Vol. VI No. 16 - Tuesday
June 12, - June 18, 2007
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FEATURES
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Khum Rak Kaew – Home of Love

Khum Rak Kaew – Home of Love

Dr. Somporn and Uthai Rakratchakarn’s dreams come true

Primprao Somsri
Many years ago a young engineer by the name of Uthai Rakratchakarn who at the time worked for the National Power Authority and had to travel extensively throughout the country inspecting sites for the construction of airports and dams was posted to Mae Rim district when he chanced upon a plot of land high above in the hills of Samoeng District.

On a lush green mountaintop, stands the magnificent northern Thai style houses with marked difference from those seen elsewhere - a niche of love in the heart of nature.
On consultation with Somporn, his beloved wife, they decided to buy the land in the hope that one day they would build a treasured family home and fill it with happiness and love.
Having limited knowledge for designing and building a northern style house, Khun Uthai set out to look for someone who could realise his dream.
He came upon Traiphop Tham-athipol, then a 27 year-old man who owned an antique shop in the village and enquired of him whether he could build him a house in the old northern architectural style. Traiphop, admittedly, had neither formal training nor background in architecture or in construction, but became infatuated with the desire and determination to bring to fruition Uthai’s dream. It would be an enormous challenge, but it would also be his once in a lifetime opportunity to show his worth…he accepted the commission.

Dr. Somporn and Uthai Rakratchakarn make merit during the religious ceremonies to sanctify their new home.
With nothing in hand, but mental sketches in his mind and a passion for antique artifacts, Traiphop mixed and matched his extensive collections to shape this wonderfully secluded corner on a cool mountaintop, into a love nest for the Rakratchakarn household.
Work commenced on the 3 rai plot of land, but as construction was underway, the plan escalated, so not one but 5 beautiful exemplars of pure northern Thai architectural wonders now stand amidst the trees and lush gardens on the Mae Rim hillside.
The houses are constructed using old teak wood, with the gabled apex made of pieces retrieved from ancient and deserted wooden temples. The pillars acquired from old wooden rice silos are joined with the cane press to lengthen them to the heights required. The stairs are made from cartwheels, their bases decorated with mortar from the hill tribes.

Dr. Somporn holds up a picture from her valued collection of King Rama V memorabilia.
Clever arrangement of the antique items creates a unique decor that carries beholders to a far-way land. Nothing is left to chance. Every detail was carefully worked out.
Decoration pieces such as a percussion instrument consisting of small gongs ranging in different pitches strung together in a semicircle, a large decoration earthen jar, a wooden partition, furniture, including tables and chairs are all antiques from Myanmar.
Other pieces of art are individually hand made in the village, and are not too extravagant. However, they are placed in appropriate places that fit well and are pleasing to the eye.

Other exquisite antique pieces include brass decorative items, ceramics, plates, bowls, spittoons, flowerpots which are used as lamps, spread of gongs to decorate the wall, and semi round tables made from assorted perforated wood. Rectangular glass panes expressive of the Burmese culture adorn the porches. These relics are conversation pieces, each with a story to tell, with a secret to share.
As the project grew, Uthai and Dr. Somporn decided to share their good fortune to the outside world and thus the Khum Rak Kaew Resort Hotel - Antique Gallery concept was created.
Four smaller houses were also built and divided into 9 well-appointed rooms. Each room is unique by its individual size and décor, very much like a nobleman’s lodgings allowing you to enjoy secluded holidays in the deep embrace of nature and explore the trove of antiques to the full. The rooms are bright coloured, each with a private balcony overlooking the impeccable gardens and landscape adorned with a sea of roses.

Khum Rak Kaew Resort Hotel - Antique Gallery is located in a secluded corner, 1250 meters above sea level. Temperatures are a chilly 5-10 degrees Celsius in the cool season and a pleasant 20 degrees Celsius in the summer. There are no mosquitoes all year round, we are told.
The peaceful resort being far from the madding crowd makes it an ideal retreat for a well-deserved rest and recreation hide-away. The spotless kitchen prepares Thai, Chinese and European dishes where cleanliness and hygiene are of the highest standards.
At the completion of the project and on the auspicious date of May 21, Phra Tuan Chen a revered Chinese monk from Wat Chaimongkol in Bangkok presided over the religious ceremonies to mark the completion of the project and sanctify it’s official launch.

A dream realized beyond all expectations. A place where each and every piece of object d’art from all over the Kingdom has found their home.

How to get there
Drive along the Chiang Mai - Samoeng road through Mae Rim and Pong Yaeng. At the 23 km mark, you will see the Khum Rak Kaew sign board on your left instructing you to turn right onto the small country lane. Approximately 1.5 kms up the road you will come to a hill tribe village. Drive past the village for another 1.5 kms when you will drive through an open old iron gate. Another 1.5 kms brings to the Khum Rak Kaew Resort Hotel-Antique Gallery doorstep.
Address: 43/1 Moo 8, Tambol Pongyang, Ampur Mae Rim, Chiang Mai 50000
Thailand. Tel. 053 317 396, 081 823 9019, 081 837 5755, Fax. 053-317-397
e-mail: [email protected]

Clever arrangement of antique items creates a unique decor that carries beholders to a far-way land.



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