I guess I am just a big kid at heart. The last home I owned before I retired and went traveling was set high among the trees and became affectionately known as “The Treehouse”. When Sarah and I heard about a treehouse hotel near Chiang Mai called the Rabeang Pasak Tree House Resort we had to go on a little mini-adventure. Yes, it is actually a treehouse hotel for grown-ups.
You feel like you are traveling back in time as you turn off the main highway into the mountains toward the tiny village of Pasak Ngam. Trees form a canopy over the winding road and sunlight filters through the leaves near this special Thailand tree house. Even though the road is surprisingly good for a place so remote, cars and motorbikes slowed down and everyone seems to wave at each other as they passed.
Upon arrival, you are greeted by a clowder of kittens, a peep of chickens (yes, that is what they are called) and Bullsiri Suwannachi, aka Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee, a retired architect, who began the treehouse project as a family vacation home in 2010 and it proved to be so popular that he opened it to the public in 2012. It has since expanded to six small treehouse cottages and two family treehouses. Each tree house was uniquely designed to fit into the shape of its individual trees and has been constructed using labor from the people of the village. From the outside, the multi-story cottages may look rustic, and they are, but each comes with electricity, running water, private bath and views of the surrounding teak forest. Ours, “Jackfruit House” was situated by a stream complete with the soothing water sounds and even had a small bathtub.
Surprisingly, for a place so remote, if you like nature, there is quite a bit to do. We hiked down steep trails through the forest to some small waterfalls. We saw a kaleidoscope of butterflies (yes, that is the official term), colorful birds of every description and walked past fields filled with crops that I have never seen outside of the grocery store before. There are several lakes nearby, a bat cave and a beautiful viewpoint perfect for watching the sunset, which we took full advantage of.
After returning from sunset point we had a delicious meal prepared by Mr. Lee’s family of a whole steamed local fish with a sweet and sour sauce, a spicy chicken stir fry with mushrooms and oyster sauce and crab wontons in broth. After eating Mr. Lee took us down the road to show us nature’s display of fireflies.
The resort also has bicycles available for guests to use and was very generous in giving out maps and information about the area. It is truly a unique experience sleeping in the trees and a great reminder of how adventures, even short ones, can help us recapture some of the great times of our youth.