If you are planning a trip to Northern Thailand, consider staying at Tamarind Village in Chiang Mai, a Trip Advisor 2016 Traveller’s Choice Award winner. You will not only have a wonderful stay, but you will have an opportunity to learn about Thai culture.Upon arrival, you will walk underneath a canopy of interlaced bamboo trees overhead transporting you into a Thai wonderland.
It is located in the Old Town on 50/1 Rachdamnoen Road near the 700 year-old Wat Umong Temple. It has 42 rooms and three suites, centered around beautiful flower-filled courtyards where you will see the 200 year-old Tamarind tree for which the hotel is named.
The hotel was built in 2002. The architecture will make you feel like you are staying in an authentic Thai residence. The white-washed plaster walls, dark timber beams and clay roof tiles are typical of the Northern Thailand or “Lanna” culture. In fact, Northern Thailand has its own language — Lanna- which is not understood in other regions of Thailiand – including Bangkok.
Rooms are spacious and well-lit with air conditioning. Décor includes touches you will only find at Tamarind village: handmade lacquer boxes, embroidered tribal caps, and handmade leather slippers, for example.
Of course, the rooms and the service were impeccable. There is something else that will make your stay at Tamarind Village a unique learning experience: A hotel employee will take you on a “Village Walk”. During the walk, you receive explanations of the nearby temples’ history and Buddhism’s tenets. The employee who took me on a “Village Walk” was named Kan.
As part of the Village walk, we visited several temples including Watduangdee. (“Wat” means “Temple” in Thai.)
On the day we went on the “Village Walk,” Kan explained that out of respect, visitors should remove shoes before entering a “Wat” or temple, where you will see an orange-robed monk seated on a bench.
Tamarind Village Hotel employees prepare baskets of food that hotel guests may present to the monk. It is typical that a Thai person might prepare food that one of their ancestors enjoyed while they were alive.
Kan explained that though monks perform religious and ceremonial acts as their ‘work’, they do not receive a salary. They depend on Thai people’s kindness. According to tradition, a monk may accept an offering directly from a male’s hands. However, if a female presents an offering, she must set the offering down before a monk may touch it. She also explained that when you kneel before a monk, you should never point your feet away from the monk.
Typically, the monk will make a blessing over you to thank you for your offering.
For another fun activity to do while in Northern Thailand, check out this post:
Also, if you want to know more about Tamarind Village, check out their website
That’s the Lowdown!