We’d been talking about going to Chiang Mai with all the girls for ages, and the trip – albeit ending up with only the 3 of us instead of all 6 – was everything I imagined it would be, and even more.
When we arrived at Chiang Mai Int Airport to the faces of confused taxi and GRAB drivers, we soon realized that Rabeang Pasak Treehouse was much further from the city than we thought. We had a very kind GRAB driver whisk us off on a 2.5h journey (we stopped to pick up an abundant of snacks ala wartime victims) far into the outskirts of the beautiful city in Thailand. Just an FYI, Uber hasn’t been launched in Chiang Mai yet, so the most efficient way of private transport would be the local red car, or just use GRAB like we did.
During our two days in the ulu pandan (see: isolated AF) retreat, we quickly discovered ways to keep sane from the lack of WIFI and data signal. Yes people, we had to relearn how to be human sans the convenience of being constantly connected. I’m silently thankful for the mindless chitchat we shared in our little treehouse. When there was little to do except sit in the comfort of our space, we talked, talked and talked, played loads of card games… And took loads of photos with the beautiful treehouses to feed our vanity.
My favorite time in the treehouse was always breakfast/lunch/dinner time, because Food. But also because of our furry new friends. We named each animal within seconds of encounter and perhaps it’s due to our eagerness to befriend that this lil’ one lingered outside our door all morning and gave us please-love-me kitty eyes. (note: hair fresh from the shower)
There were a ton more house dogs and cats roaming around and named each of them along the way. Think Edward, Jacob and Kendrick (go figure). I now regret not naming the giant lizard devouring the giant moth overhead one night during dinner. Ps: One of the most painful experiences of my anti-lizard life.
Our hostess Pinn was such a darling to all her guests, and her family of staff always made us feel very taken care of. After the first night when they realized Illya’s dietary restrictions, they made careful note to prepare more chicken dishes for us. They also showed us a ton of things to do and presented us with Jennifer the caterpillar – yes, Jennifer – at our breakfast table. 100% non-lethal and so darn cute.
If you find yourself completely over card games – they have a humble collection of games for your usage by reception – you can grab a bicycle and go on a little cycling adventure to the bat cave and sunset point. However I’d say go forth with little expectations as both sights weren’t mind-blowing. The cycle back and forth was quite treacherous in the still, humid air though, so consider that your workout for the trip. And speaking of the weather, bonfires are setup during Winter, where temperatures drop as low as 17degrees (!)
I’ve had a ton of people ask me about the treehouse and my experience there. It’s absolutely stunning and I’d go back again in a heartbeat – perhaps in Winter – however it is not at all “luxurious” and shouldn’t be assumed so. You’ll find it’s almost a very basic, kampung home away from home where you’d go to enjoy the simple things with nature, animals and a couple of good friends in tow.