Rice is Nice: Where to enjoy Thailand’s rustic travel fad (Maps)

Photo: Vipavee Sukpornchaikul / FB
Photo: Vipavee Sukpornchaikul / FB

You’ve seen the selfies and group shots of people sipping lattes and strolling along boardwalks above rolling fields. Sometimes they’re slurping noodles and dangling legs from a perch above a rice paddy.

A back-to-the-basics travel fad has been sending people burnt out on city life out of Bangkok to a growing number of destinations offering a brush with pastoral serenity. What’s a given for many visitors to Southeast Asia – walking through enchanting green fields, especially on Bali or in the north of Vietnam – has become a trend for road-tripping Thais looking to commune with Mother Nature and Instagram-ready backgrounds.

With the explosion of options out there, Coco Travel has picked some cafes and restaurants set in scenic rice paddies that are within easy reach of Bangkok for convenient life-battery recharging. Go check them out or set a navpoint for a stop on the next road trip. Of course, they all are great places to snap some pictures to upload and check in, of course.

Find a map of all of them at the end.

Baan Pai Na Cafe (Nakhon Pathom)

An hour from Bangkok’s city center sits a traditional, two-story wooden Thai house surrounded by open-sided dwellings with palm frond-covered roofs. Nestled in the middle of a vibrant green field, Baan Pai Na opened just last year as a cafe and restaurant that serves food and drinks while patrons walk across a boardwalk stretching into the paddy. The venue also offers a drone service to take pictures of the customers from above with THB40 per image. 

FIND IT: Lan Tak Fa, Nakhon Chai Si, Nakhon Pathom


Makham Cafe (Ang Thong)

Nearly two hours north of Bangkok, the Buddhist temple-chocked province of Ang Thong has an exceptional cafe that doesn’t only provide a view of a lush field, but also a gleaming gold statue of The Great Buddha of Thailand, the tallest Buddha statue in the country. From the cafe area, a rickety bamboo bridge extends 200 meters over the vast field, where you can cherish the warm breeze and grass scent. 

FIND IT: 3195, Phai Cham Sin, Wiset Chai Chan, Ang Thong


Meena Cafe (Kanchanaburi)

A cafe in a sprawling rice paddy with a dramatic backdrop of a striking hilltop temple? Meena Cafe is an easy detour on your next road trip west to Kanchanaburi – one certain to up your selfie mojo. The stylish cafe of industrial-spare concrete walls offers a rooftop for a full view of the rice paddies. From the building, a wooden walkway stretches into the field and toward the Tiger Cave Temple, with places to lounge, suspended nets to relax and platforms to pose along the way. Meena was one of the first to popularize this and several competitors have popped up next door. All are good – but access different paths, so take a look first.

FIND IT: Muang Chum, Tha Muang, Kanchanaburi 


Ban Rim Na Cafe (Suphan Buri)

It takes only an hour and a half of driving northwest from Bangkok to sit back, sip coffee and savor the photogenic traditional Thai dish miang kham gleeb bua, all lotus-wrapped and served in a tray. Located near Suphan Buri’s well-respected Wat Phai Rong Wua, the Ban Rim Na Cafe is housed inside a Thai-style wooden house with an open-air interior and outdoor space to enjoy the rice-is-nice view. Want to make a romantic night of it? The second floor room can be rented and comes equipped with a jacuzzi tub overlooking the rice field.

FIND IT: 160/3, Bang Ta Then, Song Phi Nong, Suphan Buri


Montreux Cafe & Farm (Nakhon Nayok)

Looking for a rice paddy everyone in the family can enjoy? The serene vibe of this cafe-slash-farm named for a Swiss resort town owes to the surrounding pond, gardens and rice fields. While visitors can pick their favorite corner to chill with food and cold drinks, they can also get firsthand farming experience from a wide range of family-oriented activities such as feeding ducks and paddling in the pond to making salted eggs and getting muddy to plant some rice. 

FIND IT: 77, Moo. 4, Bueng San, Ongkharak District, Nakhon Nayok 26120


Weekend Coffee (Nonthaburi)

Just a few-minutes drive past the nation’s largest Ikea on the Bangkok outskirts, haystacks and scarecrows lead the way to a renovated house that now functions as a cafe in the middle of some rice fields. To get in touch with nature, visitors can find their favorite spots, from a gently swinging hammock to and open-air balcony facing the picturesque paddy. It’s only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

FIND IT: Soi Wat Lad Pladuk, Bang Rak Phatthana, Bang Bua Thong, Nonthaburi


In-Na Cafe (Saraburi)

After exploring the caves and waterfalls of Saraburi, consider a laid-back stop to catch the sunset over the rice fields. Opened just earlier this year, In-Na Cafe is situated inside a glass-walled shipping container with a terrace roof. Lining the wooden boardwalk are cottages, suspended nets and artificial grass mats. 

FIND IT: 29, Moo. 2, Muang Ngam, Sao Hai, Saraburi

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They’re all sold exclusively at The Coconuts Shop – at a special introductory price of S$29 until Sep. 30, 2020!



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