Head up north towards Chiang Mai and you’ve not only got stunning mountain scenery as your backdrop, but training camps for buffalos, rice paddies worked by hill tribes and enough Buddhist temples to ensure the culture buffs are satisfied.
And if you want to do something you’ll never forget, head even further north to the ‘Golden Triangle’ region and learn how to be an elephant mahout for the day, the side-trips to Angkor Wat a definite bonus.
This luxurious Four Seasons is secreted away amidst mountains and rice paddies in the Mae Rim Valley. Architecturally it’s undeniably Thai, its interiors embracing rich silks and polished teak; the water buffalos that wander around outside contributing to the authentic experience.
This Dhara Dhevi resort is another opportunity to get lost in the rich history of the Lanna Kingdom. This miniature ‘heritage city’ comes with its own moat, gates and ‘palaces’, as well as public buildings styled as a nobleman’s dwelling, traditional tea house and 1930s Shanghai mansion. There’s even a nod to the region’s colonial past in the 54 immaculate suites; other accommodation choices including 64 free-standing Thai villas and 5 Signature Residences, some with their own private pools overlooking the rice fields.
Golden Triangle Bamboo jungles, dramatic mountains and mist-clouded waters all contribute to the surrealist mood of this amazing getaway. And don’t expect your tented room to bring you back down to earth either, each one 54sqm of perfectly-thought-out rustic luxury with plenty of leather and canvas, as well as a copper bathtub, alfresco rainshower and views ranging from the jungle and river to Burma and Laos.
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