Thursday, 27 January 2011

Shy and retiring? Not our Boong!

It is somehow ironic that someone who runs a business dealing with retirees ( is so incredibly energetic and youthful. In her late 30s, Boong Chaladlam is a tireless networker, a fixture on the northern Thailand social scene, and, if that were not enough, also runs a Boutique Travel Service (

Now living in Chiang Mai, she was actually born in a small village in Chiang Rai province called Thoeng, and grew up in Chiang Rai city itself.

"Thoeng is a village of around 2000 people. Everyone knows each other and they are all like family. It is very harmonious, in the middle of mountains, with paddy field and reservoir."

But these days, when she's not planning the next event or meeting, she's into reading, exercising (especially yoga) and chatting with people. Did I mention tireless networker???

So what draws her to Chiang Mai? "I love Chiang Mai and northern Thailand  because it is a great combination of modern cities and  natural facilities," she says. But her love is divided: "I also like the islands down south like Phuket, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. It is so easy for me to jump on the plane and fly down to those islands." Chiang Mai has many direct flights per week to the first two.

Boong's Top 5 Boutique Bucket List:

1/ Ban Papai Village, Doi Saket: It is a self-sufficient economy village. I invite foreigner friends to join with me for Sunday afternoon class visiting the village to support the local Chiang Mai people. The no.1 charm of Chiang Mai is the people. To be with the natives with lots of love, care and respect, you will always want to go back. I have been to this place almost every week for over 6 years. Villagers, foreign friends and I plant many trees for a greener Chiang Mai."

2/ Horizon Village and Resort ( "An excellent lunch and enjoy the big botanical garden. Either just sitting there for reading, riding the bicycle, or taking the golf cart to go around, it is lots of fun and very relaxing. They also have horseback riding and a swimming pool which I never use -- I can’t swim!!!"

Chill time at the Spa Mantra.
3/ Huan Khajao Restaurant, Chiang Mai: "This authentic northern Thai restaurant is in the hidden place of Chiang Mai. To welcome friends from abroad, this is my first place to take them. The food has a very nice taste, Thai and Northern Thai, beautiful cultural shows like you go to Khantoke Dinner, but this place is more casual and the price is like eating at home. They have got a museum which you can learn a lot about Chiang Mai history, in term of local people’s living, beliefs and social values. From this place you can continue your night at Riverside Restaurant for the drinks, nice music and chilling out."

4/ Spa Mantra, Chiang Mai ( "Surely I am living in the best place in the world for spa. Organic spa is not an expensive thing here. The reason I like this because they also support the local people who grow organic and environmentally friendly projects."

5/ Fashion King Tailor, Chiang Mai ( "For my nice dresses. As I attend many events and go out a lot, to look good is important. Frank and Vanita are very friendly and have the very nice works."

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