Sights & Sounds: Singha Park (Boon Rawd Farm), Chiang Rai
|99 Moo 1, Mae Korn, Amphoe Chiang Rai, Chaing Rai, Thailand 57000|
|Daily 09 00 – 18 00|
FOC; but you do need to pay for other activities you would like to engage in
(e.g. zip lining or wall climbing etc.)
|Recommended length of visit:||
~ half to a full day
(depending on how intense you want to immerse yourself)
I was blown right away by the picturesque sight I got when we first arrived at Singha Park. Singha Park is the largest agricultural tourism destination in Thailand. Located 450 metres above sea level, and with hectares of fertile soil, this park just blooms beautiful flora all year round!
There is so much to do at Singha Park, from just mere strolling and enjoying solace, to having an awesome bike ride through the tea plantations and lakes to even zip lining and wall climb, and of course, good old fashion chilling at a quaint café enjoying a nice cuppa or two!
Singha Park, owned by Boon Rawd Brewery (the company that manufactures Singha Beer), thus the name Singha Park, would disappoint any visitor who thinks that he/she would find breweries after breweries and endless supply of Singha Beer. This park in the countryside is a family-friendly establishment that really has more hectares of land for tea plantation beyond the horizon than beer supply.
Opened to the general public in 2012, Singha Park was previously known as Boon Rawd Farm. The rich fertile soil that sprawled was once used to grow barley for the beer production. Currently, some areas of Singha Park are left for the original barley fields, but most large land are now for orchards and tea plantations.
How to get there?
Since we had the rented car, getting there was pretty simple and so straightforward; with the help of Google Maps of course! We stayed at The Imperial River House Resort in Chiang Rai, quite centrally located I would say.
From the resort, it was approximately a 30 minutes’ drive to Singha Park. You know you have arrived when you see the huge iconic landmark of the Singha mascot!
Tuk- Tuk/ Taxis
Not renting a car? Then the tuk-tuk or the taxi are probably the next most convenient alternative! I am sure you can haggle over the price with them too. But I suggest a rented car or even a motorcycle is still imperatively more convenient.
Best time to visit?
Singha Park is open all year round, but visiting the park at the end or early start of the year would render you with much more special memories! Here are 2 reasons why!
1. Cool Season
Firstly, the cool season in Chiang Rai is between November and January. With Mother Nature on your side warding off the sultry humidity, it makes every activity you do so much more bearable right?
Minus the heavy downpour during our first visit to the park and had to seek refuge at a restaurant to have lunch and tea whilst waiting for the rain to subside, the weather was really inundatedly perfect on the second visit. Though a little melancholic and drizzly at intervals, it was cool and breezy; just perfect for strolls and explorations!
2. Singha Park’s Organised Events
When we were there, organisers were setting up for Farm Festival On The Hill. Alas, we were scheduled to leave, if not, we would probably jump at the opportunity for an experience! This annual Farm Fest is the largest music fest in the North of Thailand; with leading music artists all across Thailand coming together and jamming.
Yeah sure it’s not Coachella, but hey we can always embark on new experiences at least once right? Sure I would totally not understand Thai lyrics, but I would probably still enjoy the positive ambience flowing!
And not to mention the International Balloon Fiesta? If I could travel during the period Singha Park was organising the event (14 – 18 February 2017), I would totally go for it. This annual event is a hot air balloon festival and international hot air balloon race. It is also a food fest and a concert by Thai artists. It is basically a whole package of joy where we could get to see an array of colourful giant balloons float up to the sky. I can only imagine a picture-perfect moment!
So if you want to have the full experience at Singha Park, I suggest you click here for more updated details on their upcoming events!
Getting around Singha Park?
Your legs can take you far but frankly not far enough. To rely on your legs to walk close to the entire park would be a little insane, right?
But that was apparently what we did. We must be crazy at that point in time. I recalled towards the end of the day, we were quite tired and we were sort of lost. Haha! We were to tempted to just hitch a ride out to the entrance.
Now the reason why we didn’t rent a bicycle at the entrance was because we knew that we would spend a long time in the park. We also knew that we wanted to chill for lunch and all that jazz. You know, just have a chill lazy day at the park.
And knowing the fact that we had to return the bikes where we rented from and not return it at another rental bike shop inside the park, we weren’t really sure it was a good idea to rent the bike at the entrance. Since we wanted to explore more deeper into the smaller roads and not solely on the bike trials, we decided to just walk.
Well, with hindsight, if I would redo this first/second visit again, I would still walk. Haha! Yes yes I know, my legs would kill me, but I got so much more experience from walking. So why not?
Now I know I’ve said that I would prefer walking, but… …in hindsight, IF I had been to Singha Park many times, then my option of getting around the park would be definitely using a bicycle. Haha!
With the bike, I could cover more grounds, and quicker! Since I would have seen most of the attractions already, visiting the park would be more of a touch and go and less immersing. So it is really up to your personal preference on how you want to enjoy your visit.
The bikes were for rent at 150 Baht/hr for the tandem, 100 Baht/hr for the mountain bike and 50 Baht/hr for the children’s bike. There are various bike trails to choose from the information map which indicates the length of the ride in kilometres and level of difficulty for each trail. Do note that all cyclists are required to register at the bike desk before setting off on any trails in the park.
The tram ride carries visitors to key highlights of the park. From the entrance, to the orchards, to the blooming flowers, to the petting zoo and also the zip lining and wall climbing area. Tram tickets are sold at the information counter at the entrance. The pricing at 50 Baht for an adult and 25 Baht for a child. On busy periods, like the weekends, the wait time to board the tram may be longer, so do be prepared for that. Trams run at ½ hour intervals between 10 am and 5 pm. This is a definite family-friendly option if you are visiting Singha Park with children.
What you might experience?
We covered everything by foot (in roughly this order), minus the petting zoo and the zip lining/ wall climbing- we did not do those. So yeah, it is possible. You could totally do this by walking! Just remember we did have intervals of respite at restaurants etc. We were, after all not visiting Singha Park to torture ourselves. Haha!
1. Golden Singha Mascot (labelled #1 on the Singha Park’s map)
This salient golden Singha mascot kings over the entire open field at the entrance opposite the carpark. Because it would be the first and last icon every visitor would see, naturally it was an obligatory selfie/wefie shot for everyone! Haha! 😀 If you did not have your photo taken with this Singha mascot, then you have not been to Singha Park.
Want a little intimate time with just the Singha mascot and you in the photo? Either you arrive early in the morning or have your photo with it when the park is about to close at 6! Perfecto!
2. Sunflower Patch (labelled #2 on the Singha Park’s map)
This attraction is by far the one I would remember forever. On the official Singha Park’s map, it is close to #2 (near the swan lake).
I have never seen a sunflower field before. And yes, this is not exactly a huge sunflower field that stretches for hectares on end. But hey, I would take it gladly! I remember being so excited for it.
I was literally screaming with excitement and running towards it. It was actually quite hilarious. We spend quite a bit of time snapping photos and just being in awe for these sunflowers. They were just so perfect. The only thing that compelled us to move on was when the drizzle started, if not, we probably would have stayed longer. Haha! 😀
3. Swan Lake (labelled #2 on the Singha Park’s map)
So because the drizzle which started small, soon got a little heavier, we ran up the hill from the sunflower patch towards the swan lake. Unplanned for it all, we took shelter under a tree while we watched the swans oblivious of it all, and just minding their own business.
Wish I could be like them, would life be so must simpler and happier? 😉 There is a tint of peace just watching the swans and being in the drizzle; like your worries were nothing but a phase and they really don’t matter at all.
4. Bhu Bhirom Restaurant & Tea Plantation (labelled #3 on the Singha Park’s map)
We needed to respite for lunch and to take shelter from the heavy drizzle. In the far distance, we espied a building which looked like a place we could fuel up. And unplanned to even have lunch at the Bhu Bhirom Restaurant, we brisk walked our way there anyway!
I reckoned the food was good, because on both days we visited the park, we had our meals at the same restaurant! The first time we were there, we ordered shrimp pad thai, minced meat tofu, fried calamari rings and green tea latte. On the second visit we ordered much more! It was either we were ravenous or we just decided to splurge a little because the ambience was just so prefect and we just wanted to have a nice hearty meal! We had shrimp tom yum soup, fried chicken, beef fried rice, and fried calamari rings (yes, again)!
Since the weather was really lovely on our second visit to Singha Park, we requested to sit at the area with an unimpeded view of the tea plantation sprawled beneath us. With the gentle breeze brushing against our skin all so softy, and the air crisp, it was such an invigorating experience accompanying a picturesque expansive sight of the tea plantation indeed. Such an awesome meal with an amazing view. I really couldn’t ask for more.
Bhu Bhirom Restaurant which opens every day (11 am – 10 pm), not only serves North Thai specialities, they do have Western options. This place is imperatively worth a try!
5. Petting Zoo (labelled #6 on the Singha Park’s map)
This area probably attracts the young kids most. With the chance to get up close and personal with the animals such as the giraffes, cows, and zebras, I am sure it would be such a joy. You could have an opportunity to feed the animals too!
6. Barn House/ Farm Fest Area (labelled #5 on the Singha Park’s map)
This area is officially known as the Sports & Recreation Centre. To us, it is also known as the chillax café area. At the Farm Fest Area, there is a bike rental shed. You could also shop for merchandise and souvenirs. This area is also grounds for any Singha Park’s organised events like the Farm Festival On The Hill or the International Balloon Fiesta mentioned earlier.
Just opposite the shed is a quaint Barn House café! With the quiet ambience, the outdoor benches make chilling with a coffee and a cupcake really perfect! And with the cooling weather (at that time) to add into the mix, all just was in a cosmos! A prefect respite gem!
7. Zip Lining & Wall Climbing (labelled #7 on the Singha Park’s map)
For someone who is more intrigued by adventure, and has the budget for it, then this is the place for you.
Near the Barn House/ Farm Fest Area is the zip lining platform, which would give you the opportunity to have a panoramic view of the park and all its glorious tea planation. Alas, this zip lining experience is at a steep cost of 800 Baht per person. On the other hand, the rock wall climbing stands at 9 levels high which costs 150 Baht per person to have a try at it.
Unless you are into such activities and want to try it at least once, I reckon strolling or biking to immerse into the Singha Park’s ambience is really divine enough. Haha! 😀
Because we didn’t know we wanted to spend so much time at the park, the first time we arrived at Singha Park was around lunch time or slightly later, and with the downpour that kept us stranded at Bhu Bhirom Restaurant, we really did not have much time to explore.
In hindsight, it is always nice to go earlier so you could really have a nice chill experience at the park! I am sure you would be kept very busy snapping photos as I did! 😀
Singha Park is a definite MUST-DO when in Chiang Rai. Duly thought through, the park is landscaped with bike trails, romantic lakes and meadows all making this a great attraction for locals and tourists!
So remember to Travel Whenever and have a nice stroll into the great beyond!