Hi there! It is super boiling hot these days.
Therefore, Dek Jew would like to turn back time to last winter in Chiang Rai.
This is my second time here and my missions this time are to visit Chui Fong
Tea plantation, follow the trail of many Thai TV series and to attend Chiang Rai Flowers Festival which Mom saw the review in Pantip.com and think of Keukenhof in the Netherlands so Mom is very excited to go.
If you are ready, then let's turn back time to feel the cold winter last year in Chiang Rai
Dek Jew has started to Chill Out around since 3 years ago.
If you are interested in my travel review please go here...
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The very first trip of Dek Jiw... Dek Jiw Chill Out @ Rest Detail, Hua Hin
Even though we just went to Chiang Rai in January 2012, we still find a reason to go back there again in December 2012.
We watched Thai TV series that the main actress is the owner of a very beautiful tea plantation that is why we totally fall in love with this tea plantation and its beautiful scenery.
We did some research to figure it out where it is and found that it is
Chui Fong Tea plantation in Ban Phaya Phrai, Chaing Rai .
(There is Thai TV series that is on air now named "
Matchurat See Nampeung" the main cast is Ken Theeradej is also filmed here but we haven't watched it). Then once we know it is here, we searched for the phone number and called. The accommodation is also offered here and at a reasonable price with breakfast and dinner included so we made the reservation right away.
We plan to go at the same time that there is Chiang Rai Flowers Festival. Therefore, we would be able to see Tulips at Keukenhof of Thailand.
This trip Dad drives again even if Mom had tried to convince to take a flight so many time before the trip get started but did not make it.
And now let's the trip begin!
We depart from Bangkok at 4 AM and have arrived Chiang Rai around noon.
We stopp by Loo Lam restaurant for Lunch, the same restaurant we visited last time.
The food is always superb here.
If you are at the right restaurant, there must two signatures clay dolls doing "Wai" (Thai greeting, two hands are brought together in front of the chin) in front of the restaurant.
After lunch, we are heading to Chui Fong Tea plantation in Ban Phaya Phrai directly.
It is about 60 kilometers from Downtown Chiang Rai but it takes time a bit because the way is in the mountain and the road is very narrow sometimes.
We have arrived
Chui Fong Tea plantation around 4 PM.
There we go, this is exactly what I want to see "Tea Plantation Muan Chai" (the name in Thai TV series)
We park the car next to the tea factory. Once we step out of the car, we can feel the fresh cold air with Osmanthus fragrans and tea leaf smell, very refreshing.
But well, where is my accommodation? Are we at the right place? Where are the staff?. It seems to be very quiet here.
We decide to walk down to ask from people at the tea factory, and they are very kind to look for the Housekeeper who look after the accommodation for us. So we are at the right place and we will spend a night here.
There is a big wooden house in front of the tea factory. This should be a house of the owner because there is a lot of family photos with the tea plantation.
However, it is used to be the guestrooms nowadays. There are 3 rooms in total and this supposes to be our room for tonight as the housekeeper has informed but we refuse politely right away. We explain that we prefer to stay in what we have seen on the website, we believe it should be more comfortable there.
The room that we want to move into is in the lower level of the tea factory next to the parking lot.
The new room looks a bit smaller than the one we saw before upstairs but very airy and with private bathroom not like the one up-stair that we have to share the bathroom.
This is the entrance to our room under the tea factory.
The balcony next to our room has a view of the greenery tea plantation, very refreshing.
Keep walking further a bit then there will be the guestrooms. There are three of them and we stay in the first one. There is no any other guests here today though.
The room is not that big but very clean. The tile floor is very cold at night, lucky us that we have brought some socks.
The bathroom is small but with warm shower.
The tea plantation view from our room.
This view can be seen from the Chinese pavilion next to the big house.
Next to the pavilion, there is a little path going through the tea plantation. We walk on this path in the late afternoon but it was not that good because the view from this angle is not that beautiful. So, if you want to see the nice view, you have to go back to the way we drive in.
We walk around and take so many photos.
The bright blue sky with warm sun is perfect in winter.
There are 3 Chui Fong Tea plantations in Chiang Rai including Ban Phaya Phrai (200 acres) - the one that we stay tonight , Mae Chan (240 acres) which is near Katiliya where we will be staying tomorrow night, and Ban Sannayao (20 acres).
We wander around taking photos in the late afternoon and found that this area is not that nice to take photos because the tea shrub is in a very dark green color. We have asked the staff and found out that this tea shrub is Oolong tea.
We walk back to our room after the sun set. And the dinner has been already prepared for us on the balcony of the big main house.
It was 1,500 THB for our room included breakfast and dinner.
We have 1 whole fish for our dinner but not sure what kind because I have never seen one before.
Mom and Dek Jew like it and it goes well with the steamed rice.
There are also pork knuckle and fresh vegetable which Mom does not eat (Dad said they are not that tasty). On the other hand, Fried Mushrooms is very delicious.
We almost get a chance to dine under the candle light because it was black out in the whole village but it was not too long.
The reason why we choose to stay overnight here because we would like to experience the beautiful sunlight in the morning with the sea of mist and the beautiful scenery of the tea plantation like this.
The sun rise and set behind the mountains so we are only able to see the light like this. We do not have a chance to see the whole sun when it is rising and setting.
The sea of mist from the lake down the plantation.
During dinner yesterday, the housekeeper also showed us the photo album that she took with a lot of famous actors and actress and many TV show that came and filmed here.
This tea plantation is totally beautiful, tea bushes are well planted into rows.
There are two color zone of this tea plantation which are the dark green one and the light green one.
The dark green one is Oolong and the light green one I was told but it is in Chinese, very difficult so I couldn't really get it.
Looking from this angle, we can see the tea factory and our room.
I would say this is one of the most beautiful spots which is just right in front of our room.
Breakfast is served at the same venue.
Today menu is so good. At first we thought this noodle must be very spicy as we can see from its color but it is not. The sauce is made out of minced pork and something which we don't know. This sauce makes this noodle taste so special, very delicious. It is even more delicious to eat with the grilled pork and bean crackers.
In addition, we get a chance to taste the freshly made hot tea. Its aroma smells so good and I feel refreshed after drinking it.
We are done with the breakfast, let's make the final round in the plantation and take some more photos before leaving to our next destination!
To sum up the first stop at Chui Fong Tea plantation, Doi Phaya Phrai:
Our family loves it here very much, the weather is nice, tea plantation is beautiful, the food is superb (especially the noodle and bean crackers), and the service is great.
However, it is pretty far from Downtown Chiang Rai and some part of the road to get here is very narrow so need to be very careful.
We have driven more than one hour and arrived at another Choui Fong Tea Plantation in Mae Chan.
To get here is much easier than the one in Ban Phaya Phrai and the view of this tea plantation is as good as that one too.
Even if you are not able to stay overnight here, you can enjoy the fresh tea, bakery, and snacks at the cafe with the view.
There are different menus offer each day if you are lucky enough you will get a chance to have our favorite bean snacks but no noodle though.
I have seen the administrator posting so many yummy menu on Facebook to attract more people and those who have been there which is very effective.
If I get a chance to come back to Chiang Rai, I will definitely come back here.
If you drive further in, you will be able to enjoy the first stop for the panoramic view of the tea plantation.
We have arrived here in the afternoon and we still can see some people harvest tea leaves. We thought they only harvest in the early morning.
The whistle goes off once in a while. This signal is to let all people know that they have to bring back the tea leave to the harvesting center to weight the leaves.
Even though it is not too hot but the sunlight is very strong so only Dad that goes out taking photos, Mom and Dek Jew stay in the car watching VDO concert.
And not far from the first stop, there is the 2nd viewpoint.
Choui Fong Tea Plantation in Mae Chan is on the hills, not like the one in Doi Phaya Phra which is in the natural valleys but both of them are beautiful.
The lake here is bigger and I guess it must be very foggy in the morning.
The third viewpoint is at the tea cafe. It is located at the highest point of the plantation and you can enjoy the stunning view from the balcony of the cafe.
Mom tries the green tea at the cafe and it is so good.
We have spent around 1 hour here and it is time to go to our resort for tonight stay.
We will be staying at Katiliya Mountain Resort & Spa which is only 5 kilometers from here.
Katiliya is a must to come and stay overnight because it offers amazing morning view from the room.
We bought the voucher to stay here from Thai Travel Fair.
The salesperson was very kind to introduce each kind of room clearly and where it is located in the resort.
At the end we got to stay at the Signature Suite room which is facing to the East which is perfect because we would like to see the sun rise from our balcony.
Let's see how it is!
The Signature Suite is nearby the Lobby and the restaurant. After walking pass the Lobby, our room is right on the left-hand side.
Our room is on the 2nd floor.
Oh wow! The room is extremely huge.
We have checked the room size from Katiliya's official website and it is about 100 square meters.
Actually, we bought a voucher to stay in the Superior Suite but got upgraded right after buying it to the Signature Suite room.
Moreover, Dad did not agree to stay here at first because it is pretty expensive. Mom tried to convince him by showing him a lot of good reviews of this resort and finally he accepted.
Huge bathroom coming with enormous bathtub and both indoor and outdoor showers.
After settling down, Mom takes Dek Jew to the swimming pool right away because Mom is afraid that it will be too cold later on.
The huge main pool is not far from the Lobby.
There is no shade in the swimming pool at all and the sunlight is very strong so Dek Jew will get tan skin for sure if she is swimming in here. Let's see the next pool first then before making the final decision where to swim in!
Looking back to our room, it is not far at all from this main pool.
There is a small pool which is about 50 meters from the huge main pool.
It is a warm-water pool.
And not far from the warm-water pool, it is the Kids Club with child pool but the water in the pool is too cold to dip in.
The guestrooms here can be divided into 2 zones paralleling the huge main swimming pool. The first one is facing to the East offering the sun rise view and the another one is facing to the West offering the sun set view.
After swimming, Mom hurries to take Dek Jew for a shower and get ready for dinner before she falls asleep.
The restaurant is below the Lobby.
We have reserved the table on the balcony to be able to enjoy the sun set view. However, it seems like 5 PM is still too hot so we decide to stay indoor first before moving out later.
We are recommended to have pizza and we agree to give it a try and Dad have ordered hamburger.
The pizza is really good as recommended but it gets cold after Dad has gone to take photos and once we ask to heat it up again it doesn't taste the same.
We have moved out to our reserved table after the sun starts to go down and the weather is not that hot anymore, very nice ambiance indeed.
The best spot in the resort to view the sun set is from here, from this restaurant.
And as Mom guess Dek Jew falls asleep during dinner so Mom needs to take her back to the room first.
So Dad has been left enjoying the dinner all alone.
After dinner, Dad walks around the resort taking more photos.
There is a real fireplace where you can stay warm in the cold winter.
The Library nearby the Lobby.
Conference and function rooms.
Look at this amazing view from our room in the morning, breathtaking isn't it. This is one main reason why we choose to stay here!
Mom is very happy to be able to see the sun rise right from our balcony because Mom normally has to look after Dek Jew who is asleep and can't go anywhere.
The balcony is huge and equipped by table set and daybed.
Chui Fong Tea Plantation in Mae Chan can be seen from this spot too.
And the sun is coming up now.
This Signature Suite room is huge and very comfortable with amazing view.
Mom likes it here very much and keep saying to Dad that Mom wants to come back here as well as Chui Fong Tea Plantation.
Finally, Dad agrees to plan to come back to Pai, Pang Ung, and Doi Ang Khang at the end of this year.
Look at this! Stunning view of the sea of mist.
Dek Jew woke up finally and we are ready for breakfast.
Furthermore, we plan to go back to Chui Fong Tea Plantation in Mae Chan once again to take more photos. Dad said that the morning light is good for photo shooting.
And before checking out, Dad has not missed to make the last round around the resort to take more photos.
This looks like a cafe which is located at the back of the resort and it looks like it is not operated temporary.
We are now ready to move on to our next destination, Mae Sai!
After going to Mae Sai for shopping, we have come back to the downtown and arrived to Mantrini Hotel in the evening.
The Mantrini Chiang Rai is a boutique hotel in Downtown Chiang Rai.
We have noticed this hotel since the day we arrived Chiang Rai because it is located on the main road (Phahonyothin Road) and right next to Central Chiang Rai Department Store.
We are very hungry so we decide to go for dinner first.
We are going to have dinner at this cute restaurant by the Lobby.
The food is pretty good but we have got to wait for the food for quite a long time.
This dinner is complementary by the hotel. Actually we are invited to stay here for two nights for complementary in order to do the hotel review for the hotel. However, Mom refused to accept because we don't have much time to spend here and don't want to be worried about the review. At the end we got some discount on the room and this complementary dinner.
This is a medium-size hotel and it is pretty comfortable to stay here.
The location is great. it is very easy to find because it is right next to Central Chiang Rai Department store and it is not far from the downtown either.
I have heard that the hotel just finished the renovation of the Lobby and the front part of the hotel.
Look! It is colorful and lively.
This corner is managed to be a snacks, light meal, and drinks' corner which is next to the Lobby. .
Walkway and the elevator are designed in colorful theme.
We stay in the Deluxe room and we are able to go into the swimming pool directly from our balcony.
The weather is pretty cold and we have to leave early for the Flower Festival tomorrow so Dek Jew hasn't get a chance to go to the swimming pool at all.
Let's have a look in our room!
The room is designed in bright color tone so the room look pretty big. However, the bed is in queen size so it is not that comfortable for us three.
Even though the room is not that big but it is fully equipped with everything and there is even a bathtub.
Dek Jew is enjoyed playing her new set of toys which has been bought from Mae Sai.
Mom has heard that one of the Suite rooms here is designed by Khun Duk Phanudech and it is very unique.
There are 2 Suite rooms located on the 2nd floor. These 2 Suites are designed and decorated completely different from each other and we are lucky enough that they are available so we are able to see them.
Let's take a look at the one designed by Khun Duk first!
Wow! This is totally unique.
And this is another Suite room which is designed in light blue color, very sweet.
As planned we woke up very early the next morning and the day must start with the breakfast.
The breakfast venue is on the 2nd floor. The breakfast buffet line has variety of food and they are all tasteful.
What I like the most would be a small oven provided. It is very useful because most of the time we would experience soft or hard croissants which don't taste good. With this small oven you won't have that problem.
We check out right after breakfast to go to Chiang Rai Flower Festival "Chiang Rai Asean Flower 2012".
It is pretty hard to find the entrance to the Flower Festival because there are so many signage. After driving around I guess that it is because there are many entrances and there are many parking lots.
Once we step into the Flower Festival, we feel like wow! there are so many kinds of flowers, it is colorful and they are all beautiful.
Mom's mission is to see the tulips in bloom and Mom gets the information that they are further inside. Anyway, let's enjoy the beautiful flowers along the way first.
And finally we are here at the tulip fields...
What!!! .. what is this!!! ...
Why the tulip fields look like this?
Mom asks the staff right away and heard that the tulips will bloom in 2-3 days.
Mom has planned to come here like at the beginning of the festival because Mom is afraid that tulips will be no longer in bloom if we come late. Mom has not expected that tulips won't be in bloom if we come early. Mom is sad now because there are not many tulips in bloom.
Even though there is a lot more to see, Mom think that they can't be compared to tulips that Mom really want to see.
After walking for a while Mom feels better once Mom has seen these colorful calla lilies.
While walking around, Mom has seen her friend posting a field filled with beautiful tulips in bloom on Facebook live from somewhere in Chiang Rai. Mom doesn't hesitate to ask her right away where it is.
The answer is "75 Anniversary Flag and Lamp Park". Let's go there!
This Asean Flower 2012 has advertised that it is the biggest fair they ever organized.
There are some animals for you to see too such as flamingos and penguins.
We walk around a bit more before heading to the 75 Anniversary Flag and Lamp Park.
We have arrived at the 75 Anniversary Flag and Lamp Park. Well, this place is not as big as the Asean Flower Festival but once we have stepped in we are like wow!
Even if it is a small park, it is full of tulips and lilies in their best bloom. Mom is very happy to have a chance to come here and have all missions on this Chiang Rai trip checked.
Wow! I thought I would be very impressive with these all tulips in bloom but actually I feel like I love lily field here more. Maybe because I have never seen such a place full of lilies like this before and they smell great.
Lastly, this Chiang Rai trip ends here.
Good bye for now and I hope to see you again soon!
Dek Jew currently attends the kindergarten so I guess we will not be able to travel as much as before. On the other hand, we will be able to do the remaining travel reviews that have not been published more.
Dek Jew Chill Out
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 2:00 PM