And tiptop it is too
27/2 Singharat Rd, Soi 3, Sri Phum T: (053) 212 232, (081) 882 6728, (081) 960 3878
In the late 90s brother and sister pair Deng and Noi decided to convert their 50-year-old Chiang Mai family home into a charming guesthouse, complete with hardwood floors, impeccable rooms, a teak gazebo, and a Thai-style open kitchen equipped with any appliance your heart could desire. Welcome to Tiptop Thai Guesthouse.
There’s been much discussion in recent weeks about Northern Lanna style architecture making a comeback, and Tiptop Thai Guesthouse is the real deal. Walking into Tiptop means escaping the Chiang Mai of hip Nimman and fancy clubs and entering into an age-old city of traditions and simplicity. Tiptop moves at a different pace, and you’re likely to run into re-purposed Japanese bicycles, antique dressers and lazy afternoons spent lounging, observing jasmine blossoms with a book in hand.
Rooms are clean, straightforward and peaceful, equipped with decadent king size beds, hardwood floors, teak furniture, and a clean bathroom. There’s an immeasurable zen about the place, a calm wealth of detail, with rooms looking out into cosy verandas ripe with vegetation. At 500 baht a night in the old city, you’re looking at extremely good value (better value, even, than hard to beat HeyHa 555 Hotel). While there’s no restaurant, there is a kitchen available for public use, making this an attractive option for long-term stays (we’ve been quoted anything from 4,600-8,000 baht a month per room, depending on the season).
Perhaps it’s because Tiptop guesthouse’s exterior doesn’t announce the wonders within, but generally, the vibe at Tiptop is quiet. This makes it perfect both for long term travellers looking for space and privacy, as well as for families looking to relax in between all the busy sightseeing and frolicking to be done in Chiang Mai. In several ways, Tiptop feels more like a homestay, since Deng and Noi are there to reserve any tour you’d like to do in town, as well as to help you hang up your laundry in case of an emergency, and to relate tales of their childhood, when there was a canal running down Singharat Soi 3, and when the Sunday Walking Street wasn’t even a thing.
By Claudia Sosa
Last updated on 30th September, 2013.