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A little paradise
Hiring a car for a day or two may bring you to places the guided tours pass by. Near Chiang Saen we decided to turn into a road leading to Chiang Saen Lake. Thus we discovered lakeside resort Viang Yonok, a little paradise where we stayed two nights.
We got the comfortable and well-equipped lakeview 'Waterhen' cottage for the low-season price of Baht 1500. The price included choice of breakfast and the use of mountain bike and kayak. It was still rainy season; we did use the bikes, not the kayak. Best period to stay here is the dry season, especially the month of February when migrating birds visit the lake.
The resort is owned and run by British-Thai couple Ian and Vassana Smith. It is the only one near the lake. During our bike ride we saw several other resorts deserted and dilapidated. Which contrasts the more with Viang Yonok, perfectly clean and cared for in the smallest details.
We only partook of breakfast, but judging by its variety and quality, the kitchen is excellent too.
Address: 201, Moo 3, Dtumbon Yonok, Chiang Saen Lake, Chiang Saen, 57150, Thailand
Directions: Approach from Chiang Rai along highway 1. At the town of Mae Chan turn right onto road 1016 direction Chiang Saen. After 40 km along this road at Ban Kutow village look out for the sign to Chiang Saen Lake. Turn right as the sign indicates for one km uphill through a village. Past the hill you see the lake and the entrance to Viang Yonok on your left.
Heaven near the Golden Triangle
My wife and I just spent a wonderful holiday at this interesting Viang Yonok Hotel in Chiang Saen . Actually, it should be considered more of a 5-star Thai Bed & Breakfast than a hotel.
It is run by a English and Thai couple, Ian and Jim, with Ian's mother-in-law running the kitchen.
Ian picked us up from the airport. The location is in the middle of heaven actually 45 minutes from the Chiang Rai airport.
There are 6 bungalows all built with teak-lined interiors. When we saw our cabin, we were amazed at the beautiful decor - high platform bed, and totally exquisite bathroom. The design of the bathroom was truly unique.
Some cabins have a lake-side view, some have a garden view. It was interesting to watch young girls guiding the water-buffalos along the lake where ever water-buffalos go.
To be surrounded by tropical plants and trees with only the sounds of the forrest was truly pleasant.
The dining room has all the charm of Thai culture. The food was excellent. Jim's mother was a true expert with Thai dishes. I loved the fact that breakfast (Western or Thai) was served all day. I enjoyed waking up around 10 a.m. and strolling to the dining lodge for breakfast and see that my coffee has already been poured. The service was efficient with typical Thai friendliness.
My wife and I stumbled upon this place by luck. Strange, it was not listed on the Virtual Tourist a week ago, however, a couple of hotel listed have been closed for years.
My wife and I will definitely return simply because the cost cannot be beat. The service and lodging were perfect for anyone wanting a vacation with peace, quiet, and beautiful scenery.
Unique Quality: peaceful; great lake view; spa, pool and fitness center; fine dining; and at-home atmosphare with friendly staff.
Directions: Chiang Saen Lake
Popular Hotels in Chiang Saen
201, Moo 3, Dtumbon Yonok, Chiang Saen Lake, Chiang Saen
222 Golden Triangle, Chiang Saen
160 Moo 1, T. Wiang, Chiang Rai, Chiang Saen
116 B. Phutao T. Yonok, Chiang Saen
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