As fun as the city can be, we all need occasional respite. And if a trip to Bora Bora isn’t in the cards, we seek to retreat where we can. Here are a few places we discovered this month.
The original spa was housed in a lovely antique wooden home, offering up a truly traditional Thai vibe. We were therefore a little taken aback, though pleasantly surprised, to discover that their second branch, well, has branched off into whole ‘nother direction. Located just a few steps away from the first one, this branch is modern and bright, though still has the same smiles beaming from staff’s faces and fragrant aromas greeting one on arrival. Whether it be oil, scrub, lotion, etc., every product used at Makkha Spa is 100% natural and extracted from such fragrant and medicinal plants as almonds, macadamia and flowers. The focus here, however isn’t on the frills, but on the deep understanding of massage techniques and the body, each masseuse highly skilled in knowing exactly how much pressure to exert on which part of the body. Most of the service is given in private twin beds room with double showers so you can enjoy this retreat alone make it a special experience for two.
Ratchamanka Soi 3, T. Phra Singh
Open 10am – 10pm
Tel. 053 271 423
Tucked away at the end of a lush green paddy field, this homey café and gallery is one of the best getaway places in Chiang Mai. The old wooden house has been renovated and the area under this Thai house has been turned into a charming spacious café finished with antique furniture. The food menu is concentrated on Thai cuisine with some mouthwatering fusion dishes such as spaghetti nam prik ong, a northern Thai style pork and tomato dip turned sauce. For a little more spice, the pork fried rice turmeric with crispy fish maw salad is the one to try. You can just sit back and sip their signature cashew nut coffee while gazing at the sunset views — particularly splendid, what with all the pollution — accross the paddy field. There is also an on-premises gallery with cute handcrafted jewellery to browse and buy…some items as cheap as 50 baht.
Sit under the shade of a giant iron wood tree while enjoying kanom jeen (rice noodles) prepared from a family recipe that you have never seen anywhere before, or take a seat on a spacious balcony overlooking the Ping River. There is also a small pavilion that offers privacy should you need a tete a tete. The garden is spacious, there’s even a playground for small children to enjoy while parents savour a meal. The idea is to serve customers healthy organic food that is in a wallet-friendly price range. The food is prepared just the way the owner would prepare to eat with her family. Some of the ingredients are even picked fresh from her garden. Just like kanom jeen, Thai dishes served here are not typical. The gotu kola salad for example, is an intriguing mix of numerous herbs and vegetables. Freshly brewed organic coffee and organic milk and seasonal fruit ice creams round up the menu.
193 Moo 1 Baan Nam Ton, T. Muang Kaew, Mae Rim
Open 10am – 8pm
Tel. 083 297 7772