A beautiful estate is nestled some 30 kilometres from Chiang Mai city, on the way to Doi Inthanon. It is called Kaomai Estate 1955 and it has received 2019 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award for Cultural Heritage Conservation programme. It is quiet, beautiful and full of history... it is open to visitors, and might soon become one of your favorite day out destination!
Kaomai Estate 1955 is located in Sanpatong, the original site was a sixty years old tobacco processing estate which housed fifty tobacco drying buildings surrounded by many multi-decade aged trees. Today, most of the buildings have been preserved and transformed into a unique museumcafe- resort estate where it feels good to walk through historical alleys and learn about Chiang Mai history.
6x6 meter-sized barns with gabled roofs, furnaces, and flue pipes are the obvious specific elements showing how the tobacco drying process worked. In Kaomai Estate 1955, three generations of tobacco drying barns, made of wattle and daub, brick, and concrete block, have remained being historic evidences until nowadays.
The work done at the estate includes the renovation of two museum buildings from two tobacco drying barns (free tour museum Tuesday to Friday at 4pm), the conversion of a cafe from a rare twin barn, the creation of an amphitheatre (check out their local market every second Sunday of the month) and the rejuvenation of several historic lanes. In addition, the estate showcases more than 100 species of plants, and nearly 50 species of birds are found in the area.
Visiting Kaomai Estate’s cafe, don’t forget to taste one of their signature sorbet or drink made out of local seasonal fruit juice and harvested from their own and nearby community farms. You can also choose to disconnect with city life and stay over at the resort. Rooms are delightful and reasonably priced. Kaomai Resort is also famous as a yoga retreat.
You can actually spend the whole weekend in the Sanpatong area as additional activities include: Baan Tawai Wood Carving Center; Sanpatong Wood Carving Village (much cheaper than Ban Tawai); the Ganesha Museum; beautiful countryside cycling tour with a guide (ask hotel’s reception); Baan Rong Tee Mead blacksmith village; the Saturday Market (Kad Wua)-the biggest market for selling buffalos and cows in Northern Thailand (be there early); Baan Nong Krob local rice wine group (local recipes sticky rice alcohol); Singha Stucco craftsman house and Doi Inthanon.
KAOMAI ESTATE 1955 :
Moo 6 Chiang Mai-Hod Rd., Ban Klang, Sanpatong. Chiang Mai
Tel. 053-481 201 and 086-428 7481