctuary!
What impressed me is the culinary expertise. Apart from the inclusive breakfast, don’t miss the outdoor candlelit dinner is served in northern style dishes at the all day dining Phu View Restaurant. The fact that is not only the northern cuisine but also a distinctive taste made from the fresh ingredients found locally – Nam Prik Ong (Thai northern style pork and tomato relish) Sai Ouw (Northern sausage) and Kao Soi (Curry noodle served with chicken or beef) for example. These are must order plates. Typically, the northern style of cooking has a stronger flavour more concentrate and spicier than in the central part of Thailand. Having met the executive chef who is a native, he carefully explained the art of cooking which involves time-consuming, patient and definitely the pass through generations’ skill. Who wish to bring back the skill and recipe home, a cooking class can be arranged at the resort. However, a night can be carried on at the bar where the pianist performs a live music daily.
Given that Chiang Rai is alive with scenery, numerous activities can be found whether you want to interact with one of the big fives such as elephant riding, the traditional handicraft class of pottery & umbrella painting, visit the hill tribe village, the natural waterfall, reservoir, tea/coffee plantation or rejuvenate yourself at Bamboo spa – all can be organised by the recreation expert who would be able to fill up your holiday schedule as you wish. Furthermore, a visit to other popular mountain Doi Tung, wander around the boarder between Thailand and Myanmar at Mae Sai or else a boat ride along Mekong River at the Golden Triangle are perhaps more options to this extensive natural history. Whatever you plan to do, Phu Chaisai is a comfortable home for a wonderful experience in Chiang Rai….