“Uptown at the Upcountry Bungalows.”
Reviewed March 5, 2012
I hesitate to express my strong feelings about this place, because I don’t want to get crowded out next time I want to go back. Tony and Nuna are guilty of all the virtues attributed to them in the prior reviews.
All the food Nuna makes, especially the Wing Bean Salad, is divine. You couldn’t ask for a more amusing host than Tony, who has some stories and knows how to tell them.
There are many things worth visiting nearby and Nuna can tailor an expedition to pique your interests. We visited a huge antique grinding stone where 2 girls worked the bar that rotated the mill. We stopped in on hatmakers, silk weavers, embroiderers, shamans, whiskey-makers, farmers and fishermen. We had an outrageous multi-course dinner at the best local prawn farm. We went to outdoor markets with Nuna to buy ingredients for meals. I passed on the varied selection of insects, but they were fun to photograph.
Nuna is a force of nature and her sense of fun illuminates every day trip. Her extensive roots in the area, where every other person is a cousin, makes for an entree into local life, that is invaluable.
If you pass on a massage with Nuna’s sister you will make the biggest mistake of your life. She is an accomplished practitioner of Thai massage. She is gifted, a real doctor feel-good who leaves you feeling energized.
Currently Upcountry Bungalows only boasts 3 bungalows. If you are lucky enough to get in, it will undoubtably zoom to the top of your ” Thailand Favorite Places” list.
Room Tip: They are all good.
Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
“Amazing Northern Thailand”
Reviewed January 10, 2012
I am Belgian and spent a month at Upcountry Bungalows. Nuna is not only an outstanding tour guide but all so and excellent cook. She spoiled me with Classic and Northern Thai food. To my big surprise she even knew how to prepare Rabbit and Eel the Flemish style (one of the favorite meals of Pieter Paul Rubens the famous Flemish painter)
On top of this Nuna speaks good English and guided me to places the usual tourist never gets to because only specialized guides with good connections with the local people and monks are allowed to enter these sacred places. Tony is that kind of person one can talk with about all most everything but the added value is that he is an expert in art of the Far East and Tribal Art in general. So you will never get bored staying with these people.
This stay was a home run.
Can´t wait to go back next year for a guided tour to Cambodia and Laos.
Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
“A fantastic stay while in Northern Thailand”
Reviewed December 30, 2011
The owners Tony and Nuna were the perfect hosts. Tony is American and Nuna is from Thailand so the Upcountry Bunglow has the best of both worlds for us. The grounds are pristine and well laid out. There is a beautiful organic garden and they have chickens so we ate fresh eggs for breakfast and boy, you can really tell the difference and we heard that fresh chicken and rabbit is served on occasion.
Our bungalow was modern with flat screen TV, DVD player, very clean with a great mattress and fluffy duvet. We slept like rocks the first night. The outdoor shower was refreshing and wonderfully hot and very private. There is something to be said about taking a shower in nature.
Dinner was fantastic due to the wide variety and mixture of seasonings, meats and the fresh organic vegetables they grow on the property. Breakfast was a great treat as well as my husband just happened to mention the evening before that he would like to try an English breakfast. Nuna kept that in the back of her mind and did not disappoint. Fresh everything including her own homemade bread. No way will you leave the table hungry.
Nuna was also our tour guide. She and Tony took us on the Phu Chi Fa day trip which included the Hot Mineral Falls, Tahi/Lao Market visiting actual Hmong families and a local silk factory. What we loved so much about her style is she makes sure you actually experience it with no pressure of tourist traps to buy anything.
After our full day it was Mojito time (the best one – OK TEN – we have ever had) on the deck of the outdoor bar/restaurant with the most amazing sunset. After our cocktail hour, another amazing fresh fab dinner with our hosts and others.
I can’t say enough about this wonderful find and that we can’t wait to return. Truly one of our best experiences and stays of our 2 month trip through Southeast Asia.
Don’t miss it!
Stayed December 2011
Great place to smell the flowers, the coffee, and just chill out”
Reviewed August 26, 2011
We spent three nights and four days at Upcountry and found it to be the perfect getaway: the local scenery is beautiful, our hosts were terrific, the rooms are spacious and well-appointed with lovely bathrooms, the food excellent, and the touring memorable.
Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
“Great value, great place.”
Reviewed July 28, 2011
I did some motorcycle touring from Chiang Mai on the way to Pu Chi Fa. This place was so nice its as far as I got. The rooms were fantasic, spacious, and ergonomically designed. The food was some of the best I have had in Thailand. Staff is super friendly and speak great English. Will definitely come back and this time see Pu Chi Fa!
Room Tip: Ask for the rooms with the private outdoor shower.
Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
“Laid back – non touristy”
Reviewed July 20, 2011
I and my friend from Hong Kong stayed at Upcountry Bungalows.
It’s in a nice area of Thailand away from the thundering herds. The rooms and decor are
excellent.The owners are artists and you can see how they incorporated this into
the design and interior of the bungalows.Also,the food in the restuarant is very good,
both Thai and Western food.
Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
“Get away and enjoy the country Thai style”
Reviewed May 27, 2011
I was talked into making a full day and night trip to see Chiang Rai. After a great elephant ride per the recommendation of Nuna it was off to Upcountry to relax a bit from the long drive and early morning start. We were welcomed in wonderful Thai style. Everyone had big warm welcoming smiles as they welcomed us in.
We were shown around the premises and given a brief tour of the grounds and bungalows. We were able to see the gardens where the fresh vegetables were grown and subsequently served for meals. The garden is just wonderful as there are fresh plants all around. Unfortunately I arrived a bit late as all the orchids had bloomed about two months ago. From all the planters and from what the current display of flowers looked like, I can only imagine how lovely the site and smell must have been.
The Bungalows are nice and accommodating, the shower is nicely tiled and open to allow you to enjoy the fresh air. A caveat on the shower, while it feels like you can see and be seen, you are rather secure and private while bathing. We were in luck as the Bungalows had just received a new/fresh paint job.
Nuna and Tony are wonderful hosts and on this day we were treated to Tony being in the infamous “aloha” shirt as worn on the website. We were able to sit down for a very nice freshly cooked meal with the aforementioned vegetables from the garden with nice conversation with Tony. We also were blessed with fresh bread that Nuna had made early that day. Half a loaf was eaten by three people including myself, and that’s only because that was all that was brought out to us. I’m sure we would have finished the bread if it was there. We had this wonderful honey to go on the bread, Tony mentioned they get it when available its made from dragonfruit.
I’m just rambling here, so I’ll cut this short… Nuna is a registered tour guide and you shouldn’t miss out on spending a day with her and then returning to indulge in her what I have come to learn are now infamous Mojitos (fresh mint from the garden).
I would have to say that maybe the best part aside from the hosts is being able to wake up in the morning as the sun rises over Phu Chi Fa. I was told that the moon rises as well, but I was too busy with the rising of the glass of Mojito. As well as some of the fresh passion fruit juice (non-alcoholic).
When you want to get away, this is a great place to go. You are in the country for sure, with all the fresh air, mountain views, and freshly grown food to go with it.. but there is wi-fi and satelite tv as well as dvd movies available for viewing to keep you connected with the rest of the world. Just a perfect place to escape and still be connected.
Room Tip: Arrive hungry, thirsty and ready to lounge.
Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
“Quiet elegance in Northern Thailand!”
Reviewed November 7, 2010
I came upon Upcountry Bungalows on my way to Phu Chi Fa. It’s a delightful place with terrific views of the mountains, sunrise, sunset, and more. The food was good and the hosts charming.
Stayed November 2010, traveled solo
Reviewed May 25, 2011
ห้องสวยน่าพัก ออกแบบมาได้เก๋ไก๋มาก เจ้าของบริการดี มีฝรั่งเป็นเจ้าของกิจการ
วิวก็ดี ธรรมชาติมากๆ อยู่ไม่ไกลจากภูชี้ฟ้าเลย
Stayed January 2011, traveled solo