The most surprising thing I saw or did in Thailand? One of those things I did was visit the Kitty Resort, themed after Hello Kitty, in the Phu Ruea district of Loei. Growing up, I wasn’t the girlie-girl. When my Grandma Huber gave me Barbie dolls, I immediately tossed them aside because they weren’t as exciting as my Wonder Woman or Bionic Woman action figures. I hated pink. I mean, I really hated pink.
I preferred playing football, hockey and romping in the woods with the boys over playing homemaker (which is now obvious by the size of the dust bunnies taking over my home), dressing up or learning the skills of properly applying eyeshadow (still can’t do it).
Perhaps I’m a late bloomer – or maybe leaving the national park lifestyle made me realize there are colors beyond green and brown – because over the last decade or so, I now love the stereotypical girlie things. I still love playing outdoors but also love frill and lace and am instantly drawn to pink. If it’s bejeweled with glittery things, bonus!
Located near Phu Ruea National Park, which happens to be the coldest spot in Thailand, is an unexpected burst of pink and it’s not just the lovely pink poppies and daisies. It’s the Hello Kitty-themed resort with its happy and vibrant cozy pink cottages adorned with crisp white trim perfectly lined up with a lush mountain as the backdrop.
As in, that cat-like looking character (in which Sanrio’s PR people said isn’t a cat) that embraces and celebrates everything girlie with a pink pop. Now, it’s my understanding the resort’s official name is the Kitty Resort because the owner doesn’t have the rights from Sanrio to use Hello Kitty. Plus, Sanrio touts having the world’s only Hello Kitty Cottages in Taiwan.
I didn’t stay but made a quick stop when thick fog cut my visit to Phu Ruea National Park short. Admission to visit and walk the garden (and of course, to snap selfies) is 20 Baht. In addition to pink and white flowers, garden decor includes a couple of white bicycles, a pink windmill, gift shop and during my visit, two pink, fancy sports cars.
There’s also a vibrant pink bathroom with Hello Kitty-shaped mirrors. I poppd my head into one of the bathroom stalls and noticed a Hello Kitty sticker on the toilet seat! (What is it about my fascinations with bathrooms???)
Of course, there are plastic Hello Kitty figurines sprinkled throughout the perimeter of the garden. Take a close look at them. Doesn’t it look like the one at the top of the page is flipping the bird?
Travel blogger Richard Barrow has additional information about the Kitty Resort on his blog, My Thailand Photos.
Tell me, are you a fan of pink? And what do you think about Hello Kitty not being a cat?
Disclosure: I was a guest of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and this post has not been reviewed by the host. Opinions are my own and reflect my honest experience.