I have heard about the grand building of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai for a long time but I just only appreciate it from a photo on various medias because the room rate cost too high that I don't really want to spend my money on it until the beginning of the year 2014. I heard from the news that The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Maiopens for regular people to take photo at the main Lobby within February which is the same period that I go to Chiang Mai too. So I determine to visit the elegant The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai territory this time.But since the time of this trip is quite limited and rush so it makes me miss visiting that area. Fortunately, I find out that The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai has extended the time to explore its again so I intend and try to find a chance to visit that place again.
Around the end of February, I have heard the news about the activity on FB : Welovetogo ( https://www.facebook.com/welovetogodotcom) which celebrates 1 year anniversary by taking their fan page to travel on Songkran Day at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. Fan pages who are interesting in the activity have to post their picture about Chiang Mai or Songkran and tell the reason "why they want to join Songkran Festival at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai with Welovetogo". I consider that this may be a way for me to visit the elegant of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai so I choose picture that I had once visited Chiang Mai with a caption of the reason why I want to join Sangkran trip with Welovetogo. I commit that I actually have no interest in this activity at first because I have often follow up Welovetogo activity and always know that there are so many fan pages joining the activity and so many rules to join it which you have to pass the first round of the selection first and after that there will have a second round for the lucky one so I think that it should be hard for me to be 1 of 3 lucky people to join this trip to The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. But then I realize that I already have pictures and caption in my hand, furthermore the selection criteria is more easier than the previous one that the staff will announce the chosen one without the second selection process so this encourages me to join the activity and surprisingly I get involve in 1 of 3 lucky person on the announcement date.
and on Songkran day, our travelling date, the staffs make an appointment at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 05.30 am.
When members arrive before the appointment time, the staffs then lead us to the Check in point. Thai Smile Airway is our sponsor for this trip.
Thai Smile is a Low Cost Airway of Thai Air Asia which operates the flight to Chiang Mai for 7 Flight/day.
07.10 am., the plane take off from Thailand. There are Taro Buns and 1 small bottle of water, including additional drink like coffee, orange juice or soft drink serving for free while we are on the plane. We spend around 1.10 hrs on the plane to reach Chiang Mai Airplane.
When we have already received a baggage from baggage carousel, then we go to wait for a car in front of the Airport. The staffs making a small surprise for us that make me smile knowingly. I feel ridiculous because I see the intention of the staff team that attempt to carry garlands from Bangkok and they also attempt to welcome us as a host which actually we are travelling here together.
After taking a group photo, Mr.Fang, the host of "Kinteawrentalcar,Chiang Mai" call a van that using to serve us along Chiang Mai, whether it be picking up - sending from airport - Dhara Dhevi or patrolling around Chiang Mai city. It takes around 20 minutes from Chiang Mai Airport to reach the destination, The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai.
The van takes us from the main gate to the main lobby, normally hotel allows guest to drive inside the area to send the guest only but it's not allow to park inside the hotel. The car need to be parked in front of the main entrance which the hotel has already prepared the parking area and the Buggy car (golf car) is waiting for pick up guest to other areas inside the hotel. But only for customer who is going to have a Sunday Brunch,afternoon time onward, is another special case that allow guest to park in front of the main lobby, .
When arriving to the main lobby, staffs are all prepare a garland flowers to welcome us, one piece for one person and lead us to relax inside the lobby.
There are many corners for guest to take some rest here and a Welcome Drinks are served during the Check in process.
I am busily spend too much time on Check in and feeling very thirsty and drink it all at once so that I forget to take picture of the Welcome Drink.
Luxurious toilet in the main lobby area
When finish Checking in, Ms.Nui, the representative of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai has saluted and take a good care of our team.
After that the staffs give us time to collect our belongings and meet around 10.00 am. for preparing to see the Lanna Culture in The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai.
Buggy car takes us to the accommodation. The driver describes about the different buildings that is built on the side way while he taking us there until we reach in the front of Vegetable Garden Villa.
The Vegetable Garden Villa is built by a Teak in a classic wooden Thai style that the basement floor has lifted high with a wide comfortable space area.
I stay at villa no.27 for tonight. The room's pillar has a bamboo that is weaved in a form of bird and horse hanging on the bamboo and plug in the bamboo weave flask which indicates that a guest is staying in the room.
When walking upstairs, there is a terrace, a colorful green sofa in front of the room for guest to sitting there and look at the vegetable garden but it's very hot that I hardly use this area.
When entering the room, you will see a big sofa with a big coffer acting as a table in the middle of the room. On the right hand is a television and refrigerator and on the left hand is a big bed which is decorated by a thin neatly deluxe fabric as a net.
On the side of the television, there is a well prepare table with stationary, including water, kettle and ice buck.
Beside the bed there is a walk way leading to the dressing room and restroom.
When walking through the bed, a whirlpool bath tub is in front of the bathroom.
On the left hand of the bath tube is a water closet which has a small erotic seduction picture hanging above the water closet too.
And on the right hand side is a space for taking a shower.
An opposite side of the bathtub behind the headboard is an area for two basins which guests can using this area at the same time.
What you see is not a crack of the basin but it is a classic pattern style.
For the equipment using in the restroom, the outstanding one is a mosquito spray. Normally if the place is full of mosquitoes I will see only a mosquito device that have to plug in when using it but for this place except from the mosquito device there is a mosquito spray putting there too.
Except from body salt scrub, there are shampoo and shower gel ware which I disfavor it because it's a circle ceramic ware that when you are taking a bath your hands are quite soapy and would fall down and break down easily if you are not hold it carefully. But I really like a fresh lemon grass smell of the soap and shower cream.
A beautiful 'Please do not disturbing' sign.
They still using a key system for open-close the room.
You can notice that an applied art style of decoration is applying inside the villa room for recessing which mixed up with a real luxurious, beautiful Thai style of decoration.
Let's see the basement area. It's designed to be a big living room and a leisure area for having some snack and watching the vegetable garden which the hotel has already prepared some fruits for us like banana, orange and guava within this area too.
Around the villa there are a small vegetable garden and organic vegetable garden planting for demonstrating and using in a cooking class for Thai Cooking Institute.
For other villa, you will see a special style of decoration which the hotel intends and neatly designs on the roof top. It's a Teak wood carving in a form of various animal like monkey, rat or peacock.
Then I glance at my watch and realize that it's now an appointment time to see atmosphere around the hotel.
To explore the art and culture of the The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai this time, Mr.Teerayut who experts in cultural activity of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai has lead us to visit places around. And I just know that Mr.Teerayut is one of the designing team of Lanna in The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai from his staff.
Mr.Teerayut focuses on detail, he speaks really fast that I sometimes hard to follow his word. He tells us about the history of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. The name The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai has many sources of origin which we bring it together and become a name "The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai". I can remember one name which is the name of the owner, Dhara Ratsamee.
Let's start at the main gate. This gate named 'Chaiya Dhara' with two statues of lion setting there which act as a guard at the city's gate. The two lions are influenced from Burmese. It's apparently that the lion is lowering the hip down to the floor which is different from the lion statue at the main lobby area that the Thai lion is rising their hip up.
Let's look at the area outside the gate first, when facing to the front of Chaiya Dhara and on the left side is a Le Grand Lanna Restaurant. It's a Thai Lanna style which has more than 80 years of the ancient house. On the right side of the photo there is a place using to display a photo of the world famous photographer.
On the left hand, it's used to welcome many national dignitaries for example Princess Diana and Prince Charles. After the Princess Diana passed away, the hotel has closed this room and set a name as Diana room.
Le Grand Lanna restaurant is a Thai contemporary restaurant which has its name from French language. Including 5 houses which tell the story of Lanna people whether it be the magnificent of architectural, artifact or decorations.
Le Grand Lanna won a reputation as a charming dining class restaurant on the big old wooden house that is surrounded by a typical priceless artwork and architecture of the Lanna people.
In the evening, the sun shines across the foreground of the pond, making the atmosphere of this restaurant looks even more attractive.
Let's see the inside of the Chaya Dhara gate.
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai is a city that has been designed and built on the gathering ideas of a beautiful form of arts in the Lanna Kingdom whether it be houses, Hor Kaew, Hor Kum, the grand palace, Khum Kuang. Those are a combination designed from the ideas of Tai-Yuan, Tai-Lur, Tai-Laos, Tai-Kern, Tai-Yai, Mon and Myanmar reminiscent of a stately empire that has been flourished ever since the past until the present time. This charm city has been built on an area of 150 hectares with an exquisite sculpting and ideally to preserve it as a good cultural art design both architecture arts work and lifestyle.
When walking through the Chaiya Dhara gate, on the right hand is a small building that is decorated in a beautiful Lanna atmosphere for guest to take some picture here.
On the left hand is a small building too, inside is a photo exhibitions.
Next to the right side is a large auditorium named Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom.
Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom is decorated by a Chiang Thong art style, Luang Prabang, the captal city of Laos. There is a King of Naga which is a called Ma Ga Ra Ka Ya Nak ( crocodile )and the snake emerges from the mouth of a crocodile is called Nak Pak Lae.
You will notice that 2 hands of the dragon is catching fish and frog.
A gold and silver Bodhi Tree is considered as a identity of Chiang Thong temple in Luang Prabang, a prominent point of the Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom that everyone who walk passes through this area has to take some photo.
You can see that this place emphasize on peacock. The peacock is a distinctive thing of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. You can see peacocks everywhere here.
Opposite to the Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom is a square named Kuang Klong Kao. Kuang, a northern language means square, uses for catering and display outdoor exhibition. Around the Kuang Klong Kao area, if you notice, you will see a picket pin on it (the right side of the picture) and a stencil makes of gold medal attached to the picket, it's called Tung Ka Dang. Tung makes from medal using in various ceremonies. Lanna people believe that Tung is a connecting point between hell and heaven. The top of Tung is close to heaven and below Tung is close to hell so it's often uses in ceremonies especially in funeral rite. They believe that if the deceased fall down to hell, they can climb up the Tung and go to heaven again.
When turn your back against Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom, you will see Susawamnasatharn which is a center place of hotel's staff use to arrange various rituals.
Next to the Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom is Jum Ngern Hall-Junior Ball room. The room is use for arrange the meeting the same as Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom but looks smaller.
You can see Naga at the opposite side of the Hor Jum Thong. When looking at Naga's body, you will see a small yellow golden arch. This point is called Klong arch which is the way to Kuang Klong Kao. It's called Klong arch because the gate is made up of two heads of Naga stone sculpture and turning its tail collision. And the collision point, the mimic Naga is come from Phumin Temple in Nan Province. But the mimic Klong arch is come from Prathat Lampand Luang Temple. For the yellow gold color which attached to the arch, Mr.Teerayut tells us that the yellow-gold made up of cow and buffalo feces mix up with water and paint on the arch but I can't remember the purpose of it.
Close to the Klong arch is Hor Prasuwannasatarnfahkaew. The building is the Cathedral of traditional in Lanna era which transcribes from the Cathedral of Wat Lai Hin Kaew Chang Yurn in Ko Kha District, Lampang Province for using as Hor Pra (a hall where images of Buddha is keeping in). Another tuneful name for this hall is Su Wan Na Sa Than Dara Fah Kaew which means the embellish place decorates with gold and gem that sparkle like stars in the sky.
This place enshrines a Burmese Buddha ages around 100 years. Mr.Teerayut says that dealer sells it to him. The hotel's owner like it so he buys it and enshrines to this Hor Pra. It's so amazing that the base of the Buddha is fit to the previous base.
If anyone has a chance to visit this Hor Pha, passing through the arch and look at the ceiling, you will see one gecko attached on it. This gecko is molded by a craftsman that build this building which is used instead of the craftsman's signature.
Beside the Cathedral. It is surrounded by balcony which is called Sa Ra Bath. It's used for keeping a valuable artifact for conservation and study.
From Hor Prasuwannasatarnfahkaew, Mr.Teerayut then leads us to walk through the back gate to Dheva Spa.
Dheva Spa is a Naga wooden building which has mimic a beautiful architecture of Mandalay Palace of Min Dong King, the king of Alaungpaya from Myanmar dynasty.
This place is prominent in a wooden building form of Nagas Palace which is stacked into 7 floors. It's a sign that indicates the separation of low and high class people in the society and the buildings that are located around the palace have separated into different categories by mimic the magnificent of the divan in the past which there are many small and big palaces of their master. They normally have many visitants visiting this building so they build up special feeling by blowing and serving divan massage style according to Dheva Spa which
means Spa of the Gods.
I have a chance to visit a real Mandalay Palace in Burmese long times ago and when I see this Mandalay Palace architecture of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai I admit that this architecture is also beautiful like the real one. I actually think this place looks more beautiful since the real one is old age, the integrity of the work piece is damaged but this one still looks more integrity and the wooden carve is delicate like the Burmese one.
Next to Dheva Spa is a Hor Kum Nai Su Wan Dhara which is used to be a lobby for Check in for Villa part but after that all Check in points are move to the main lobby.
Hor Kum Noi Su Wan Dhara is a wooden Naga building which mimics the beautiful of Tai Yai palace hall in Shan state area, Burmese. The building looks unique because of the small fortress to traverse peacefulness in front of the building and the big wooden building that has high stacked layers and the peak point of the palace looks like paradise which is using for welcoming guests or government work which mimic as a center area for guest. Inside its decorates with a precious artifacts and various kind of consumer goods.
Peacock is a symbol that has been using as a decades-old pattern tiles. I remember that Mr.Teerayut says that the cheapest tiles cost 500 Baht/piece.
Walking out through the back of Hor Kum Noi Su Wan Dhara is a Rice Terrace which you can see the scenic of beautiful rice fields.
Hor Kum Noi Su Wan Dhara is a French restaurant. This restaurant has an unique design of Lanna Architecture. The building features is a high vaulted ceilings. Inside is an antique Wood, chandelier and a big pillar cover with a tin plate, carving in an exquisite Thai style pattern along with other jewelry and other decorative which indicate a perfect match of an applied art of Lanna. This restaurant can see the wide views of farmland and enclose with a greenery environment.
Getting out of Hor Kum Noi Su Wan Dhara and walk through the front of Dheva Spa, then we see a waterway and old wall, the back of the wall is an outdoor theater that using for showing Arts and folk culture of Lanna and Thai.
Just a step from the theater you will reach three houses of Ban Hong which is located on the right hand of the pathway.
The three original Lanna buildings have an identity Lanna style of Tai-Yong building which are originally from Yong city in Shan state and Sipsongpanna state that after the immigration, they have been settling down in Ban Hong, Pasang district and many other areas of Lampoon province.
The three buildings are arranged to be demonstrated a lifestyle, apparel and vernacular language of Lanna.
The three houses are classified by its function which are a kid playground, artifact storage and display people lifestyle building. There are also displaying a household of arts and crafts, weaving, producing mulberry paper, interlacing and various kinds of handmade products for visitors to have more understanding of local people lifestyle.
The third building is almost at the end of the way, it's a building for kids.
Lanna Kids Club is The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai hotel's club for kids which is prepared for kids to enjoy drawing, coloring, paper cutting, molding animals clay and folding lotus petals in a Thai northern arts style. For foreign kids, there is a learn to write their name and a simple greeting word in Thai handwriting class. Also a Thai dance, Thai boxing and dressing in a Thai Lanna style classes. Those are enjoyable, creative and develop kids' memory activities which these are also one way of transferring knowledge of Thai northern culture to foreigners.
Opposite to 3 houses of Baan Hong is a health center.
Inside is an exercise room. The room has many equipment with a personal trainer and this is also a place where guests registering for bike rental around the hotel. The upper floor of fitness is a Yoga and Muay Thai teaching area.
Beside the Fitness is a Loi Kham swimming pool. I think this pool's identities are a lotus sculpture, a comfortable place for farmland sightseeing and a golden pool for soaking. Moreover, there is a bar for welcoming guest beside the pool too.
The other side of the pool, there is a place like a tunnel. This tunnel is mimic from U-Mong Temple. Inside has many drawing patterns and mural paintings. The artist uses Fresco way of painting which the painting executed upon wet lime plaster because it can not be painted if the lime is drying. The tunnel is separated into dressing, bathing and Sauna room.
We have seen so many atmospheres of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai , now let's try some foods here. I have this lunch at Le Grand Lanna restaurant which is a Thai and local northern food restaurant.
Le Grand Lanna offers both air-conditioned lounges allocated extra private space and a terrace which a mist fan is setting there to relief heat. But the hotel arranges an air-condition room for us this time and there is also an excited Lanna show at night too.
There are various foods here because it combine the culinary culture from many places of Thailand together whether it be a southern spicy style or mellow northern style which have a very unique taste in ages since the past up to the present time.
This seems like an appetizer.
I am not sure about the menu, this looks like Miang Kham (Savoury Leaf Wraps).
I guess this is a slice fried lotus roots, it's crispy and tasty.
This menu is shrimp bind with Thai rice noodle. I haven't taste it because it's served in less quantity.
An Northern appetizer, including white pork sausage, sour pork, Sai Aua (Notrhern Thai Spicy Sausage), pork cracklings, Thai Northern Style Pork and Tomato Relish and Nam Prik Num (Northern Thai Green Chili Dip).
Fried Sour Pork, it's strange that they use a boiled egg to fry with sour pork which is not the same as in the center part that pour an egg onto the sour pork and fry it together.
This dish is a fried fish with mango salad. I am not sure that it's a black-banded trevally or a deep-fried marinated snapper.
Soft shell crab papaya salad.
Spicy guava with Thai shrimp
Soft shell crab in a coconut curry. I just take picture for a moment and it all gone, only a curry left so don't even taste it then. ^^
I don't know what are this two dishes, I don't taste it because no one pass the food to me.
The last dish is a fruit. What I like is the melon, it is a real natural sweet . I think that if it sell near my home, I would think that it's a melon soaked with syrup.
I am not quite stuffed for this meal because some dish has only one piece, some dish has 2 sets. I remember that an appetizers have 2 sets. A main dish has only one set per 13 people or I think this may be a plan for us to leave some stomach for dessert buffet.
After lunch, before walking down the restaurant, there is a small kitchen which the hotel provides for guests to see a cooking lifestyle of local people. Mae Oui has been baking Ka Nom Tien since we start having lunch. After the meal I also want to taste it but it's not finish baking so I missed it then.
In the afternoon, our staffs let us take a rest but I still want to walk around the hotel so I am heading to Fitness room to borrow a bike for riding around the hotel but the day I go there, there are too many guests using The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai service so the bikes are not enough and I need to book for it in advance. While waiting I then have to walk around by my two legs first.
I start the journey at Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom and turn back to see the beautiful of the main lobby. This corner is a corner for reading magazine which I know The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai for the first time.
Hor Kum Luang is a center lobby of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai Hotel. It is a big Phaya Tard wooden building. The structure of this palace is a 3-5 and up to 7 stacked layers of roof, based on the ancient cement building which its inspiration is coming from Automaqee Temple. The meaning of this building is showing an over time beautifully condition.On the top of the grand palace is a new design named Jong Kum which seems like a gods' paradise. This building is using to welcome guest inside the hotel. The building is decorated with a precious artifacts and household furniture with a special design. Below is a bricks and cement which uses as an offices and stores.
Architect intends to build Hor Kum Luang similar to a Phra Sumen mountain so you can notice that the roof of Hor Kum Luang totally has 7 floors which means Phra Sumen mountain is surrounding by 7 mounts of Satta Borri Phan.
Behind Hor Kum Luang is a Akaligo restaurant.
This part is a Colonial Suite room type. It's a 2 floors building, total 54 rooms. What special about the sweet room is at the ground floor. It has a wide terrace which connects to the beautiful green garden and an indigo blue pool. The suite room on the upper floor can also see the atmosphere of the pool and a beautiful landscapes of the other areas too.
These suite rooms simulate the grandeur of the architecture of Asia in the 19th century and mixing with a well known British-Colonial style of building like combining the architectural heritage all together in here.
I really like this point of the pool. The tile and roof colors of the pool are trimmed between blue and red color and the green color of the big tree is the most outstanding and beautiful. I think a decorative tile in the pool is the logo of the Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai .
I also walk to other places where Mr.Teerayut doesn't lead us to see too. I walk to the Villa zone and walk through the farm.
The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai has 2 zones of farms, northern and southern zones. I will lead you to see the northern zone ( I can't go to the southern zone because the weather is too hot in a sunny day). The rice is in a yielding period when I go there so it makes the farm grows green-yellow. I notice that every point there is a long wooden walkway to the farm for guests to touch the real farm closely. Moreover, a scarecrow is in everywhere on the farm and every scarecrow has its name too.
I can see a peacock everywhere when walking up from the farm and walk around.
Stencil pattern on the roof of another Villa.
I walk back to Jum Thong Hall-Grand Ballroom which located in front of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai again. Behind Hor Jum Thong is Hor Jum Sri.
Hor Jum Sri is a library.There are a over 5,000 variety of books to read . It's for every age and gender with variety of languages including history book, arts and cultural and local traditions for different countries in Asia, cooking book, health and beauty, Yoga, meditation, travel and good children and youth books to be enjoyed for the whole day.
There are also many different types of music and movies to choose with no additional charges while staying at the hotel, you can borrow 5 pieces/time to watch at your room.
Opposite to Hor Jum Sri is Kasalong buffet. I am waiting for visiting this point for a long time and I'm really looking forward to that moment. "Kasalong" is the only dessert buffet in Chiang Rai, the price is 425++Baht/person (the price is 425 ++ the amount ++two sign added means service charge and VAT, total 17.7%) this price includes tea and hot coffee within 2 hrs.
The outside atmosphere. For people who like to feel the nature, you can go to this point but for people who can't stand hot weather, I recommend you to better sit inside the air condition room.
When entering the store, you will see a lot of colorful desserts. There are plenty of it that I can't choose it for myself. Even I have left my stomach from the latest lunch meal and I eat each type for only one piece but I still can not eat it all because I feel so stuffed. I admit that each piece is really full of quality and I highly recommend for dessert addicted that you should not miss it. For me I better suffer from diabetes than miss this meal.
Do not miss different tastes of unlimited Macaroon. I eat it for about 10 pieces but I am so pity that I have no chance to taste the new well-known product right now. I guess because I reach there in the late afternoon so the Eclair may run out of stock or maybe Eclair is not including in the buffet meal. I deeply hope that I can have a chance to taste it soon. You can eat here for 2 hrs but I have already surrendered in the first hour of the meal. "Kasalong" Dessert Buffer starts open on Sat-Sun at 13.00-18.00 pm.
After I feel stuffed from desserts then it's time for dinner again. I think I should find some way to burn out my calories first otherwise I won't be able to have dinner so I stroll around Hor Jum Ngern, Hor Jum Thong. It is a Sun sets time while I am strolling there but unfortunately it's cloudy so I feel desperate to see the Sun sets but again lastly I am so lucky that I still have a chance to see some golden light shinning beyond the sky.
This night our staffs lead us to have dinner in a real local Lanna atmosphere at Khum Khantoke.
Khum Khantoke is a Lanna Buffet restaurant style which serves a local food and show which is worth for seeing and eating.
The atmosphere in front of Khum Khantoke. The small show for guest before seeing the real one in the Khum Khantoke courtyard. Today I go to Khum Khantoke and bring a Buddha image back for pouring water and wrists binding from Ms.Aui, string garlands, playing Dulcimer, including a wood percussion show. Inside the Khum there are also many interesting points. For me, I have not fully explored it yet and there is a souvenir shop located outside in front of the Khum as well.
Khantoke courtyard consists of a wooden pavilion called Khum, there are 4 houses of Khum which each Khum's seat is a foot drop and in the middle of 4 Khums are an open area. The seats are a triangle cushions. Khantoke courtyard can accommodate approximately 800 seats.
Let's see the foods, on the table there are Nam Prik Num, Nam Prik Ong with boiled vegetable, pork cracklings, Hang Lae Curry, Fried noodle, clear soup, sticky and normal rice, fried banana and including seasonal fruits, every dishes can be order unlimited.
The shows start from Buranakata Bhuchasatok and nail-covered dance. It's considered as a hail show with affection and happiness.
Then a KING GA-LHA Bird with TO show which is a dance show of Thai-Yai people, indicating the story of recount animals since ancient times.
A beautiful thrilling of Klong Sabatchai show (War dance with Drum) is a show that helps encourage people during the war.
Tee dance. A dance that using fan in Thai language to be part of the show to indicate the local people style which mix with a step of dancing according to the real local Lanna style and there are many other shows also.
After the show, Mr.Nipaparn lead us to see Khum Kum, the three floors big building that is under construction. This building can carry 1,200 seats of tourists. Inside is attractively decorated. The hall's wall and door are using gold leaf as a decorative materials. It's a real wonderful construction.
After we are all fulled, we then heading back to The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai . I feel so exhausted for today since I wake up at 4.00 am to be ready for travelling and in the afternoon I have walked among the hot Sun. Strolling around Dhara Dhevi. When opens the room's door and feel the cool breeze of air condition, it makes me want to fall down right away. The hotel unfolds the fabric hanging around the bed, preparing for a bed's net. When opening the net, what I see in front of me is a souvenir from Welovetogo, including notebook, paper note , equipment for enjoying Songkarn which includes a water bowl, white clay filler, Thai scents with a small note that makes me feel fresh and happy with things that are well prepared by Welovetogo staffs this time.
After laying on the bed, I want to say that the bed and pillow are so soft . I can say that this bed and pillow are soul sucker.This night I would easily fall down a sleep.
The clock rings at 5.00 am., I don't really want to get up from a softy bed but I have to force myself because I want to see the first sunlight of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. It takes almost around 5.30 am. for me to get out off bed, wash my face, and taking a bath.
The sky becomes bright around 5.30 am. dawn appears so quickly in this season. I look up to the sky and feel disheartened because the sky is fulled of a heavy cloud but It stills a time left because the Sun should rises around 6.00 am. And fortunately the sky is start to be bright. The heavy cloud starts spreading away so there is a space for the sun to display on the sky now.
After seeing the first light of dawn, I walk to Hor Suwansathandharafhakaew. The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai has prepared a set of merit bowl for me and our team and invites monk for us to make a merit here.This is a great opportunity that I have had the opportunity to make merit like this because it have been almost ten years that I hardly do it in the early morning like this.
After offer food a monk, I go back to Akaligo restaurant which is at the back of the Lobby. The word "Akaligo" is a Sanskrit language means "Timeless".
It's decorated with a wide mirror inside the restaurant which can see a beautiful garden and a big verdant tree below. The seats inside the restaurant give us the touch of warm, contemporary sense with a dark brown color of the wood.
While we are eating at the outside widen terrace area, we can appreciate the beauty of Colonial Suite buildings when sunlight shine and the wind blow toward us.
Let's see a morning food line. It's an international food line whether it is Thai, Chinese, Europe, Indian or Japanese food. Moreover, there is an Active station corner which the foods are fresh cooking dish by dish by the chef.
The honey here is a freshly crush, you have to crush it by yourself if you want to eat it because the hotel serves with a real beehive.
In the late afternoon around 8.30 am. Mr.Boonchop, albino buffalo will come to graze in front of the Colonial Sweet Building. Actually someone should play the flute and show on the back of Mr.Boonchop but I have heard that the person who in charge of that duty is going back to his hometown so I miss it. Whoever wants to enjoy the meal with a sound of flute at the same time, I highly recommend to have breakfast beside the terrace.
This evening I have joint activity with The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai about how to do farming. At first I have to change my dress to become farmer at kid's club. The hotel have already prepared Mohom cloth with pants, Phra Kao Ma, hat and a long black socks cover up to knees. Then we ride on a Buggy car to get to the farm. When arrive at the farm, I walk with barefoot and wearing a black socks and get down to the farm.
Then we go to meet our celebrity, Mr.Boonchop.
The staff says that the rice they are cultivating is a kind of Glutinous rice when it's time for yielding, they mill the rice and the hotel will donate to poor school to feed the students.
After the explanation finished, then I ask the staff for touching Mr.Boochop. The staffs say that I can ride on him. At first I feel hesitate to ride on him even my heart want to do it but also I am afraid it too. I am afraid that Mr.Boonchop will disobedient because in the afternoon I walk pass him and surprisingly he stops walking and stare at me, he seems to feel suspicious and so am I. We look at each other until the staff who look after him come closely to us to make Mr.Boonchop to reduce mistrust so I quickly walk pass him at that time. And, today I have to face with Mr.Boonchop again. But I am overlook my fear and the staffs are encouraging me that Mr.Boonchop is well behave and I also see many people have a safely ride on him so I decide to try it. I used to ride on the elephant and camel but for this time I have another experience to ride on buffalo.
After riding on Mr.Boonchop, then I am now a farmer.
At first they had us pull the seedlings. The seedlings are planted in the plot. We are enjoy doing it.
Then we move to the next plot, here how many seedlings you hold in hands, you need to plant it all here. I separate seedling in hand and hold it like holding a pen and press it into mire. It seems like it is easy but actually I transplant the seedlings in a mess order.
Riding on buffalo and transplanting are considered as my most favorite activities for this trip. I can do what I have never done it before and I may not have a chance to do it for sure if The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai have not arranged these activities. I am having fun with it and acknowledge the rice seedling process that it's hard and takes such a long time to get rice. Rice do not only grow by watering it but it also grow by tribulations of every farmer. Before the activities end, I then firstly ask to take a picture with Mr.Boonchop and our group again.
After transplanting, then it's time for pounding rice to make a sticky rice done. This place still uses the original way to make it in mortars and winnow the rice. Then the process of making a sticky rice end.
After finish all activities, the staffs give us time to relax, take a bath before having lunch. Our group is going to have lunch at Tum Lum Yum Sap Restaurant.
Tum Lum Yum Sap Restaurant is located on Bumrungrad Road, it is located between Prince and San Pa Koi crossroad in front of ECO Resort Hotel. The food I recommend is kind of Som Tum, Grill chicken, Kao Soi Chiang Mai, Kao Soi Chiang Rai. Eating in a cool and pleasant atmosphere in a resort style. Ms.Tew, the restaurant manager taking a good care of our group.
Let's see the menu.
Starting with a fried and grill dish.
Grill thigh and drumstick chicken.
Grilled pork neck
Fried chicken wing with Sesame.
Deep fried dried pork
Spicy minced pork
Cooked Liver in Spicy Condiment
Spicy Glass Noodle with minced pork
hot and spicy pork rib hot pot with tamarind and Thai herbs.
Rice noodles with spicy pork sauce
Egg Noodle in Chicken Curry
Notrhern Thai Spicy Sausage
Som Tum type
Koie Farang Lui Suan, I recommend that you should not miss this menu. It's an apple mix up with water from crab and add a Som Tum condiment. I think it's very spicy with a sour taste of apple and a nice-smelling of the crab's water.
Thai Style Papaya Salad with Salted Eggs
And lastly Tum Lum Yum Sap, a recommend menu of this restaurant. It takes Som Tum ingredients which are papaya, tomato, cow-pea, bean sprouts, crab, fish ball or a heaven fish cooking together with a spicy sauce. I think it delicious.
After we are all stuffed, the staffs call for a comment about the next activity whether we want to play with water in the Chiang Mai city area or get back to The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai room. We have no hesitate at all to say that we want to go back to relax at the room.
After I reach the room, I admit that I have no energy at all because the weather outside is very hot so I prefer to relax in an air condition room until 4 o'clock in the evening then I go out to explore the hotel again.
While I stay there, the hotel opens up a chance for outsider to see the beautiful and elegant of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai but they can only see some part of the hotel. At the same time The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai also provides a free snack serving at Kard Muai (local market in Lanna Style) for example Kai Pam, Mee Lup Lae, Kao Kab, Miang Kum, Kanom Wong, Fried Banana, Lanna herb drink which Kard Muai is put in front of Hor Suwan Satharn Dara Fah which start opening at 17.00-19.00 pm. So, I eat some snack at Kard Muai before having dinner.
Welovetogo staff team are going to lead us to have dinner tonight at Sala Lanna
Sala Lanna is located next to Ping River, opposite to Kard Ton Lumyai. This restaurant separate into 2 parts which are Thai and Italian restaurant. For tonight Sala Lanna has provided Italian food for our group.
Sala Lanna has already prepared a table for us near Ping River, the atmosphere is look so good.
Ms.Piyaporn, the hotel manager has come to describe the detail of the hotel and restaurant.
Before having dinner, Welovetogo staffs team have arranged some activity for us to join Thai traditional activity which is Rod Num Dum Hua (pouring water on the hands of revered elders and ask for blessing) The person will have to pour water on hands is a father of the lucky people who has joined the trip with me. Then, the staff hand in the certificate that I have joined "Welovetogo, Celebrating Songkran (Water Splash Festival) at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai" project ( a little formal activity).
The explanation ends, then the food starts serving.
Starting with a soft and smooth mango smoothie.
The real starter menu is Octopus Carpaccio, chef poach a Japanese octopus tentacles and slice it to serve with deep fried crispy vegetable, fresh seasonal vegetable and Basil dressing salad. It's a very good appetizer.
Soup menu is a Mushroom soup. The soup adds a Black truffles mushroom and a Poached quail egg. It is served with a hot crispy bread with a great smell of Olive oil. People who don't like mushroom may feel disfavor but for me I really like it.
There are 2 Main Courses menu for you to choose.
The first one is Spring Chicken, Chef brings a soft piece of chicken to roast in a crispy bread serving with a fried potato and spinach. This menu I don't choose to eat it.
Another menu is Norwegian Salmon. A grill Salmon Norway, eating together with a big 3 colors of chili in lemon sauce. I can say that the fish is very big and fresh.
The last dessert menu is Classic Tiramisu, original Tiramisu makes from Mascarpone Cheese, biscuit and Marsara wine. It's really yummy and feeling really fresh after eating it
All reviewing menus are 1 set/person ( but Main Course can be chosen only 1 dish) I am very happy with this meal and before we go out of the restaurant, Italian Chef has come out to greet us and ask for the food taste too. The chef is very hospitable, friendly and he also can speak a little bit of Thai language and he also takes his mobile phone out and take pictures with our team too. He seems really nice to us.
Then we heading back to our room after we feel stuffed with an Italian food for our dinner .
Today I have take a nap in the afternoon so I still have more energy at night then I strolling around to take some picture of the surrounding atmosphere of the hotel one more time.
Starting at the Chaiya Dhara gate, I think the gate look more beautiful at night when it touches with the light.
In front of the hotel around Kard Dhara, the area in front of Kard Dhara is using as a parking lot for hotel residence.
Looking through a binoculars from Chaiya Dhara gate you will see how beautiful beyond description of Hor Kum Luang when it touches with light.
In front of Hor Jum Thong, looking forward to Hor Kum Luang.
Hor Suwansatharndarafahkaew in the night time. When I finish taking a photo, I accidentally see a women in a white dress. I immediately feel goose flesh when staring at that women but it's appearing to be the chef dressing in white with a chef's hat that is walking through the hall. I got so frightened.
You can see Naga which its tail is a Klong Arch in front of Hor Jum Ngern.
Visitors who don't stay in the hotel can visit this place up to this bridge only, the bridge that crossing to Hor Kum Luang.
The beautiful of Hor Kum Luang at night time.
Colonial Pool is look beautiful in the day time but it looks more beautiful at night.
At the Colonial Suite area.
Tonight I really feel so exhausted and immediately thinking of a soft bed then I decide to go back to my room.
The second night of staying at this place, I think time passes so fast. This morning I haven't go out to see the first light anymore, I want to spend more time to relax because this morning I have to join 7 Nang Songkran parade ceremony and Baring Kum Pho-Kum Sa Lee wood parade ceremony. These are a precious tradition of Lanna. After having breakfast at Akaligo restaurant, there is still time left for me to walk around Hor Jum Thong again.
Then I am going up to see Nang Songkran parade at the lobby, not so long that 7 of them are appearing.
The ceremony starts from the parade of Nang Songkran with tom-tom walking to the Akaligo restaurant. I guess that they want to tell foreigners to acknowledge that there is a Nang Songkran parade activity. Then they keep walking through Colonial Pool to set up a line in the yard in front of Colonial Suite.
Apart from 7 Nang Songkran there are also three Dwarf Parade of Horses which wearing a Jada, put a flower behind their ears, wearing a lace skirt joining the parade. At the beginning 3 of dwarf horses is so attractive that no one interesting in the parade because everyone is focusing on taking a photo of those dwarf horses, even Nang Songkran also taking picture with them too.
The beautiful parade walking through the farm.
The parade ends at Hor Suwansatharndharafah.
The management and staff team of The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai join making merit ceremony with offerings sand castles on the annual merit day here. After finish philanthropy for the prosperity of all people. I and a friend then preparing to pack our belonging and prepare to go back to Bangkok.
Before going back we then taking a group photo in front of Hor Kum Kuang first. We have no time left for lunch because we have to fly back to Bangkok at 2 pm. but The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai has already prepared a delicious sandwich for us and before we get out of the Lanna Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai we do some shopping, buying Dhara Dhevi's Macaroon for our family at home.
I reach the airport just a minute before the plane take off. At first I plan to eat Dhara Dhavi's sandwich but after finish Checking in then I hear the announcement to get on the plane so I eat nothing until I am on the plane.
I departure from Chiang Mai at 14.00 pm flight. I have some snack on the plane and at first I want to take the sandwich out but I am afraid that the air hostess will complain at me so finally I eat it when finish picking up the baggage.
This trip I have to say Thank You for our kindness sponsors
- Thai Smile, supporting us for the round trip flight Bangkok-Chiang Mai-Bangkok.
- Mr.Fang from ""Kinteawrentalcar,Chiang Mai", supporting a van for the whole trip in Chiang Mai.
- The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai that gives us a chance to stay 3 days 2 nights including a great opportunity for us to join the activities that The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai provides for us and Thank You for every staffs that provide a warm welcome.
- Khum Khantoke that provides spicy lunch for us.
- Sala Lanna that provides a great Italian food for us.
And I have to say Thank You to the most important Welovetogo team that they give us a good chance and make my dream come true to stay at The Dhara Dhevi Chiang Mai. Thank You for taking care and give attention to every small detail that make me feel so impressed, whether it be mobility Wi-fi or Power Bank which the staffs are well prepared for everyone. Even through this is just a small things in other people's mind but for me I can say that they give much attention and good care to their fan pages.