Saturday, August 15, 2015

Khao Kho, Pino Latte Resort & Café, Heavenly

Took my breath away, it did the first time and every time I returned to this venue. Long before she opened her doors, I stumbled onto the half completed structure of this café and resort. The onslaught of wind threatened to knock my tripod over. I fought to take some spectacular shots of the morning sunrise among what seemed like futuristic space docks. The childhood in me was so hoping for USS Enterprise to materialize from warp in the horizon so I could shake hands with Spok. Anyways, from that moment on in the past, I committed to myself, must come when she opens. And I did, and so very glad I had.

Where Clouds are Born
In my decade long travel of Thailand, this place had attained instant status of having the best of all things in one spot. Firstly her cabins labeled with larger than life numbers like those seen on Gundam told an approach of boldness. That was strongly enforced by the design of these units themselves. Like the main structure of the café higher up the mountain behind, they looked like stations where starships could dock. 5 units were built and their balcony opened out to the nature reserve front and beyond into the east. On the hour before sunrise when the entire region was tinted in a blue hue, a spectacular vista of low clouds beneath with the stark silhouettes of mountain ranges breaking out from the misty white. The giant Buddha right of the horizon shrouded in fog revealed Himself, a mystical canvas evolved. It was like looking at one of those spiritual paintings we seen so often in Chatuchuk, except better. My pupils dilated wider than what my cat was capable of to take it all in. It was live, it was in 3D, it was a moving canvas and it was better than 4D Max. It was all real.

So many People
The day before, we had arrived just after noon. And because it had rained the night earlier, the region was still enveloped in fog to the delight of many who came. By many, I meant a throng of people resembling that of a pilgrimage without discount. Cars were parked messed and everywhere on the narrow ascending road. The owners had built quite a sizable parking lot, unfortunately it was no match for the pilgrims arriving in their vehicles. Some parked inconsiderately along the narrow road which was meant for two way traffic, it caused congestion as vehicles then tried to tightly maneuver among each other in opposite directions. I was eagerly waiting for some to roll off the high terrain, my iPhone video was on standby. Staffs in the café were overwhelmed by the crowd, seating was next to impossible. Fortunately for us, we had ourselves checked into the villa, and that itself, was something to elaborate about.

The traveling style of Thais are, once we check into the hotel, we will leave the very next moment to venture out exploring the region. The villa we checked into however, was one that once in, we never wanted to leave. Most resorts in the mountainous region of Phetchabun were erected just for the sake of being in the tourism game without thoughts for making one have a pleasant stay. They were of inferior built material, void of quality control, simply a cramped cubicle built in a rush with a hard bed and simple furniture thrown in. Pino Latte had took the direct opposite approach and invested heavily turning every bit of the designer’s plans into reality. We succumbed to a heavy sense of being pampered the moment we stepped in from her side door. A living room tastefully furbished with a sofa a large LED TV, a separated bed room with a stylish wooden cabinet and a marbled tiled elegant gleaming bathroom that one finds in 5 star hotels. Out the front, glass doors allowed full light into the futuristic cabin, a large deck extended out into the open heavenly landscape. I had the best unit of the 5, and I am gonna keep that a secret which number it was. Two large bean bags on the porch out front which we engulfed ourselves into and just sat there the whole afternoon without leaving the resort. Nescafe Dolce Gusto made me an espresso, sipped the acquired taste of bitterness with a front row seat to the land where clouds are born. The scene changed from minute to minute all the while accompanied by the sometimes very strong gust of coolness. My slippers were blown off the deck and I had to lazily plucked myself out of the bean bag to go retrieve it from the lawn below. At times we were infused with the omnipresence of white mist, others we watched the wispy clouds raised from the shadows of the valleys like emerging white horns that extended upwards, soon to move in on us again to embrace us in her dreamlike beauty. Blissfulness.

Cafe before Guest Arrives
I so wished the café above had served dinner, but their restaurant was not ready and still in the plans. Dinner served on the front porch accompanied by the fall of dusk would have been excellent. Someday I will do that when Pino Latte’s menu is ready. They do made an exception for breakfast however, food was served only for us resort guest up in the café. Incredibly, the pilgrims arrived even before the place was opened. Pleasantly, they had reserved us best seat in the house which overlooked the morning landscape unobstructed. It took however 2 hours for my hot meals to be served, I could tell they had tried their best. I was so enchanted by the sea of morning fog that the thought of complaint or hurrying the staffs did not even crossed my mine. Espresso chilled fast in the gusty 20 degrees air. No quad copter which flew the day before dared take on the skies. The panorama ever changing, the different scenes of heaven, the rising sun failed in her attempt to break through the mystical fog.

Night at Pino
Now writing this blog was really stressful. A million words wanted to spill out faster than how fast I could type, a million other thoughts buffered up behind the queue so wanting to described how spectacular my stay was at Pino Latte. On occasions, my nervous system hung, and my thoughts had jammed. I needed a reboot much like how you encounter the blue screen of death on any Windows systems. Back to the statement why I gave “best of all things in one spot”. Unlike the many other alternatives in the region where the view were normally interrupted by shoddy rooftops of countless other resorts, Pino Latte had herself a private view of the magnificent landscape beyond. It was like having a high circle seat without having to look at the heads of the other patrons below while watching the scenic parts from Lord of the Rings. Being at the fringe of a nature reserve, the vista is immune to future developments that could pollute the beauty of it all. Having only 5 units, privacy was at its best without the loud chatter of sometimes unavoidable ill mannered visitors. My travels to this region, normally I can’t wait to get out from the room the moment I checked in. There will usually be no creature comforts in anyways that made me want to just stay in and indulged in the immediate surroundings. Pino Latte, each villa so lavishly and boldly decked out. They were spacious and there will be no claustrophobic sensation I guarantee. I was so contented just staying put without venturing anywhere. Complemented by the trendy café up above with an equally amazing view of the dreamscape, this establishment had in a very short time become one of those places where, if you have never been to Pino Latte, you have never been to Khao Kho.

Bed Room
Living Room
Midnight Sun
Temple in the Clouds
View was Awesome
At the Cafe
Seat to Heaven
The Landscape
The Cabins
Window to the World


Natthapa Wijitsopon said...

Hi, can you please tell me what is the best unit of this hotel? I just plan to visit there in this coming August. Thank you

Jewie said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog. The best unit for me was Unit 4. It’s got the most unobstructed view of the wat and surroundings. I am sure you will love it there. It was a great resort.