Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai - Our Review
As much as we love living in Chiang Mai, it’s always nice to escape the city for a few days. With Chiang Mai being in Northern Thailand there are some beautiful little towns to visit nearby. Last month we spent a long weekend in Chiang Dao, staying at the awesome Nest Resort. We really enjoyed being out in the mountainous countryside so we were keen to experience something similar again. After a bit of online research, we came across Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai, in Pai, of course 🙂
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We weren’t 100% into the idea of visiting Pai at first as we’d heard some mixed opinions. There’s no doubting Pai’s stunning location, it’s surrounded by mountains and lush green Northern Thai countryside. Can you hear the but coming? But it’s got somewhat busy with tourists over the past few years. So much so that Thais now refer to Pai as a white man’s town.
With this information, we decided to narrow our Pai accommodation search down to only options outside of the town. We could get over the large numbers of backpackers and holiday makers providing we were staying away from it. After a little while on Booking.com, one resort stood out for us, Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai.
Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai is located just a 5-10 minute drive from Pai town centre. Considering it’s close proximity to the town, you don’t feel anywhere near it once sat within the resort’s peaceful grounds and sipping on a bottle of Leo.
Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai is easy to find since the only directions you need is to keep following the main walking street out of the town until you see the signs for it on the left. If you fancy a walk, like we did on many occasions, then it’ll take 40 minutes with fantastic rice terrace views on the way. Just please learn from our mistake and don’t do it after dark unless you like the idea of dozens of angry dogs chasing you all the way.
If you’re not a moped rider then there are many taxi companies in town who’ll pick you up and drop you off for around 100 baht each way. Or one of the staff members at Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai will drop you off if you ask nicely.
From the accommodation, we were able to walk to a few of Pai’s sights. The Chinese Village (20 mins), Yun Lai Viewpoint (40 mins) and Mhor Phaeng Waterfall (105 mins). There are also plenty of Pai villages and temples to walk to in the local area.
Our 500 baht a night fan room at Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai was a cute and cosy olive green wooden bungalow. It came equipped with a private terrace, attached outside shower/toilet, comfy bed, tea/coffee making facilities and nice internal decoration. There’s no air conditioning but it’s simply not needed for most of the year. In mid-November, we didn’t even use the fan.
Each of the bungalows has their own outlooks from garden views to a mini lake! Ours overlooked a small creek with a stream. The sound of continuously flowing water was lovely to fall asleep to at night, or the day after a long walk. Whatever view you get, you can enjoy it using the various seating options in the forms of deck chairs, benches, hammocks and seat swings.
There are four types of Bungalows at the resort. We stayed in the cheapest Ban-Lek bungalow but there are three other types of larger bungalows from slightly larger up to a two bedroom family bungalow. Prices vary according to size and season so click here for details.
We were a little concerned by the amount of wide gaps in the floorboards but rest assured that no creepy crawlies paid us a visit during our stay. Even the outside bathroom was spider free! Though the gaps might make it cold during winter months but we assume extra blankets or heaters would be provided.
The grounds at Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai consist of a large shady garden with plenty of chill out spaces. There are three cushion filled stilt huts and loads more hammocks and benches scattered about the place. It’s far enough away from the road to enjoy the sounds of birdcall, cockerels and the relaxing water fountain.
The bungalows are situated at the top of the garden with the chill out spaces down the bottom. With the bungalows out of the way at the top, you can enjoy views of the mountains from your chosen chill out space.
Shelley would kill me for not mentioning the ten cats and golden retriever. Amongst the grounds are many resident cats and a lovely dog. We must have spent hours with the friendly animals on our laps, relaxing in the late afternoon breeze. In our opinion, there’s no better way to finish a day.
We ate breakfast every day at Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai, mostly ordering eggs (45 baht), porridge (60 baht) and pancakes (60 baht). The eggs were fresh and served with brown bread and a side salad. The porridge was thick, creamy and served with fresh fruit. But the pancakes were the highlight. They were the best pancakes we’ve ever tasted! Thick and fluffy, filled with fruit and served with jam and a dusting of icing sugar. It was like having cake for breakfast! The accompanying fresh coffee and fruit shakes were equally amazing.
We eat dinner once during our stay and we both ordered curry. Although missing my favourite ingredient of peanuts, the Massaman curry (80 baht) was spot on. The Green curry (80 baht) tasted lovely but was a little oily for our liking. Other food options included the usual Thai dishes like pad thai and pork with basil which all looked delicious.
The Staff and Service
Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai is run by just two friendly guys. They made us feel extremely welcome from the moment we arrived. The service was fine so we didn’t actually ask them to do much during our stay. They’d make us fruit shakes and coffees on request and occasionally offered us a ride into town which saved us a few baht.
The only comment we’d make it that they didn’t offer to clean our room during the 4 nights we spent at Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai. It wasn’t an issue for us but for some it might be. We generally always keep our rooms clean ourselves but an offer to empty the bin once a day would have been nice. We’re sure if we asked, they would have done so with no problems at all.
Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai Conclusion
We’d strongly recommend a stay at Bannamhoo Bungalows Pai. The resort is one of those places that effortlessly oozes calm and tranquillity and we can easily see why many guests stay for longer than planned. It can feel special to stay in the middle of the countryside instead of with the central tourist masses and that’s certainly the case here. Just bare in mind the 3km distance from Pai town in case that’s going to be an issue for you.
The bungalows are clean and cosy, the staff friendly and the food tasty but cheap.
If your an animal lover then you’ll love all the friendly cats and dogs, they’re literally everywhere! The animals made our stay extra special since we don’t have our own pets but have always wanted them.
At just 500 baht a night, we’d be surprised if there’s something better for the same price.