Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi

April 10, 2017
Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi





PEACE, QUIET, & PADDY FIELDS AT THE DHARA DHEVI CHIANG MAI


What a whirlwind the past week has been: three cities (Kota Kinabalu, Sydney, and Melbourne) in two countries, catching up with friends and family in Malaysian Borneo and Australia, and spending the weekend getting reacquainted "Down Under" *boomchickawahwah*. I write this as I sit comfortably in my apartment 25 floors above Melbourne's CBD: taking the day off to do my laundry, have a moment (or several) to myself, and tend to my blog. On the topic of catching a breather, I only recently chanced upon these lost photos from almost 10 years ago. I had the pleasure of staying at The Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2008 - an era before social media and Posh, Broke, & Bored existed. All I had from that trip were one: poorly-composed, badly-taken photos on a digital camera the size of a credit card which I lost when I reformatted my hard drive and two: a few battered polaroids whose already fragile existence were threatened by sun damage and fading, as if time had come to claim it from my memory. For the better part of a decade, that dreamy stay in came ever closer to vanishing from my memory as the polaroids began to discolour - that is, until I discovered that my mother had, without me knowing, backed up all my hard drives. Which is how I managed to blog about my pilgrimage to Beijing and also this post about a Sweet Escape that nearly escaped me. Won't you join me as I revisit the restorative calm of The Dhara Dhevi, Chiang Mai?


Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi
All roads lead to Dhara Dhevi: follow the paddy fields to the pool, spa, and club.
Me and mummy, circa 2008, in the lobby of The Dhara Dhevi

Solitude & Serenity

A little over an hour from the notoriously chaotic capital is Thailand's Rose of the North: Chiang Mai. The Dhara Dhevi is a world apart from the claustrophobia of Bangkok: spread across 60 acres of beautifully landscaped tropical grounds are just 123 stunning suites and villas whose traditional architecture, inspired by the historic Lanna Kingdom, bely a luxury both timeless and contemporary. For solitude seekers, the resort is a haven: the luxurious hideaways are among the world's most spacious accommodation. Undulating paddy fields act as a buffer between guests, with just a lone scarecrow as your neighbour. The grounds are so vast that bicycles are provided for exploring the countryside surroundings. 
FURTHER READING:

The Dhara Devi is a smorgasbord of the region's rich heritage: ancient palace-like structures, traditional Lanna-style villas and colonial mansions - which I personally judge to be incongruous, although it is historically relevant. Every nook and cranny of the estate holds an almost mystical surprise to be discovered; be it ornate sculptures with hollows large enough to hide in, stone deities housed in brick archways floating in the middle of one of the resort's many lotus ponds, or even the obvious: an infinity pool overlooking the paddy fields.

Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi
Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi



I stayed in a Deluxe Villa: a 2-floor, traditional, teak wood structure offering the best of indoor and outdoor living. Silent sunrises and amber sunsets over the endless gardens and fields were my two buttons to 'press and hold to restore default factory setting'.

Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi
Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi
Chiang Mai, Thailand: The Dhara Dhevi

Naturally, due to the deliciously secluded nature of The Dhara Dhevi I was far too comfortable to leave my luxurious surroundings (I saw nothing of Chiang Mai beyond The Dhara Dhevi - I have no regrets! - but I'm heading back to Chiang Mai in June for a detox and possibly to explore more of the city). Here's to all the introverts and to the restorative qualities of solitude. x

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