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Travel, Teach, Live in Thailand

A Perfect Backpackers Holiday In Thailand
By:Roberto Bell

A week in Isaan Thailand

Isaan is a region in Northwest Thailand that borders the Mekhong river, which is the border with Laos. We discovered this homestead whilst backpacking in Thailand.

The homestead is just outside Pla Pak , which is a small village 45kms from the main city of Nakhon Phanom.

The owners live on a small farm in the middle of a forest, called a homestead. We work on the farm where there are 4 adults and 14 children.

Everyday is fun and usually starts at about 5.30 in the morning when the children wake, shower and then go into the forest to collect wild mushrooms and bamboo shoots for breakfast. We then make breakfast which means fresh fruit from the garden of grapefruit, pineapple and banana and the mushrooms and rice or noodles.

The children help make breakfast, after which they shower and get ready for school which is a 2km walk to Pla Pak. School starts at 8am and ends at 3.30 pm.

Whilst the children are at school the adults work on the farm. Making fences, building or repairing new huts to live in. The huts are made of bamboo and thatch. They are well ventilated and have mosquito nets around the beds.

The owner plants new vegetables and fruit on the farm. They also work in the rice fields which is always wet and very hard work with mud up to their ankles. They stop for lunch for an hour and relax at the side of the lake, were visitors are encouranged to join them.

The children arrive home from school at about 4pm change clothes and shower. The shower is outside in the open air surrounded by a fence. They are self sufficient making their own shampoo from rice and coconut oil.

Homework takes about an hour, which all the children love HA HA .

After homework everyone helps prepare the evening meal. Fresh fish from the lake is barbequed; Som Tum is the national dish and is Papaya with chillies. All meals have rice or noodles with them. Of course there are always fresh vegetables and fruit from the garden to be prepared. The meal usually takes 1 hour to prepare and will consist of up to 10 dishes.

After the evening meal it is time to play. This can mean a variety of games from making bamboo whistles to charades or board games such as draughts or backgammon. Twice a week there is a musical evening where traditional Thai music, song and dance is taught. We had a full range of musical instruments all made locally and from wood or bamboo, sometimes we make new instruments.

When visitors to the home stead stay, the organisation puts on authentic Thai music and dance shows for them. Some nights there are Karaoke nights to practice our singing and dancing, as this is the land of karaoke.

There are no distractions such as watching television but maybe once a week we will watch a film on DVD, there is just so much to do each evening, this is a total haven for relation.
At night, we got a small supper and once a week we will eat sweets. After supper we shower again and are in bed for 9pm on the weekends we stay up until 10pm.

The owners like to see visitors and talk with new people, so if you would like to write or visit then that would be nice.

As a backpacker, this is one of the best backpacking holidays I have ever been on and I can highly recommend this homestead for a luxury Thai holiday. The owners are so welcoming and it is an eco paradise, as well as being very affordable http://www.homestayisaan.com/.

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