Peaceful & Perfect
Chiang Mai was once a city where one could get away from it all. A lighter, breezier, calmer, and way less intense counterpart to Bangkok, it was a place to take stock and indulge in bowls of homemade spicy khao soi. But with the influx of tourists – notably from China – all this is quickly changing. Mom-and-pop stalls are turning into dynamic and expansive enterprises. Local markets in the city now charge tourist prices at every opportunity. But wander 30km away over in Hang Dong, much of the area’s original essence remains. On the undulating rice paddy terraces, amidst multi-fold pockets of greenery in all shades, is Veranda High Resort. At a mere 60-rooms, the property is a convenient marriage of nature and sleek design with history and culture elements. Yes, there’s a lot going on – but the generosity of space allows for the ultra modern parabolic roof semi-outdoor lobby setting to exist harmoniously with the traditional Instagram-worthy Lanna sala, now a choice location for morning yoga.
In one section of the property, a pretty red brick wall recalling the structures in Chiang Mai’s Old City beckons guests with the promise of ancient stories, and surprises when placed cheek-to-cheek with sleek modular concrete lines seemingly screen shot from a David Hockney painting. Another highlight: the resort’s main infinity pool looks beyond to the deep jade hills and verdant terraces.
The quaint Rabiang Cha restaurant is a pretty spot for dinner. A series of wooden structures and open-air tables create a cosy communal vibe, while the Lanna food served adapts to international palates. Tip: the northern Thai sausages are delicious, and the chillies spicy.
During the day, take a walk to nearby Brand New Field Good, a quirky café set on a sprawling rice paddy field. Owned by a Thai celebrity, the eatery and its home-style Thai dishes have proven a hit with tourists. Or, ride off on one of the resort’s collection of bicycles – getting away from it all really is this easy.