In the wake of the 1997 collapse of the Thai baht and the ensuing financial crisis that crippled the ’Tiger Cub Economies’ of South East Asia, various urban housing projects in Chiang Mai were simply abandoned often mid-construction. A number of previously derelict high-rise structures, though, were later revived; one such transformation was the would-be apartment block known as the ’Chiang Mai VIP Tower’ which, after more than a decade of neglect, was duly appropriated, overhauled to a large extent and, in 2008, resurrected as The Trio condo. Under the administration of the local –and highly regarded- property developer Karnkanok (KKN), The Trio shares the same Chiang Mai real estate portfolio as the newer One+ branded condominiums in addition to those of Baan Suan Greenery Hill, Jed Yod Greenery Hill and, the soon to be completed, Rajapruek Greenery Hill. Based on the somewhat overly ambitious design concept “Comfort-Simplicity-Perfection”, The Trio remains to this day a popular choice of condo among foreign visitors not least on account of its considerably larger than average residential units, good upkeep and desirable location.
Standing tall on Huay Kaew Road, one of the city’s principal thoroughfares, The Trio condo is conveniently poised no more than a few minutes walk to the intersection with Canal (Irrigation) Road at Phucome Junction and, there, the convergence of two prominent –and characteristically Thai- neighbourhoods, Chang Khian and Jed Yod. Otherwise continuing along Huay Kaew Road for a short distance farther lies the northern entrance to Chiang Mai University’s vast main campus set amid natural greenery and featuring a plentiful assortment of student-priced coffee shops, bakeries and food courts, banking and postal services, libraries and sports facilities as well as the visually splendid Ang Kaew lake. More or less opposite the entryway to CMU lies Malin Plaza now home to the recently launched ’Chiang Mai Complex’ with its sizeable and wholly inexpensive food court, East Asian restaurants and the vibrant –if heavily trafficked by fashion-conscious Thai adolescents- food and clothing night market, Kad Na Mor. Beyond which exist the forested slopes of the nearby Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. Scarcely any less accessible from The Trio at no more than 10 minutes on foot is Rin Kham Junction and the meeting of the ultra-modern Maya Lifestyle Shopping Centre, the multi-lane Super Highway and the voguish eateries, bars, cafés and retail outlets of Nimmanhaemin Road. For a more utilitarian retail experience whilst en route to the historic ’Old City’ of Chiang Mai, the ever-popular Kad Suan Kaew mall is reachable in just 10 to 15 minutes more.
Besides the official round-the-clock attendance of suitably-attired security guards, video surveillance cameras are fitted in all shared areas of The Trio and, inside the foyer of the condo, the juristic office is staffed Monday to Saturday between the hours of 9AM to 6PM with electronic key fob-controlled access to the building from the outside world. Although the two shophouses which flank the street level entrance to The Trio sit vacant at present, the first floor of the property premises houses nine commercial units with two-thirds currently occupied; among such doorstep amenities are a sporting goods concern, a legal firm, a Thai massage parlour, an employment agency and a nail bar while situated at the very rear of the building are a rather lonesome duo of coin-operated, self-service washing machines. The entire second and third floors of The Trio are allocated as sheltered parking with collectively a little more than 90 car parking spaces divided more or less equally between the two floors and, on level two, 35 separate bays for motorbikes. Building-wide WiFi is available in shared areas of the condo or, if required, residents can – at their own personal expense- choose to arrange installation of in-room private home broadband through one of the city’s Internet Service Providers such as Sinet. Taking whichever of the stairs or double lift (elevator) to the fifth floor reveals the outdoor communal swimming pool complete with a half-dozen white plastic patio style reclining sun loungers, a wooden sauna cabin and a stand-alone jacuzzi tub from which to savour the kaleidoscopic sunsets against the near-panoramic backdrop of the verdant Thanon Thong Chai mountains; for fitness enthusiasts, a modestly sized but decently equipped gym is provided.
At 15-storeys in height, The Trio accommodates around 165 voluminously sized residential units with attached private balcony distributed throughout floors four to 15. With a city norm of approximately 31 sq m for a studio unit, those at The Trio offer between 45.50 sq m and 60.00 sq m of habitable space; the remaining 1, 2 and 3 bed rooms measure from a still roomy 48.00 sq m to an almost palatial 140.98 sq m. Though unfurnished or partly-furnished units do appear sporadically on the market, the overwhelming majority come fully furnished and air-conditioned. Nevertheless, individual condos at The Trio represent a real mixed bag with some of the original –now dated, dimly lit and unkempt- condo units still in evidence. Over time, however, many have been completely renovated to a high standard or superior specification boasting every conceivable home comfort though, ultimately, the precise layout, design style, degree and specification of interior fittings and fixtures, variety of electrical appliances and supply of housewares is very much dependent on the whims of the respective condo owner.
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