Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Trip Report, Part 30: Tamnanpar Classic Forest Restaurant, Rayong

One of the waterways on the grounds of Tamnanpar

[This is part 30 of a series that looks like it might find its way to a proper conclusion, after all. It has to do with my latest trip to Thailand, and the people, places and things I encountered along the way. You can find the rest of the series by clicking here on Trip Reports.] 

All good things eventually come to an end, and my long weekend away in the care of a Thai friend was about over. In his enthusiasm to share places with me we had, as usual, overbooked our days, but it's not like I had big plans after returning; I've learned to book the time for these things with some slack built into the day or so after I return.

Main entrance (off of the car park) for Tamnanpar's restaurant

After an early check-out from the Seashell Village beach-side resort and the day trip out to visit the national park and waterfalls at Nam Tok Phliu we headed North to my friend's home (the older one, not the newer one still under renovation from Part 17) for the night.  By the way, if you're interested in the park you'll find more pictures of it in a post from the "Thai Smiles" series here.

Heading back after the waterfall stop it was getting to be later in the afternoon and I asked my friend what he'd like to do for dinner. "Since you liked Cabbages and Condoms and Sugar Hut I want you to see another one like those two. It's 'same same, but different!'" he laughed.  Both of the places above are in the general Pattaya area; owned by two brothers. Cabbages and Condoms I've yet to write about, but will soon. They also have a similarly nice location in Bangkok.

Where we were heading was a place called Tamnanpar (aka Classic Forest) Restaurant, about 15km from the center of Rayong. Built in a "natural" style, this place really appeared to be more garden than building, although the buildings are quite large. It can accommodate very large groups.

The grounds and gardens surrounding the restaurant area were expansive and meticulously groomed, as you'd expect in many Thailand garden areas. The buildings of the resort were made to look more like jungle tree houses, and the trees themselves were incorporated into the buildings that had more of a traditional structure... even the hong nams.

Two of a couple of dozen black swans in the water inside the resort area

Depending on which route you take - we stayed on Hiway 3/Sukhumvit both directions on our journey rather than cutting across Highway 332 - Tamnanpar is around 90km/56mi South of Pattaya; about 90 minutes by car. It seemed to cater more toward a Thai clientele.

An available light panorama of a dining room not being used that evening. My apologies for the 3 blurry hand-held images.

Prices at the restaurant were quite reasonable and they have a wide variety of what I was told was a more Chinese-Thai style of dishes, but there were some Western items, too. I suppose if they do group meetings and convention-style gatherings they'd almost have to, but the dishes we had were of a much better quality than your standard convention food.  There was a couple there providing easy listening style music; he sang and played a keyboard, she just sang.

Trees incorporated into the design of this men's room. You even had a view of an enclosed garden area from the urinals.

We didn't visit the spa part of the resort, but there is one. Rooms there run between $70 to $100 per night (per Agoda for April 2013), and are really quite nice inside; almost everything is finished wood. The gift shop is quite large, as well, but no great shakes except for the most new of newbies.

This terraced water feature doesn't show well in my available light picture, but it was all along one side of our dining room. Very relaxing.

They have a facebook page, if you want to check it out, and if you're in the area - or don't mind the drive - it's a really nice place to relax for an evening. Well recommended.

Map from the Tamnanpar website:

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