Darn Good Digs Review - Editors' Choice
Mae Hong Son (Pai), Thailand: Bueng Pai Farm
Nominated By: Mary Bartnikowski, San Francisco, California and Mike, Montreal, Canada, November '11
Price Range: 500-1800 Baht # of Rooms: 11 Kid-Friendly: Yes
What makes Bueng Pai Farm so Darn Good? A true gem - we never wanted to leave this little piece of heaven on earth! Surrounded by rice paddies in a gorgeous mountain valley, the farm has private bungalows overlooking a quiet fishing pond where guests can fish right from their hammocks. When not exploring the countryside, we spent our days fishing, relaxing in the farm's open-air island library, and swimming in the farm's natural, chemical-free swimming pool - complete with little fish to tickle your toes! Your hosts, Run and Orn, are absolute angels – kind, helpful, and fantastic cooks to boot. I felt so absolutely cared for and rested in this Pai-adise.
Vibe: The beauty and tranquility of Bueng Pai Farm are mesmerizing. I loved sitting on one of the shady decks watching the fish in the pond leap for joy and at night listening to the frogs in the rice fields sing me to sleep.
Location: The farm is set among rice paddies along the lazy Pai River two and a half kilometers outside of Pai, a laid-back backpacker town with a lively music and restaurant scene. When not lazing in your hammock, you may want to take a bike ride through the countryside, go tubing down the Pai River, or check out the nearby hot springs and waterfalls. Pai is a popular starting off point for elephant treks through Northern Thailand and can be reached by bus from Chiang Mai, eighty kilometers away, or by plane directly to Pai.
Rooms: Bueng Pai Farm's fourteen bungalows, all traditionally designed and built using local, natural materials, are immaculate with en-suite bathrooms, hot showers, and free WiFi. Many of the bungalows are right on the pond, yet the ones set back from the water are also wonderful as they have gorgeous views of the rice fields to be enjoyed from your veranda. The bungalows range in size to accommodate single travelers as well as families.
Food: Better than mom's! Run and Orn cook up delicious and nutritious vegetarian breakfasts such as home-made toasted muesli with yogurt, omelets cooked and served on a banana leaf, and chocolate pancakes. These and other delicious dishes and drinks are served with a smile – everyone at the farm is wonderful at making you feel at home. For lunch and dinner, the farm has a fully equipped guest kitchen, and the nearby town of Pai has plenty of restaurants with tasty food from the world-over.
Keep in Mind: The Farm is a couple of kilometers out of town so you may need a bicycle, motorbike, or car to get around. The walk to town is doable though, and you get to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way.
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