Chiang Mai homestay – a real experience of Thailand

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.

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Enjoying a bike ride through the rice fields

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

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Ban Chunsongsang homestay

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.

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Our 2 bedroom house on stilts to the right of Scott

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.

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I love having a shower under clear blue skies in the morning

There is a chill out area under the house with rocking chairs, a hammock, table and chairs and some toys.

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Great shady space to chill out and play under our bedrooms

There is also a large space in the dining area that we use for meals, playing games and doing schoolwork.

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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.

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The spacious drive where Scott loves to cycle about

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.

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Thai style pancakes for breakfast

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.

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1 of our usual Wednesday Skype sessions with Linda, the kids teacher back in Glasgow

After lunch, around we go out to explore the surrounding areas by bike.

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Bike with seat for Scott on the back

So far we have spent 2 afternoon exploring the surrounding villages, 1 afternoon of climbing and visiting the night market in Chiang Mai,

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Exploring the Chiang Mai night market

1 afternoon fishing and 1 afternoon cycling to the craft village some 10 km away.

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Afternoon of fishing at a local Thai farm close to where we are
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A visit to the umbrella and paper craft village

We also spent another afternoon looking for the nearest pool and then next afternoon enjoying being the only people in it.

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Amazing swim in the nearby Horizon resort

Ingrid loves riding her bike for hours and Scott has a soft seat on the back of mine for our longer trips.

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Bike ride to the local supermarket

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.

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One of many stands along the road selling meet on skewers
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Ingrid and Scott buying an after school treat for our bike ride

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!

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4 thoughts on “Chiang Mai homestay – a real experience of Thailand”

    1. Thanks so much for your comments. How exciting that you have decided to travel the world next year. Its an amazing experience to travel and to spend the quality time together as a family, although not always easy:-) Where are you planning to go? Any questions or other things on your mind just ask!

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