Date of Trip: June 2007
We had a very enjoyable stay at a place called Gecko Villa, about 20 minutes out of Udon Thani in Thailand’s little known Northeast.
We did not want to stay in a hotel or resort as we wanted something more personal and private, and found the website (http://www.geckovilla.com/) at the recommendation of friends. We were picked up by the owners at the airport off our budget Nok Air flight (which again had been recommended) and driven to the property.
We had rented ourselves an entire country house for our holiday, right in the middle of the Thai countryside and surrounded by rice paddies and woodlands.
We really enjoyed having the privacy of our own pool and house, and the food that was prepard for us daily was delightful (and learning how to make it from the owner, a former cook, really pleased my husband!). Perhaps the best thing was being able to explore the nearby rural villages and experience the genuine Thai lifestyle away from major tourist centres.
Downsides? Well, I guess it’s normal but in these villages very few people speak English, so we had to make do with sign language and many smiles – although that was an experience in itself: the people there were really very, very welcoming.
The bedrooms were large and airconditioned, and the master bedroom had a great garden shower. The living and dining room was huge, and had satellite tv, sound system etc, and films to watch. The pool was very relaxing and the kitchen spectacular – although as the meals were all cooked for us we only really used it for blending our own mango smoothies from the fruit we had been encouraged to pick in the gardens.
The owners took us to local festivals and parties which were fun, and we also enjoyed our trips to a waterfall nearby (can’t remember the name!) and to Nong Han lake which was stunning early in the morning, with acres and acres of pink – red lotus flowers. The museum at Ban Chiang was interesting, as was shopping for locally made silk.
This was a very enjoyable way of getting off the tourist trail to live life in the heart of the country, yet doing so in comfort and style. Highly recommended for those seeking something different!