The Four Seasons Golden Triangle Tented Camp resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand is one of the most beautiful and unique resorts in the world and certainly the most amazing I have ever seen! The old world, luxuriously decorated, tented rooms and amenities are spectacular, the food is superb, and included in your stay is the opportunity to spend the day learning from the “Mahout” (professional elephant trainers) how to ride, care for and communicate with the elephants from the resorts refuge, in a “trip of a lifetime” experience!
One of the other truly special activities offered through the concierge at the Four Seasons Tented Camp, (though not included) is a magical private dinner with the elephants. All of the suggested attire for the resort is “Camp Casual”, whatever the heck that means! Leaves a pretty wide margin for interpretation, but it sort of translates into always looking nice for dinner.
Our evening started by being lead down a hurricane-lamp-lit pathway through the jungle to the elephant camp where these big, beautiful beasts were enjoying their dinner. Our candlelit table was in a gorgeous al fresco setting, beneath twinkling overhead lights and traditional Thai musicians playing in the background.
The camp chef will tailor a menu just for you with with a choice of Thai, Laotian, Burmese, and Western cuisines (or a combination of all), and with wine pairings.
The food is unbelievably delicious! All of the herbs and vegetables come straight from the resort’s organic jungle garden, for a truly “jungle to table” experience! Some of the choices were:
- Panfried foie gras, with grilled apple raspberry sauce
- Roasted rack of lamb in fettuccine sauce
- Tiger prawns in red curry
- Spicy Thai beef salad with lemongrass
- Wok fried softshell crab in black bean sauce
And of course, they offer the usual steaks, hamburgers and fries that Kaya is always leaning towards; it’s like trying to scratch your ear with your elbow trying to get that kid to get a bit more daring in her cuisine choices, but with some bribery (which was more like threats!) she was actually happy that she pushed outside her culinary comfort zone!
As dinner concluded and the elephants went off to bed, Kaya and I were each given the evening’s most beautiful gift; a wishing lantern. It is the Thai tradition to write your wish or wishes onto the paper lantern, light its core and release it into the night sky so that your wish has been freed to come true. It eventually completely burns up into nothingness.
I went with my own customary three wishes; I wish for the world, I wish for the ones I love, and a wish for myself. The one for myself…?
To come back to this spectacular place!