A Most Curious Place

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I do get out of China on occasion. The At Pingnakorn Huaykaew, in Chiang Mai, is one of the more eccentric hotels I’ve visited.

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You can book a room here. The hotel was completely undecipherable in its style and age, so I was both surprised and unsurprised to find out that it was built only two years ago.

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The vibe was a bit colonial, which of course doesn’t make too much sense in the context of Thailand. In any case, the overall spirit was whimsy and fantasy and not easy to categorize.

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The colors were surprising but mostly quite pleasing.

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And there were many genuinely old pieces used in the construction. I found out from the owner as I was walking out that most of these were bought in India. Apparently, there has been something of a scandal about pieces being removed from temples there and sold. I’m not sure if that’s the story here though. It strikes me that this kind of upcycling might be a better use than just leaving them in the village.

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Thai temples and the palace in Bangkok are nothing if not a hodge-podge of different influences, so this felt like a fresh interpretation of Thai style.

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The place might feel a bit spooky to some.

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I’m curious about whether the rooms also have these types of curios and oddities.

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But I would strongly recommend having a coffee or beer by the pool next time you are in Chiang Mai, though skip the food. This is a stone’s throw from the Nimmanhaemin area.

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