Thai tourist hotspots are good but we prefer low key rural life
After a week of rock climbing in a more touristy part of Thailand, Krabi we decided to go for a more rural environment to hopefully experience more of the real Thailand away from the most obvious tourism.
After 4 months of travelling, we now know that we don’t want to go on ready made tours or organised treks, we don’t want to be bussed around the hill tribes or herded into the crafts villages. We just want to experience a bit of the local life.
Ban Chunsongsang home stay
Ban Chunsongsang is a traditional Thai homestay a 30 minute drive north of Chiang Mai. When we got picked up at the airport and taken out here its seemed a very long way from Chiang Mai. The next morning as we settled in and had a proper look around, we were excited about the remote location. It felt like the perfect place for us. We had initially planned to stay here 3 nights but quickly extended it to 7.
What we like about this place and the other home stays we have stayed at so far is the large common space available to us and the small number of other guests . Many places have only 3-4 rooms where full occupancy is rare.
The space and quiet atmosphere makes the kids feel at home as they can roam free while playing and exploring in a similar way to what thy would do back home. This make our stay a lot less demanding for Paul and me.In this particular place we have 2 bedrooms (£10 per night each including breakfast), with double beds, fans and mosquito nets and private bathroom in the open air.
There is a chill out area under the house with rocking chairs, a hammock, table and chairs and some toys.
There is also a large space in the dining area that we use for meals, playing games and doing schoolwork.
Also on offer are bikes we can use for free, even in the right size for both Ingrid and Scott and a large courtyard where they can play football and bike around safely.
Thailand home stay – check the reviews in detail before you book
When staying in a home stay you are often confined to eating all your meals there, as it is often located in rural areas with few options of other eateries. In China, we found this to be problem as the host took advantage of this by making the food at the house very expensive. Now when we book home stays we carefully read reviews and look for comments about the food and all other things important to us. Ban Chunsongsang has an extensive menu with real and delicious Thai food and its very cheap. 50 Baht per meal, roughly £1. The reviews on booking.com and Trip Advisor confirmed this and gave it very good score overall that we agree with.
A typical day in Thai home stay
We quickly got into a nice pace and routine here of doing little but experiencing a lot. We get up 7-8, have breakfast at 9. Before schoolwork start at 10 Ingrid does yesterdays diary entry and Scott rides his bike. School last from 10-1 then we have lunch here.
After lunch, around we go out to explore the surrounding areas by bike.
1 afternoon fishing and 1 afternoon cycling to the craft village some 10 km away.
We also spent another afternoon looking for the nearest pool and then next afternoon enjoying being the only people in it.
Ingrid loves riding her bike for hours and Scott has a soft seat on the back of mine for our longer trips.
We just love floating away on the bikes through villages, rice fields and countryside saying hello “Sawsdee Kha” to the locals, visiting the quirky shops, the local markets and funny little stalls along the way.
We have another 2 days here, just enough to some more climbing and and do a big bike ride to one of he local markets.
This is the travel we love!