Getting HereGetting here is half the fun From the UK Thai Air and Eva Air run daily direct flights from Heathrow to Bangkok. We prefer the late evening departure and usually have a bottle of wine with dinner in the terminal and sleep all the way. If you don’t stop over in Bangkok, check right through to Chiang Mai. Connections are frequent and it’s just a one hour hop. Our recommended Travel Agent is Abbot Travel in nearby Royston. For expert advice about getting to Kanlaya's and onwards contact John Lombari on 01763 248844 or email@example.com.
At Chiang Mai Airport we will be waiting for you with our rugged 4-door 4x4 Chevrolet pick-up to whisk you into the Old City and check you into Top North www.topnorthgroup.com or M Hotel www.hotelmchiangmai.com - both are comfortable hotels just yards from Thapae Gate - the main entrance across the moat that encircles the Old City. For total unashamed luxury upgrade to the 5 Star Anantara (formerly Chedi) www.chiang-mai.anantara.com one of the world’s very best small hotels. On the site of the Old English Consulate, with the mighty Ping river its boundary, the Anantara is sublimely understated sheer luxury.
For dinner, as our guests on your first night, choose Riverside a supremely romantic restaurant with excellent live music on the opposite bank to the Anantara, or the city’s best fish restaurant at the vibrant heart of the famous Night Bazaar. Take an iconic Tuk tuk home.
Next morning, the Chevrolet already laden with the week’s provisions will leave after breakfast for the four hour drive through the mountains to Kanlaya’s Eyrie. It’s a spectacular road, the Japanese northern supply route to Burma. Known as the Mae Hon Song Loop, or the road of a thousand bends, it snakes up through the lush jungle clad mountains with stunning views at each precipitous pass. Stops on the way can include 4 Seasons Resort in the Mae Rim Valley just north of the city, Coffee Hill, a coffee farm with stunning gardens, and Pai, a town like no other in Thailand. It lies in a verdant valley ringed by rugged peaks. Famed as an early hippy outpost, it is now a low key center of alternative life styles, great music, numerous restaurants and a great nightly walking street native market.
From Pai the road ascends to the highest pass on the Loop with stupendous views, before falling in a series of spectacular hairpins to the Lang River valley. Leaving the highway at the river we follow it right-handed up through a splendid teak forest to Thum Lod Village. And just where the road finally expires, stands Kanlaya’s Eyrie, awaiting your arrival. As the gates swing open, nestled in the gardens below, your first glimpse of heaven on earth, embraced by the river far beneath.