7 Extreme Experiences To Enjoy In Thailand – Haute Living

Posted: December 21, 2019 at 9:55 am

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Thailand is a country rich in culture, history and experiences. From sleeping with elephants underneath a starlit sky to attending the magical Yee Peng lantern festival to eating your way through the culinary wonders of Bangkok, here are seven extreme experiences to enjoy in Thailand. Photo Credit: Anantara Golden Triangle

If theres anything more awe-inspiring then walking side by side with a 6-ton elephant, we havent experienced it. Thats the kind of experience youll have at Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, a stunning, 160-acre, five-star property tucked into the jungles of Chiang Rai. When staying here, soak up every minute by booking the Discovery package, which will provide a 360-experiential luxury escapade and all the affluent amenities you can imagine. Guests who choose this adventure who receivereturn transfers by luxury limousine to Chiang Rai Airport (or a four-house drive by private Mercedes-Benz from Chiang Maiwith its own Wi-Fi, of course), a VIP Regal Elephant Arrival, which includes collection from the airport and a traditional longtail boat on the Mekong River, before venturing down the Ruak River to dock at Anantaras private jetty, concluding with an elephant trek along jungle paths right up to the hotel lobby.

And thats just the beginning. For each night stayed, guests who book this package can choose one activity from four categories, though should you wish to fully embrace the nature of Chiang Rai, we recommend dedicating all to the elephant camp. These ventures include the Elephant Learning Experience, where youll learn about elephant composition and biology, as well as get to feed, play with and even wash the gorgeous beats, and Walking with Giants, where guests join the elephants free roaming stroll with their mahouts (caretakers) and a resident vet or biologist, as well as enjoy shower time.

The second all-inclusive signature experience category offers luxury pampering at Anantara Spa, with a choice of two 90 minute rituals such as scrubs, wraps, massages, facials, manicure and pedicure treatments.Anantaras Spice Spoons Thai cooking school offers the third all-inclusive activity option. The experience begins in the former Lanna Kingdom capital of nearby Chiang Saen, with a chef-guided market tour and coffee with the locals, followed by a temple offering and breakfast picnic in the temple grounds. Back at the resort, students tour the resorts on-site herb garden before donning aprons for the step-by-step cooking class, learning how to recreate Thai cuisines unique four flavor balance with a master chef. Well get into the fourth excursion a little later.

The newest addition as of November isin our opinionthe most majestic. From dusk until dawn, youll sleep in a bubble in the jungle as elephants roam freely around you. Guests will be completely safe and protected, though be able to see some of the most breathtaking, unbelievable views in the world. Located in the jungle on the banks of the Ruak river, the two air conditioned Jungle Bubbles will be perched on raised wooden decks. Each will feature a bedroom and living space with bespoke furnishings under the transparent bubble roof, and an enclosed, nontransparent en suite bathroom.The Jungle Bubbles were conceived and custom designed by Eye In The Sky and are constructed with high tech polyester fabric using exclusive Precontraint Serge Ferrari technology to create an milieu in which guests can enjoy an immersive, close-to-nature experience.

If sleeping in a jungle bubble isnt your bag, needless to say, this luxury resort has every creature comfort you could expect, and then some. There are 40 rooms and 15 suites, including 6 family suites, all perched on a hilltop and designed inroyal Thai Lanna style. All rooms and suites feature a spacious balcony with a built-in sofa overlooking the misty hills of Thailand, Myanmar and Laosthe famed Golden Triangle, as it were. Interiors showcase the elegance of Thai culture with silks, textiles and teakwood furniture complemented by a host of modern amenities, such as a terrazzo bathtub for two featuring retractable doors that can be opened for a soak with a view of the breath taking surrounds; a lounging area; a balcony with a daybed; a walk-in rain shower; international satellite TV, DVD and bluetooth; a Nespresso; and a complimentary daily minibar. Plus, who doesnt love walking into a room with towels shaped like elephants with a spread of homemade elephant-shaped shortbread cookies?

229 Moo 1, Wiang, Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai 57150

Photo Credit: Dusadeephan Phajee/Shutterstock.com

The fourth part of the discovery package at Golden Triangle, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, is also one of its most distinctive. The area in which its located, the Golden Triangle, is named as such because it overlooks the fabled convergence of three countries: Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. And when it comes to an experience youll remember, Anantara delivers with the ultimate private excursion, an exploration of theunique character and traditions of Thailand and Myanmar, with the option of adding a Laos experience. The cultural trip incorporates market, temple and ancient Lanna experiences, travel by private car, tuk tuk and longtail boat, with an experienced guide easing immigration, providing language assistance and regaling insightful facts and stories.

In Myanmar, youll hop in a tuk-tuk and immediately head to a food market, where youll meet locals, uncover age old traditions at the Shwedagon Pagoda, find out about the animal corresponding to your birthday and learn how to make merit with a temple offering, photograph the mountain scenery and find spirituality (if you seek it) at the Jade Temple. In Chiang Saen, Thailand, youll tour the scattered ruins of defensive walls and sacred temples before boarding a traditional longtail boat to cruise the Mekong. Passing the impressive Golden Buddha statue and the point where three countries converge to mark the Golden Triangle, youll saunter off down the Ruak River to reach the resorts private pier. By adding the optonal experience of Laos, you can opt to continue your longtail boat journey along the Mekong River to Don Sao Island (which, thanks to a loophole in immigration laws, you can visit without a visa). As our final stop of the day, you might also be tempted to try a Beer Laos, and if youre feeling braver, the potent rice whisky.

Theres a plethora of options for further experiences back at the resort, if you still have energy and time.Early risers can revitalize with a bike ride to Sai Thung reservoir or an al fresco yoga class. Those who simply want to relax can do so in the infinity pool and Jacuzzi while taking in the stunning Mekong, Myanmar and Laos views.Nature lovers can go bird watching, walk or jog along beautiful trails and contribute to Anantaras conservation work with a native tree planting activity. Those with energy to burn can enjoy the gym, squash and tennis courts. And if youre reallyhardcore, personal trainers offer up personal Muay Thai lessons in an epic, professional-grade training court.

Photo Credit: asiandelight/Shutterstock.com

Youve all seen the magical pictures of hundreds, sometimes thousands,oflanterns floating in the air. This happens for a very specific reason: Every year, the country celebrates its Yee Peng Festival on the full moon of the twelfth lunar month, which typically happens every November. This is when the moon is meant to be the brightest, and wishes for good fortune are allegedly the most likely to come true. For a country steeped in superstition, this is everything. And the very best placethe most fabled place, in factto enjoy the Yee Peng/Loy Krathong Festival is in Chiang Mai.

Lanterns and floating kratong (flower offerings) are sold everywhere, and cheaply. You can celebrate literally anywhere in Chiang Mai. But the most VIP event is held at Lanna Dhutanka in Mae Cho in the San Sai district of Chiang Mai. Not only will you take the blessed circular walk around monks, but youll enjoy the ultimate VIP seating with important figures from Thailands government, a specially crafted inner box and Lanna and Thai cultural performances before letting your own lantern float sky high. Yee Peng is so beautiful it takes your breath away.

During this popular, mystical time period, hotels book up fast and needless to say, Anantara Chiang Mai Resort will be one of the first to go (so book this well in advance!). Reason being: it offers a self-contained, supremely serene oasis smack dab in the middle of the city, just 15 minutes from Chiang Mai International Airport, but most importantly, a two-minute walk from the riverside. The river view, in fact, will beyourview during breakfast, as well as during your stay. And this means youll be in a prime position for double wishesyou can release your kratong even after attending the VIP Yee Peng Festivalandhit up the nearby Night Bazaar. Winning!

Location aside, the resort is a stunner.84 sleekly designed rooms and suites are housed in an elegant modern building of wood and expansive glass. Private balconies and terraces feature a double daybed overlooking manicured grounds, the colonial house or river. Inside, sunlight streams through floor-to-ceiling windows, illuminating contemporary dcor, stylish furnishings and local artifacts. The 32 Kasara Suites (our preference) boast 1130 square feet of space, including a lounge and dining area, a large open-plan bathroom and amenities such as Bose entertainment, an iPod dock and JURA Swiss brand coffee machine. Those in the Kasara suites get all the extras: A private check-in and check-out service, a complimentary laundry service (seven pieces per day), a private indoor/outdoor lounge with a dedicated concierge, WiFi and a laptop computer, as well as evolving culinary temptations.

Chiang Mai is an ideal destination for travelers eager to explore. There almost too much to do. After long days of exploring the citys quirky caf, art and boutique scene, to countless temples, Lanna Kingdom ruins and bustling markets, verdant mountains and rice paddies, lakes, waterfalls and national parks, elephant experiences, bamboo river rafting, the nearby Hill tribes and handicraft village, jungle zip lining, a sunset river cruise and golf by the Himalayan foothill, youll definitely need an oasis of relaxation, and Anantara Chiang Mai is the very place to kick back. Guests can sunbathe in quiet seclusion and swim in the 366-square foot riverside pool. Energy is renewed with a workout in the river view gym, restorative yoga or tai chi, or with a Muay Thai boxing class. Culture and wellness go hand in hand at Anantara Spa, where holistic pampering includes unique northern Thai rituals, such as the Lanna ritual: a full-body massagecombining healing plai massage oil with Thai, Burmese and Chinese techniques to enhance energy flow and overall wellbeing, ending with a mini pressure point facial, complete with a singing bowl, a clearing of energy and wish-making with a golden heart Bodhi leaf.

123 123/1 Charoen Prathet Rd, Muang Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50100

Photo Credit: Antantara Chiang Mai One of the coolest dining experiences youll have anywhere in the world is located in the heart of Chiang Mai, and with the 25th James Bond film, No Time to Die, set for an April release, we dare say that its the perfect time to spy-themed The Service 1921. What once served as the British Consulate now serves as Anantara Chiang Mais heritage, serving up contemporary cocktails and Thai, Sichuanese and Vietnamese cuisines, all with a British intelligence service twist.What now serves as the restaurants private dining room was actually a secret spy/war room for British forces thats accessible through a secret bookshelf door.

The Service 1921 has been respectful of the venues storied past, keeping portraits of former British intelligence offers on the walls, and vintage artifacts scattered throughout the restaurant. It also plays up its theme in a fun way: The menus come in top secret envelopes stamped with For your eyes only. Though it might sound like a concept restaurant, the restaurant has been recognized by the Michelin Guide, and its interiors are posh, not kitschy, with an elegant bar and lounge, al fresco seating on the wrap-around lower and upper verandas, a wine cellar, a cigar area featuring hand-picked Cubans and an exclusive whisky room.

Menu highlights here include the Mala seafood hot pot with mussels, squid, prawns, fresh ginger, scallion, sesame and dry chili; Szechuan black-bone chicken marinated with draught beer, then stir-fried with fresh chili, ginger, garlic, red onion and mushroom; and Bashu long spareribsSzechuan pork spare rib stir-fried with dry chili, sesame and garlic. Now more than ever, we recommend trying at least one if not all of the cocktails on the Bond-themed Secret Services menu: a classic Vesper martini; Diamonds are Foreversecret cold-infused vodka with fresh pineapple juice, vanilla syrup, grenadine, and lime juice; and You Only Live Twicesecret cold-infused vodka, apricot brandy, fresh lime and honey caviarare the standouts.

123, 1 Charoen Prathet Rd, Mueang Chiang Mai District, 50100

Photo Credit: Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

Moving on, head to Bangkok, which offers one of the most elegant afternoon teas youll likely ever have in the storiedAuthors Lounge of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. The hotel exudes old world charm reminiscent of the early 1900s, with turn-of-the-century-style wicker furniture and hand-painted fabrics, which perfectly accompany framed photographs of many of the famous writers who have stayed at the hotel since the late nineteenth century.

Although the rest of the hotel completed a massive renovation, the 143-year-old Authors Wing retains its character and whimsical charm unique through itsJoseph Conrad Terrace and the Somerset Maugham, Nol Coward and James Michener Lounges. In these newly created salons, images of these literary greats are juxtaposed with scenes at The Oriental during those eras, as well as quotations from their books.

Its the perfect, quietly-elegant setting for afternoon tea, a traditional affair of delicate finger sandwiches, pastries, freshly-baked scones and home-made jams frequented by fashionably clad ladies who lunch. There is a rotating teaearlier this year, the hotel crafted an afternoon tea with Parisian fragrance house diptyque, and currently a festive, holiday-themed tea is on the menu. Its Oriental Afternoon Tea Set is the one to beat, with a menu full of locally-inspired, regional treats such as Jasmine Queen Tea and coconut sorbet,crispy perch with tamarind sauce wrapped in lotus leaf, steamed butterfly pea dumplings filled with peppery crabmeat, papaya salad wrapped in a rice sheet, chicken green curry puff pastry, water chestnut rubies in coconut milk and coconut mango sticky rice, in addition to some rare Chinese teas.

As a side note, another cool experience the hotel offers is at its riverside Terrace Rim Naam, which is accessible only by private boat!

48 Oriental Ave, Khwaeng Bang Rak, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500

Photo Credit: lebua

For the absolutely most decadent culinary experiences in Thailand, check yourself into lebua at State Tower. The worlds first vertical destinationfirst made famous by The Hangover 2is a one-stop shop for gourmands, oenophiles and hedonists, offering one-of-a-kind culinary experiences in the ultimate glamorous setting. In fact, the hotel features so prominently in the film that it not only has its own suitethis three-bedroom, 2, 863-square foot behemoth with four city-view balconies, welcome Hangovertinis and a fully-stocked mini-bar actually hosted the cast when they filmed therebut too of its own craft cocktails as well. These include the aforementioned HangovertiniChivas 18 year, Manchino Chinato and sage maple syrupas well as the Hangover TooChivas Regal 18 year and Aperol, Dows port as well as maple, rosemary and black pepper syrups at the hotels Sky Bar.

This vertical destination prides itself on being a one-stop shop for a culinarybachanalia, and with good reason.Ten beautiful bars and restaurants fight for dominance at The Dome at lebua, including Sky Bar, which is suspended on a precipice over the city 820 feet in the air, making it one of the highest rooftop bars in the world with some of the best, most breathtaking views of Bangkok (as well as some of the worlds best cocktails); Mezzaluna, one of Thailands only 2-Michelin star restaurants; the nations first interactive French cuisine eatery, Chefs Table, which just earned its first Michelin star under the skillful guidance of the wonderfully charismatic and incredibleChef Vincent Thierry;Flte, A Perrier-Jout bar; and the lauded lebua No. 3, which provides one of the most unique caviar experiences in the world (including cocktails made of caviar air).

Last but not least, make sure to visit the supremely elegant millennial pink champagne hot spot Pink Bar. Thisdouble-height champagne cellar and grand bronze and gold champagne table are stocked with some of Frances finest and rarest boutique brands: Le Brun de Neuville, Rare Champagne, Champagne J. de Telemont, Dosnon Champagne and the extraordinary but obscure Champagne Comtes de Dampierrethe latter personally sourced by lebuas CEO, Mr. Deepak Ohrias well asthe barspice de rsistancea partnership with multi-awarded Rare Champagne; Pink Bar is the only place in the world you can get Rare Champagne by the glass. Hows that for exclusive?

State Tower Bangkok, 1055 Si Lom, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Photo Credit: Shangri-la Bangkok

If youre seeking unusual/traditional experiences in Bangkok, then dinner at Salathip is a must. Not only does this restaurant have a killer viewits located on the Chao Phraya Riverthe River of Kingsat the Shangri-La, Bangkok, but it also offers up an exotic Thai dance performance inside its Thai-style teak pavilions every evening from 7:45 p.m. which needs to be seen to be believed. The dancers flit by every table as youre indulging in dishes likePhad Phak Boong Kra Tieam Thonesauted morning glory with garlic, chili and bean pasteandGoong Hom Sabai Moo Subcrispy prawns stuffed with minced pork in a Chinese pancakeembracing each diner with the infectious spirit of Bangkok.

The hotel also offers another unique dining experience in its Horizon II River Cruise. Indulge in a buffet of Thai, Japanese and western dishes as youmore importantlycruise past historic buildings and famous landmarks that line the river, including The Grand Palace, Temple of Dawn (a Khmer-styled pagoda), Wat Pho, Holy Rosary Catholic Church (The Kalawar Church), Santa Cruz Church, Kiang Au Keng and the Guan Yu Shrine.

Because this hotel is so traditional, that means youre in store for the traditional Thai massage, performed on floor mat fully clothed without oil, and combining pressure point work with stretching to reawaken your bodys energy flow.

89 Wat Suan Phlu Alley, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500

Elephants at play at Anantara Golden Triangle

Sleep out in the wild at Anantara Golden Triangle

Elephants and sidecars at Anantara Golden Triangle

Anantara Golden Triangle's majestic lobby

Jungle views from your own personal daybed and balcony at Anantara Golden Triangle

A suite at Anantara Golden Triangle

Pool views at Anantara Golden Triangle

Pool views at Anantara Chiang Mai

Pool Lotus Pond at Anantara Chiang Mai

Spa Relaxation area at Anantara Chiang Mai

The Restaurant at Anantara Chiang Mai

Kasara River View Suite at Anantara Chiang Mai

The Service 1921

The Service 1921 private room

Afternoon Tea at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

The terrace at Sala Rim Naan Bangkok

The Presidential Suite at Sala Rim Naam at Shangri-La Bangkok

Shangri-La Bangkok swimming pool

Shangri-La Bangkok Krungthep Presidential Suite

Shangri-La Bangkok Krungthep Presidential Suite bathroom

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7 Extreme Experiences To Enjoy In Thailand - Haute Living

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December 21st, 2019 at 9:55 am

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