Showing posts with label Chiang Mai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chiang Mai. Show all posts

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Thailand: Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai's Colonial Suite Room & Dheva Spa

Chiang Mai, Thailand (November 24, 2010) Many of my friends were asking me to post photos of my Colonial Suite Room at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi is no. 18 on Conde Nast Traveler’s list of Top 100 in the world.

The gargantuan resort was built in what used to be a rice field. But it feels like you are entering an ancient Thai city with temples, palaces and stately colonial buildings. Surprisingly, everything was built from scratch. But the attention to detail, authenticity of architectural design and the scale of the buildings are impeccable.

To preserve the character of the place, they kept patches of rice field within the resort where guests can even plant rice.

Anyway, here are photos of my room. Here is what you see when you enter the room. There’s a small room complete with guest toilet.

This is the living room which has a work desk and TV.

The main bedroom is very stately. And the bed was so comfortable, I slept soundly last night.

But the bathroom is definitely something. I think it’s as big as the bedroom itself complete with a walk-in closet and bathtub jacuzzi which I’m about to use in a while.

Both the bedroom and living room have exits to a porch where you could relax outdoors. It offers a view of the other grand buildings that comprise the Colonial Suite wing. And mind you, the resort also has close to a hundred villas of various sizes, mansions even.

Anyway, I’m off to the hotel spa now.

Acupuncture treatment at Dheva Spa and Welness Center
We all go to spas to get relaxing massage treatments and find relief to our stress and body pains. But more than the usual massage, spas today understand that clients want results. And at Mandarin’s Dheva Spa and Wellness Center, the treatments go beyond the usual massage.

The spa complex itself is an intricately carved Lanna-style structure and quite interesting to explore. Before getting any treatment, the spa consultants meet with you to find out what treatments can best address your concerns. I got a personal consultation with the resort’s own traditional Chinese medicine trainer and specialist Ken Rosen, who hold’s a Master’s Degree in the Science of Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM).

After filling up the forms and answering Ken’s questions, he said the I needed an acupuncture treatment. Part of the diagnosis requires a tongue check-up, taking your pulse before reaching a diagnosis. So we proceeded to the acupuncture room for my session with needles.

The needles are usually kept on you between 20 to 30 minutes. Rosen explains that the needles reboot the nervous system. The nervous energy tries to push the needles out until equilibrium is reached. He explains that acupuncture needles are solid and are not designed to cut through flesh unlike the usual injection needles. They push tissue aside, let the nervous system grab it, reject it, accept it and thus reboot the system.

It was a bit uncomfortable at first. But after a few minutes of deep breathing, it felt much better. And I could sense that it did work. And I felt very relieved during and after the treatment.

Acupuncture is just one of the many traditional and conventional treatments available at the Dheva Spa. Before getting our treatments, we had a small tour of the spas facilities which included even traditional baths among others. A herbal garden behind the spa was the source of herbs and spices for many of the spa’s treatments.

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi
51/4 Chiang Mai – Sankampaeng Road
Moo 1, T. Tasala, A. Muang
Chiang Mai 50000
+66 (53) 888 888

Friday, December 30, 2011

Thailand: Night Market in Chiang Mai

Looking for a place to shop in Chiang Mai? Then a visit to the Chiang Mai Night Market of the Kad Luang (Royal Market) is a must! It’s right in the center of the city, near the banks of the Ping River.

The prices of merchandise and local handicrafts are quite good in the night market since it’s located quite close to the companies which manufacture them. It’s actually a large maze of stalls that can be found in various buildings, open spaces and sidewalks along Chang Klan Road between Tha Pae and Si Donchai Roads.

You can literally find everything you need there from native handicrafts, dried fruits and other local Thai snacks, clothing and accessories, Thai silk, jewelry and watches, and other trinkets and souvenir items.

One can also find the artisans themselves like soap carvers and umbrella painters.

And like all markets, there’s a lot of food. And it’s the best place to try out local street food. So when in Chiang Mai, don’t miss the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Thailand: Khao soi ข้าวซอย noodle dish in Chiang Mai

When in Chiang Mai, you must try khao soi ข้าวซอย, traditional Chiang Mai egg noodles in a yellow curry soup. Khao soi is said to be Burmese-inspired and is very popular in northern Thailand and Laos.

The dish is made with deep-fried crispy egg noodle in a really rich curry sauce containing coconut milk, and it usually has chunks of beef or chicken in it. It’s also served with chopped onions, pickled cabbage, and lime, which makes the dish extra tangy.

I had my first encounter with khao soi at Le Grand Lanna at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi which was superb! But I’d like to try the street version of this dish if I had the chance. Where can on find the best khao soi in Chiang Mai?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thailand: Temples of Chiang Mai เชียงใหม่

When in Chiang Mai เชียงใหม่, Thailand, make sure you visit its many temples. Being the most culturally-significant city in northern Thailand and former capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai has over 300 Buddhist temples or wat วัด as the locals would call them. Definitely, one would not have time to visit them all. So here are five temples you should not miss.

Wat Phra Singh วัดพระสิงห์วรมหาวิหาร
Dating back to 1345, Wat Phra Singh is a temple bestowed the status of royal temple of the first grade. Of the over 40,000 temples in Thailand, only 272 are royal temples.

The main attraction of the temple complex is the Vihan Lai Kham, a classic example of Lanna architecture, which together with the chedi date back to 1345.

Wat Chedi Luang วัดเจดีย์หลวง
The Wat Chedi Luang or Temple of the Big Stupa dates back to 1401. From 1468 to 1551, the Emerald Buddha was enshrined in the temple. The main attraction of the temple is the chedi. The city pillar or lak mueang of Chiang Mai is also found in the temple grounds.

Wat Chiang Mun วัดเชียงมั่น
The oldest temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Chiang Mun was built in 1297. The oldest structure is the Elephant Chedi which can be found behind the Main Vihan. In the New Vihan is enshrined the Crystal Buddha, a 10 cm Budhha statue carved from quartz.

Wat Lok Molee
Wat Lok Molee houses the ashes of the Mengrai Dynasty of the Lanna Kingdom. Its chedi was built in 1527. While the main hall was built in 1545.

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep วัดพระธาตุดอยสุเทพ
An important pilgrimage site, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is located on Doi Suthep (1,676 m). The temple dates back to 1383 when the first chedi was built.

The temple is located 15 kilometers from the city center of Chiang Mai and offers a panoramic view of the city. A tram conveniently ferries passengers who do not want to walk up the steps up to the temple. It was bestowed the status of royal temple of the second grade.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Thailand: Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Sukhothai

Thailand was the first country I traveled abroad to without my parents. Complete with the necessary DSWD Travel Clearance, I flew to Bangkok in 1996 to attend a high school student council convention in Pattaya. I've been there numerous times since including memorable visits on the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) in 2002 and for the Thailand Medical Tourism Blog Contest last year, when I finally got to visit Chiang Mai. I was back again this year. And after years of wanting to visit Phuket and Sukhothai, I finally did. Here are photos from Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Bangkok, Phuket and my visit to Chiang Mai last year.

September 17-18 - Ayutthaya and Bangkok, Thailand
September 18-20 - Phuket, Thailand
September 21 - Sukhothai, Thailand
September 23 - Bangkok, Thailand
November 23 - Chiang Mai, Thailand
November 24 - Chiang Mai, Thailand
November 25 - Chiang Mai, Thailand
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