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Singha Park (Boon Rawd Farm), Chiang Rai

May 15th, 2016 · No Comments · Thailand Information, Thailand News

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Singha Park is owned by Boon Rawd Brewery, the company who produce Singha Beer, but visitors hoping to find a brewery and endless supplies of Thai beer are out of luck. Instead, the picturesque park in the Chiang Rai countryside is a family-friendly attraction and makes for a pleasant way to spend a morning or afternoon.

landscaped grounds at Singha Park, also know as Boon Rawd Farm

Previously known as Boon Rawd Farm, the fertile soil here was used to grow barley for beer production and the farm was off-limits to the general public. That all changed when Boon Rawd decided to transform the area into a sustainable tourism project with Singha Park opening its gates to visitors in December 2012. Large areas of the park are still a working farm with fruit orchards and tea plantations as well as some of the original barley fields. These days though, the barley is mainly used for malted drinks and health foods. The farm is now more famous for its production of oolong tea and tours of the park provide visitors with the chance to see how the tea is grown and carefully picked. The park has also been sympathetically landscaped with trails, lakes and meadows all combining to make this an attractive destination for people in Chiang Rai.

giant golden Singha lion at Singha Park, Chiang Rai

The distinctive golden Singha logo dominates a small mound at the entrance to the park providing Thai visitors with the obligatory selfie opportunity. As an agro-tourism destination, Singha Park works closely with schools and colleges in Thailand with Thai youngsters forming a large percentage of the visitors during the week. At weekends the park is particularly popular with local cyclists and Thai families who come here to enjoy the wide open expanses and scenery.

signs at Singha Park

scenery at Singha Park

The word ‘Singha’ is actually pronounced ‘Sing’, but some Thais are so used to hearing it called ‘Sing-ha’ by overseas visitors that they may even use this name too without trying to correct you! If you listen carefully to Thai people ordering a Singha Beer, you should be able to hear them say ‘Beer Sing’.

Getting around Singha Park

The park covers a large area and although you can walk around the pathways closest to the entrance, if you want to explore more of the landscaped grounds the Singha Park staff encourage visitors to use bicycles or take the electric tram. The tram stops at various points of interest and gives you time to enjoy the walking trails and flowers.

cycling at Singha Park, Chiang Rai

walking trail at Singha Park

Bicycles
The bicycle routes in Singha Park are excellent and are free to use if you bring your own bicycle. If you need to hire a set of wheels, a tandem will set you back 150 Baht, a mountain bike is 100 Baht and a children’s bike is 50 Baht. Prices are per hour an include the use of a bicycle helmet. An hour will give you enough time to explore most of the park whilst two hours should be ample for a leisurely ride and plenty of stops for photos. There are various cycle paths to choose from with informative maps telling you the length of the ride in kilometres and the degree of difficulty on each route. Please note that all cyclists are asked to register at the bike desk before setting off on any of the routes in the park.

Trams
An electric tram carries visitors to various parts of the park with stops at the fruit orchards, tea plantations and the petting zoo some of the highlights. Tickets for the tram are purchased at the information counter near the front entrance. On busy days (especially weekends and holidays) you may have to wait at least an hour for a seat on the next available tram. There are coffee shops and food outlets where you can sit and wait or you could just opt to hire a bicycle to save time. The price of the tram is 50 Baht for adults and 25 Baht for children, but does include two vouchers which can be exchanged for bottles of water at the refreshment stops on the route. A guide accompanies the tram, but at the time of writing announcements are only made in Thai. Trams run at least every half-hour from 10am-5pm.

electric tram at Singha Park

flowers in bloom at Singha Park, Chiang Rai

Activities at Singha Park

There are a number of attractions at Singha Park which make it suitable for visitors of all ages. Young children will probably enjoy the petting zoo most of all with the chance to feed the zebras and giraffes. There are also a number of locations around the park where visitors can pick their own fruit and vegetables or simply enjoy the walking trails through the meadows.

zebras at Singha Park, Chiang Rai

feeding the giraffes at Boon Rawd Farm, Chiang Rai

For something more active, ziplining and wall climbing are both available. Whilst the setting is scenic, it’s a steep 800 Baht per person for the privilege of a short ziplining flight to take in some of the panoramic views from above. The climbing wall costs 150 Baht per person. If you’re looking to do something active at Singha Park, hiring a bicycle provides the best value and most reward.

Food and drink

The best place to eat at Singha Park is the highly regarded Bhu Bhirom Restaurant. With an elevated position and expansive views over the park and plantations, the restaurant is a lovely place to dine and relax with a choice of Thai food, including northern Thai specialties, as well as Western food. The restaurant uses freshly grown fruit and vegetables from the farm. Bhu Bhirom also incorporates oolong tea leaves into the menu with signature dishes such as the spicy tea-leaf salad. And if you have a taste for tea, stop at the Singha Park shop and buy some packs of the locally produced oolong tea leaves to take home with you. Bhu Bhirom Restaurant is open daily from 11am-10pm.

views from Bhu Bhirom Restaurant

fresh fruit and vegetables grown at Singha Park

In addition to Bhu Bhirom Restaurant, Singha Park hosts a number of very good coffee shops and the popular Barn House Pizzeria for pizza and beer (opens daily from 11am-8pm). There are also a number of local restaurants and food stalls outside the park opposite the main entrance.

Events

Throughout the year, Singha Park stages a number of music concerts with some big name Thai bands pulling in the local crowds. The park also hosts an annual balloon festival in February and various cycling events during the year.

Practicalities

The main part of Singha Park is open daily from 9am-6pm although restaurants are open until later. Entrance to the park is free with visitors paying extra depending on how much they want to see or do when they are there.

I’ve enjoyed my trips to Singha Park and whilst I wouldn’t describe it as a must-see attraction, it is an interesting and attractive destination and one that sees far more Thai visitors than foreigners. It’s well worth spending a half-day at Singha Park especially if you have your own transport and can combine it with a trip to the nearby White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) which is approximately 10 minutes away by car.

Best time to visit Singha Park
The park is open all year round, but is at its blooming best during the cool season from mid-November to the end of January. From mid-February to the beginning of April, the haze and smog can detract from some of the views.
Read more about the Chiang Rai weather here »

Singha Park (Boon Rawd Farm) Chiang Rai)

How to get to Singha Park

Singha Park is located approximately 12kms to the south-west of the centre of Chiang Rai city. The main entrance to the park is located on Den Ha-Dong Mada Road (Route 1211). There is currently no public transport that goes directly to Singha Park although the owners have said they may introduce a shuttle bus from downtown Chiang Rai at some stage in the future. For the moment though, the easiest way to get to Singha Park is with your own transport. Cars and motorbikes can be hired by the day in Chiang Rai city centre. Another option if you’re reasonably fit is to hire a bicycle in Chiang Rai and cycle out to the park.

Singha Park features on some shared tour itineraries, but it’s best to explore the park at your own pace. Enquire about prices for shared or private tours of Singha Park at any tour office in Chiang Rai city. You can also try negotiating directly with a songthaew or tuk-tuk driver. Taxis will also take you there and back, but are likely to ask for a set fare to take account of the waiting time. A trip to the park can also be combined with a visit to the White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) and your driver may suggest this.

The post Singha Park (Boon Rawd Farm), Chiang Rai appeared first on Thaizer written by Roy Cavanagh

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Cloud 47 Rooftop Bar & Restaurant, Bangkok

April 15th, 2016 · No Comments · Thailand Information, Thailand Stuff

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When it comes to rooftop bars and restaurants in Bangkok, there are plenty of options. But many of those venues have dress regulations in place and sky-high prices to go with the sky-high location. However, there are some rooftop bars in Bangkok which combine fabulous views of the city with a menu and drinks list that won’t break the bank.

view from Cloud 47 rooftop bar Bangkok

Cloud 47 bar and bistro

Unlike many other Bangkok rooftop bars and restaurants, Cloud 47 isn’t associated with one of the city’s top-range hotels. Instead, Cloud 47 is located on top of an office building and consequently has a more relaxed ambience compared to some of the alternative rooftop bars in the Thai capital. Cloud 47 attracts a mixed clientele with office workers, expats and tourists all enjoying views of the Bangkok skyline to go with their drinks. The venue has a covered area should the weather take a turn for the worse and a small stage sometimes hosts live music.

Cloud 47 rooftop bar and restaurant Bangkok

You’re certainly not going to get Bangkok’s best dining experience here. The service can often be slow and the venue lacks the luxury and attention to detail found at more prestigious rooftop bars in Bangkok. Despite all of that I’ve visited Cloud 47 a number of times and enjoyed the drinks, views and lack of pretentiousness. The rooftop bar provides decent value for money and some great views over the city from the spacious open-air terrace. Visit for sunset and you’ll be able to make out the Chao Phraya River stretching away in the distance and the nearby lights over Silom and Sathorn.

Cloud 47 rooftop bar Bangkok

Cloud 47 rooftop bar in Bangkok

Food and drink prices

Cloud 47 is more of a place to go for casual drinks and snacks rather than a fine dining experience. The menu features a mix of Thai, Western and fusion dishes in addition to a solid drinks selection. Example prices are 180 Baht for a spicy pork taco and another 180 Baht for a pint of draft Chang. Cocktails start from 250 Baht.

visit Cloud 47 rooftop bar Bangkok

Cloud 47 bar Bangkok

How to get to Cloud 47, Bangkok

Cloud 47 is located on the 47th Floor of the United Centre Building on Silom Road. The nearest BTS Skytrain station is Sala Daeng, a 5-minute walk away along Silom Road. When you enter the front entrance of the United Centre Building you need to walk towards the back past a number of shops and through a set of doors. You’ll see signs for Cloud 47 and staff will allow you in via the security turnstile enabling you to take the lift to the 47th Floor.

  • Open daily from 5pm-1am
  • Reservations not required
  • Telephone: 091 889 9600
  • No strict dress-code. Some visitors do dress smartly, but you won’t be turned away if you are wearing shorts, flip-flops or sportswear

The post Cloud 47 Rooftop Bar & Restaurant, Bangkok appeared first on Thaizer written by Roy Cavanagh

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Phuket – Patong Beach Vacation

June 7th, 2012 · 2 Comments · Cheap Hotel Thailand, Thailand Information, Trip Report, Trip Report 9

Well…it’s been a long time coming for this trip report. No excuse except that I just added it. I was looking through some old pictures today and figured I had the free time to do it. Back story for this side trip is that I had a friend come over for his first LOS trip…he […]

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