We first arrived at Jasmine Hills just over two months ago and fell in love. When people think of Thailand they often think of the nightlife of Bangkok, the famous weekend markets and the party beaches but there is so much more to Thailand, and it is an incredibly beautiful country with an indigenous population of wonderfully friendly, kind and generous spirited people…they don’t call it the Land of Smiles for nothing.
Jasmine Hills is set about forty five minutes outside of Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand, and about a kilometre or two from a small village/town called Doi Saket. The resort itself is placed amongst glorious countryside, with lush woodland, ponds and rice fields and is a place of tranquility. The complex has several individual bungalows, different sizes and with different amenities and each is styled individually with their own verandah which is placed, to ensure privacy from the other bungalows.
There is a spa and a variety of treatments and massages can be had if you fancy, and food is available prepared by the hosts if required in the lobby area. The lobby area is beautiful and full of Thai decorations and several odd unique pieces of decoration. There is a swimming pool and sun lounge area and also a covered verandah overlooking the large pond, which is full of fish and yes, you can fish if you want to. Our bungalow was placed at the edge of the complex and ensured great deal of privacy, although to be honest there have been many times that we have been the only guests. Our verandah gives a view of the large pond in front of us – although it does look like a river – and of the beautiful trees and brightly coloured flowers which are in abundance here. It does something to the soul to be able to sit there looking out at all this and reminds you that the world is still a beautiful place. Our bungalow is one bedroomed, with a huge bed which is just heaven to sleep on, we have a fully functioning kitchen, a bathroom and large lounge area with a T.V and DVD – not that we have used these at all apart from one night when the internet went down and the host brought us a collection of DVD’s to watch.
The internet is brilliant, most of the time athough the odd storm can have a negative impact occasionally and the hosts are wonderful. They are from Malaysia originally and are two of the nicest people we have met. Nothing is too much trouble for them, and they ensure that you have everything you want and need and if they don’t have it, will go and find it. They ensure the bungalow is cleaned to a high standard, that there are fresh towels for the pool and if they are going out into Chiang Mai or the local market, or even the supermarket, will always ask if you need anything and want to come. They put themselves out even if they don’t really need to go…all for free. Airport transfers and other trips to local attractions can also be provided at a small charge and compared to local prices, they are really cheap. They have mastered the art of being attentive, yet respectful to your privacy and they have been the icing on the cake as far as our stay is concerned.
We stayed here initially for a month and then went to Bali for a week before returning for a second month, such is our love of the place. The accommodation prices are cheap especially given the high standard of the place and this may reflect that it is not on top of local attractions. However, there are bikes you can ride if you wish or a car and motorbike could be hired.
We chose none of the above and either went out with them, or walked to our regular Tuesday night market for all our fresh fruit and vegetables. We have simply spent our time here reflecting and relaxing, pottering around, playing on the internet, swimming and sunbathing and oddly doing a 2000 piece jigsaw we bought from the UK….yes we are slightly nerdish and yes we love puzzles! We have visited some local attractions and made friends with some kittens who live here…..okay not exactly friends as they have run off every time they have seen us…but still. This place has been a real find and if we ever came to Thailand again we would definitely consider this place….if you want peace, quiet and to be amongst some glorious natural scenery, then this is the place to come.