Hello, everyone! *blow the dust off the blog*
This is my first entry in after the last 3 months and yes, I hope this post can be as meaningful to you as it is to me. I know, 3 months with no blog post AT ALL is definitely bad, but I take my blog as my diary and when I have no mood to write, there is no way I can update it. Thanks to you who kindly emailed or messaged me asking my whereabouts during my (unplanned) short hiatus, I am very touched and that’s why I am here now writing this post.
Although I have been missing in action in blogsphere for a while, I still managed to keep my Instagram updated (trying to do it at least once a day). So if you have been following that, you might have known that I recently went back to Thailand for a 2 weeks trip with my foodie friends and we managed to return to the beautiful Khao Yai to explore more of its greatness!
Before I start, I recommend you to check our previous posts about some attractions in Khao Yai, including Thames Valley, which is strongly inspired by village situation in England; Midwinter Green which takes the German castles idea very seriously, and Palio Village, a shopping complex built with influence from Italy. A trip to Khao Yai from Bangkok is considerably easy, taking about 3-4 hours by car, you can choose to rent a travel car, private car with or without driver, taxi, or if you are adventurous enough: public transportation like buses or trains. We suggest booking a van with driver if you go in big group, it normally costs about THB 3,500-6,000 for 12 hours and it will save you lots of troubles.
Moving on to the story, Let me introduce you to one of the newest and most exclusive private community in Khao Yai: Toscana Valley! Toscana Valley is a huge complex amongst nearly 830 acres of rolling hills, lakes, vibrant silky oaks and junipers. Inspired by century’s long Tuscan legends, they offer country club, hotel, real estate, golf course, and town square. It sounds amazing but things will just get better once you arrive!
Toscana Valley is located farther away from the main attraction of Khao Yai, while other places like Palio, Midwinter Green and Thames Valley are located quite near to each other. I think it’s probably because this is relatively new project and it takes way bigger area to accommodate such a huge complex. We were literally screaming our hearts out when we spotted this beautiful “replica” of Pisa Tower from the road, after sitting for hours in the car we were so ready to explore this place!
We saw many local Thai people taking photos outside the complex, and apparently, not everyone can go inside. The security system is quite strict, and the guards will question your reason to enter. There is also a hotel inside the complex called La Casetta, and I guess they have to keep outsiders from entering to make sure the privacy of hotel guests are well-kept. If you are lucky, you can just say that you are going to the cafe/restaurant inside and they will let you in.
From the big signage in front to where the cafe/restaurant located is quite far and it’s definitely recommended to visit by car. The only place we could stop is actually the Town Square, where all the cafe, restaurants, spa, and Town Square Suites are located. Upon entering the complex, we couldn’t stop admiring the beauty of the place, it was almost surreal to feel that we were still in Asia with such an Italian-themed surrounding! Look at the photos and judge by yourselves. 😉
We were already going ga-ga from outside, our eyes opened even bigger when we entered the Town Square! A spacious, open-air area nicely decorated with atmosphere of Tuscany: pastel-colored buildings, lampposts, balconies, fountains, you name it. I know Khao Yai offers many European-themed attractions and I had been in one of its Italian village (Palio), but Toscana Valley brings it to another level! All I could feel that time was just happiness, a peaceful feeling as if I were really in Tuscany, letting everything go for a while and just enjoying the moment. This was definitely a successful holiday, indeed!
I really don’t know what else to say about this place, other than AMAZING. Although we visited during weekend, I think not many people know about it yet so the whole town square was just like, only for us. I couldn’t stop admiring the architecture, the landscape, and everything the place has to offer. I secretly wished that we picked this hotel to stay overnight that time, because it would have been even better to try living in that environment even for only a night, and being able to try their spa experiences and others.
Meanwhile, enjoy more photos!
The sun became stronger during the day so we decided to go inside the cafe to have some refreshments, especially after we spotted the word “gelateria”! XD Again, we were astonished by the look of the inner cafe. Kudos to the designers to keep everything so authentic Italian and even the feeling is totally different inside!
Either you come in for a scoop of gelato, a sip of wine, or a cup of coffee, make sure you sit down for a while and enjoy the ambience. Feel the Italy without even stepping out from Asia, and it’s totally possible, LOL!
We all ended up ordering the gelato and some preferred to gulp coffee down before we left. They provide Movenpick Gelato here, which is one of the most delicious gelato ever made in the world (IMHO)! Better yet, their flavor options are not disappointing. We tried many flavors from Maple Walnut to Cappuccino, Creme Brulee to Pistachio, but eventually everyone’s ultimate favorite is still the Swiss Chocolate gelato because it was just too damn good! FYI, a scoop costs about THB 90 (around IDR 36,000) but it was solid and thick (yet smooth) you will definitely find it worth every penny.
Beside for refreshments, the cafe also is a showroom for many souvenirs like kitchenware, real Panama hats with prices ranging from THB 30,000++ (!!), local-made handwoven hats priced at THB 2,000++, bottled wines, deli products, and many more.
After spending an hour or two in this place, we had to leave to our next destination but it was such a difficult moment to say farewell to this place. It was like, love at the first sight and you know your heart is already attached into it. I imagine the next time I return to this place, it may not look the same anymore, but the memory will always remains the same. If you visit Thailand and want to visit Khao Yai, we will definitely recommend Toscana Valley to be included on your bucket list, because it feeds satisfaction not only to your eyes, but also to your mind and soul. I may sound like I am exaggerating, but believe me, this visit totally refreshed my mind and I felt totally rejuvenated after spending few hours in such a peaceful and beautiful environment.
As usual, thanks for reading this post and if you have any question, feel free to drop me a word or two in comment box below or just hit the email button, see you in next post! <33
Currency Rate: THB 1 = +/- IDR 400 = +/- USD 0.028
** This review is written based on our visit on 4 February 2017.