The family-run Faasai Resort & Spa is positioning itself as
a one-stop gateway to unknown Chantaburi province in Thailand’s
historical southeast, 3½ hours’ drive from Bangkok.
At the Faasai, clients can experience spa and beach relaxation,
sample freshly caught seafood, go hiking, biking, bird watching or
kayaking and take excursions to temples and historical sites.
While the resort only has 15 rooms, it offers a large number of
locally priced eco-tour options that reflect a province
characterized by large mountains, fishing villages, hilltop
temples, rubber plantations and a winding coastline.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) says Chantaburi province
is a surprise to many visitors.
“The mountain vistas, rural lifestyles and picturesque coastal
communities give Chantaburi a grandeur that is appropriate for a
province that played such an important role in Thailand’s history,”
said Chanchai Doungjitta, the director of the TAT’s regional office
in adjacent Rayong.
It was from Chantaburi that King Taksin gathered a fleet and
sailed to Bangkok to liberate Siam from occupying Burmese in 1767.
Barely 100 years ago, Southeast Thailand was threatened by French
expansion in Indochina and between 1893 and 1905 Chantaburi was
occupied by France.
The remains of fortifications built by the Siamese in 1843 can
still be seen at Noen Wong Fortress, which is also the site of
Thailand’s Maritime Museum, 30 minutes from Faasai Resort.
Faasai’s list of optional tours give great insights into a
province that today Thais mainly associate with fruit plantations
and gemstone mining and which is unknown to all but a few
foreigners. Visitors to the resort have no shortage of options to
find out more about Chantaburi past and present. Tours available at
Faasai Resort include boat tours, nature walks trekking and dolphin
“Faasai Resort offers a convenient base for many kinds of trips
and activities,” said owner Bronwen Evans. “But it is also a place
for relaxation with spa treatments and home cooking for those who
just want to take it easy and unwind.”
Bronwen’s husband, Surin Laopha, leads many of the bird watching
and hiking excursions into the local forests to spot the greater
racket-tailed drongo (saeng saew), coucal (kabok) and his favorite,
the lineated barbet (poradok) known for its green plumage and
Faasai (which means “clear skies”) adopts a low-key
environmentally friendly approach and encourages visitors to visit
village markets and buy products during temple fairs.
Water tanks are heated by solar power. Grey waste water is reused
on the gardens. Balinese-style bungalows have been designed to
maximize insulation and allow natural ventilation. Many native
trees, including a magnificent Bhopal tree, have been retained on
the three-acre hillside property that also offers wild herbs.
Faasai offers spa treatments such as the Royal Thai Spa package,
herbal saunas, body scrubs, massage, aromatherapy with oil massage
and Ayurveda healing and detoxification. Most of these take place
in the resort’s small spa center beside the swimming pool.
Bronwen and Surin are now promoting Faasai to specialist
Bangkok-based bird watching, mountain biking and kayaking
“After a long week in Bangkok, a stay in Faasai is good for body
and soul,” says Bronwen. “It’s a good window on country lifestyles
and a way of life far removed from the city.”