Discover a place like no other
Punjen Hide-Away was designed as a nature resort and rural tourism project. It is located just 2 hours from Chiang Mai and 45 minutes from Lampang in Northern Thailand. The train service is fun and comfortable, providing an easy way to arrive just minutes from Punjen. Dwaila Armstrong, the Hide-Away owner, has lived for almost 40 years in Thailand.
In 2001 she decided to sell her highly successful business, offering treehouse stays in the jungle near
Khao Sok National Park, and moved to Punjen village. She has worked long and hard with her staff to develop the Hide-Away project with the goal of creating an authentic rural tourism experience. Punjen Hide-Away was designed to stimulate the rural economy, provide jobs for local residents, and offer our foreign visitors a high quality, realistic rural adventure tour in Thailand. Three families in our village are presently being supported by the project that hopefully will be replicated in other rural areas.
The Story of the White Elephant and the King of Thailand:
Dwaila originally came to Thailand with the US Peace Corps to work on an entomology project and to complete her masters degree.
Peace Corpstraining, it was decided by her supervisors that she would probably not be happy in the confined environment of a university. They selected, instead, a project that had been started in a forest reserve in Southern Thailand that involved the setting up of the first nature education center in Southeast Asia. The original founder of the project was about to leave and needed a replacement, so Dwaila was sent down to have a look. That was the last they heard from her for a couple of months. She had become the overseer of a small zoo. Her German counterpart helped by organizing interactive projects for the students who would be using the center.
During this time in Thailand,
wild elephants were still being captured for the illegal logging trade.
A mother elephant had been captured in the area, but the poachers did not want the 6 month old baby,
so they lied and said that they had found it, and then gave it to the
The amazing part of the story is that it was a very rare
white elephant, considered to be a portent of exceptional good luck and a symbol of royalty. Dwaila was invited to the palace to participate in the presentation ceremony whereby the white elephant would be formally given to the King of Thailand. In recognition of her important role in raising the elephant, she received a medal from the King himself./blockquote>