In the serene hills of Chiang Rai, northern Thailand, a community-focused haven has emerged.
The Visama Mae Chan luxury tented camp unveiled on 1 December, promises a distinctive holiday experience, seamlessly blending cultural immersion, nature activities, and high-end culinary delights.
With 10 exquisitely designed tents, the camp seeks to redefine luxury through a holistic approach.
Luxurious Abodes with Cultural Flair
Each tent, adorned with hill tribe names like “Akha,” “Yao,” “Lahu,” and “Lisu,” offers a sumptuous retreat. Elevated on platforms amidst the tranquil hill country, these tents range from 48 to 80 sqm, featuring spacious verandas. The accommodations, thoughtfully categorised, cater to diverse preferences, including family-friendly two-bedroom options.
Guests can indulge in comfort with amenities such as air conditioning, espresso machines, rain showers, and 24-hour concierge service. The thoughtful inclusion of cultural nuances is evident in the design, ensuring an authentic yet opulent experience.
Diverse Activities for Immersive Experiences
Visama Mae Chan distinguishes itself by curating multi-day immersive experiences. Co-founder Mark Remijan emphasizes their commitment to leaving an indelible mark on guests, the local community, and the environment.
Activities encompass pottery, painting, foraging, private picnics, arts and crafts workshops, cooking classes, and wellness sessions. Private trips to heritage attractions like the opium museum and the White Temple in Chiang Rai add cultural depth.
Gastronomic Delights Rooted in Local Produce
The culinary journey at Visama Mae Chan is a highlight, with Chef Suphannat ‘Miu’ Amnuayrit leading the charge. The Reu Doo Gaan restaurant, meaning “seasons,” offers a menu blending traditional Lanna cuisine, international comfort foods, and local specialities sourced from the adjacent farm.
The emphasis on organic farming, featuring “Khao Rai” traditional rice and locally picked teas, showcases a commitment to sustainability.
The Ambalama, a fireside gathering place, becomes a focal point for storytelling and talks by authors and historians. This space adds an intellectual and communal dimension to the overall experience.
Beyond Luxury: Making a Difference
Visama Mae Chan extends its purpose beyond luxury tourism. The camp actively supports the Friends of Thai Daughters Foundation, combating child trafficking by empowering hill tribe girls.
The foundation’s directors, Patty Zinkowski and Jane McBride express gratitude for the sustainable income and employment opportunities provided by Visama Mae Chan.
The camp integrates with the local community through initiatives like a monthly farmers’ market and income-generating activities, such as tree planting. Christopher Stafford, co-founder, emphasizes their commitment to providing direct income, vocational training, and sustainability benefits to the local community.
A Legacy of Excellence
The minds behind Visama Mae Chan boast a successful track record with acclaimed retreats such as Cardamom Tented Camp in Cambodia, the Anurak Community Lodge in southern Thailand, and the 137 Pillars Hotel in Chiang Mai. Their expertise underscores the promise of a truly exceptional experience at Visama Mae Chan.
The commitment to excellence continues with plans to add twelve additional luxury tents in 2024, expanding the offerings and ensuring more guests can partake in this holistic experience.
For those eager to embark on the Visama Mae Chan journey, online bookings are now open. The packages, like the Visama Culinary Voyage, offer a comprehensive experience, including accommodation, meals, and engaging activities.
In conclusion, Visama Mae Chan stands as a beacon of luxury intertwined with cultural immersion and social responsibility. This holistic retreat not only promises a memorable stay but also a positive impact on the local community—a true testament to the transformative power of travel.