About Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai is the largest and most culturally significant city in northern Thailand. Formerly part of the Lanna kingdom, it is 700km north of Bangkok and sits amongst some of Thailand’s tallest mountains.
Chiang Mai boasts the mildest year round temperature and incredible unspoiled landscape scenery and is seen by many as “the destination” for weekend getaways for the affluent of Bangkok. The old city, built along the Ping river sits within a charming canal system and old city walls, is easy to navigate. You will slowly find yourself “bewitched” by its charm while visiting beautiful ancient temples, finding hand crafted and artisan products in the Sunday walking night market, tasting cheap and delicious street food or indulging in boutique hotel restaurants and hidden courtyard coffee shops.
This is an amazing base for the more adventurous tourist or family holiday makers wanting to trek, go white water rafting, visit hillside tribes, zip line across the jungle canopy, get close and personal with elephants, pet baby tigers, browse in the incredible antique shops of Baan Tawai or simply relax and rejuvenate in the wonderful nature and beautiful spa resorts of the region.
The Spa Chiang Mai, in Mae Rim
Our home is located within The Spa Resort Chiang Mai, near Mae Rim, about 30 minutes drive out of the city. The Spa Resort is spread over 80,000 sq. meters and includes a small hotel health resort and a small community of villas set in beautifully landscaped gardens, magical mango groves, adjacent to the Spa’s own organic farm. With bikes and scooters for rent and beautiful walk trails to follow, you are just steps away from lush rice paddies, majestic teak forest and the simple and welcoming village life.
The Spa Resort offers a variety of health programmes such as daily yoga and meditation, fasting, juicing, raw food and other detox programmes. There are two swimming pools, tennis courts, Radiance restaurant serving a tempting mix of Thai food, Raw Food and healthy “international” dishes and Bamboo Spa where you can treat yourself to a range of excellent treatments including oil, traditional Thai and aryuvedic massage.
Only a short drive away you can find world class restaurants such as Krapood on the grounds of Asia’s premier IB school, PTIS, and the restaurants of the Four Season’s hotel. Other tasty treats can be found at Tubusa, Baan Suan, Sala Cafe, Mon Cham on the hills of the Royal Project farmland and Grandma’s Kitchen at the Mae Rim Lagoon. For adrenalin junkies the nearby X-Centre offers offroad quads and motorcycling, bungy jumping, paintballing and indoor carting. For the tamer among us, Mae Rim (Celadon) Ceramics, the Tita Art Gallery, staggeringly beautiful orchid farms, the incredible Siam Insect Zoo, Tiger Kingdom, Maesa Elephant Camp, the Botanical Gardens and Maesa Nature Reserve and Waterfalls, are all within easy reach.
Our home is a spacious, light flooded house mixing contemporary and traditional Lanna Thai architectural styles.With giant mango trees on 3 sides of the house, we decided to name our home “Villa Mango”. Built over 3 floors, with 4 bedrooms, 3 of which have ensuite bathrooms, this holiday home is perfect for a family who want to immerse themselves in nature, invest in their health and yet be within easy reach of cultural and touristic activities that appeal to everyone’s differing tastes.
The ground floor is semi open plan with a modern and fully fitted out kitchen (washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, blender, juicer) with a breakfast bar overlooking breathtaking mountain views. There is a lovely family dining area with views of our favourite Mango Tree and a comfortable seating area looking out onto a shaded deck with seating to enjoy the garden views. Downstairs we also have a piano for budding musicians, stereo system and a guest room with ensuite bathroom which doubles up as our TV room for movie night!
On the first floor are two large double bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms both with walk in showers and twin basins. The master bedroom with large double teak wood bed has its own shaded balcony where we do yoga, under the breeze of fans, facing our lovely Mango Tree. The second bedroom upstairs has two single beds and a large play area with incredible views over the countryside. Both bedrooms have walk in closets with more storage space than anyone could possibly need. The landing area between the bedrooms is a fully functional “office” with internet connection for laptops and a printer. Beware however, the view is so beautiful, you might not be able to focus!
Upstairs again and you reach the open plan “meditation room”. This is a large playroom/guest room with a large double teak wood bed, a sofa and lots of floor space for play, for yoga or simply to watch the light play on the leaves of the trees through the windows on each side of this room with sloping ceilings.
The house has been furnished lovingly with a mix of contemporary and antique furniture, classic and tasteful with no compromise on comfort. Bathed in sunlight, every window offers a breathtaking view of countryside, luscious forest or mango tree leaves. The house is fully fitted with mosquito nets so windows can be left open for maximum enjoyment of the fresh air and the buzzing and whirring of insects and geckos or the splash and crash of rainfall, reminding us always that nature is boss. All living areas have ceiling fans and/or air conditioning.
The Mango Tree has two swings and a climbing rope and the garden is filled with enormous butterflies, beetles, crickets, lizards and frogs. The streams, ponds and rock pools have crabs, snails, catfish. What I’m trying to say is, don’t bother bringing any toys for your children. You won’t see them from dawn to dusk and they’ll fall asleep with a smile on their faces and so will you