Monthly Archives: September 2018

Experience Phang Nga from a new perspective at Baan Sam Chong Nuea community

For any native or foreign tourist familiar with Thailand, the southern province of Phang Nga conjures up images of dramatic limestone cliffs rising out of the turquoise waters (forming Phang Nga Bay), as well as the region’s stunning network of mangrove-covered canals and tropical jungles. Plus, let’s not forget those picture-perfect, white-sanded beaches either!

This popular destination, however, can get quite busy in certain places where tour agencies bring boat-loads of visitors each day, especially in high season. So, to get away from it all, we recommend a “One Night Stay with Locals” trip to Baan Sam Chong Nuea Community – thanks to its remote location that still makes for a perfect launch pad for many of the bay’s must-visit sights.

Perhaps the highlight of this specially-curated “Extraordinary Experience” is the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the sunrise over Phang Nga Bay (at dawn on day-two), with your local guide taking you out on a boat to a secluded viewpoint overlooking the glowing sun which slowly rises above the horizon.

But this trip to Baan Sam Chong Nuea is not only about the sun, sea and sand. Many of the activities are located mostly inland. Starting from the later hours of the morning, learn about the history of this fascinating community at the village’s main center, and kayak through the mangrove forests and swamps while helping out with afforestation at the same time.

The afternoon of the first day provides an invaluable opportunity to learn more about the local villagers, farmers and fishermen’s way of life and how they earn income in this remote region. This involves checking out a shrimp paste-making demonstration, trying your hand at fabric tie-dyeing and observing traditional fishing techniques which use floating baskets, as well as visit a fresh oyster farm (with tasting, of course!)

Apart from the early morning sunrise trip (which is optional for the late-risers), even more adventure around the bay is booked for day-two. Hop into a long-tail boat – locally known as ‘hua tong’ – and observe the stunning beauty of Phang Nga Bay. Along the way, your expert local guide will take you to Petch Pakarang Cave, where you can walk up to discover the highest point for a bird’s-eye view. The scenery of Khao Phing Kan, Khao Tapu, Lod Cave, and Punyee Island is all incredible, making this long trip south (and back again) worth the extra effort.

After a short cruise back to your Baan Sam Chong Nuea homestay, it’s time to pack up your bags and bid farewell to your hosts – until next time!

To learn more about “One Night Stay with Locals” in Thailand or to book a trip for up to 10 people at a special price, please visit www.1nightstaywithlocals.com or www.facebook.com/AorSorSocial/.

Phrom Lok: Where traditional southern Thai culture meets modern-day farming techniques

Nakorn Si Thammarat is one of southern Thailand’s seaside provinces, situated on the east coast of the Malay Peninsular with much of its coastline overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.  The community of Baan Phrom Lok, tucked near the Phrom Lok Waterfall at Khao Luang, is known for their outstanding practice of growing fruits and vegetables chemical-free, and their beautiful scenery on the highest point of the southern region of Thailand.

Meet the friendly folk of Baan Phrom Lok community upon arrival before proceeding to learn about village’s hybrid agriculture system called as ‘Suan Somarom’. This method of sustainable farming involves growing organic fruit and vegetables without the use of any chemicals. The best way to appreciate how the locals grow and harvest their crops here is by physically getting into the surrounding fields and plantations for a closer look!

The afternoon of the first day provides time to walk through the nearby forests, inspect the locally grown produce, including special herbs to treat venom, as well as plenty of delicious fresh vegetable which are both consumed and sold by the farmers.

Even though Nakorn Si Thammarat is a seaside province, the activities on this trip mostly involve inland adventures, such as hiking through a forest that leads to the highest mountain in the region. Once you’re close to the summit, the foliage at this higher altitude is the home to many ancient ferns and plants, referred to locally as the ‘cloud forest’. Along the way, you can stop off at the village’s namesake Phrom Lok Waterfall for a quick dip or take some Insta-worthy photos.

After your mini-hike through the forests of Nakorn Si Thammarat, you’ve earned a well-earned rest and a hearty dinner – so it’s back to the village to get further acquainted with your hosts and the homestay for your “One Night Stay with Locals”. As dusk closes in, you can also participate in a fun ‘batik’ fabric making class and learn how to make (and eat) local snacks after dinner.

An exciting morning is in store on day-two at Phrom Lok community. Rise early just after dawn for an invigorating bike ride through the village to the local morning market where you can have a quick look around for a bite to eat or souvenirs to take back home. It’s then back for breakfast in the village, ready to take on the day’s main activity: a tour to a local rubber plantation where you’ll learn about rubber tapping, as well as a visit to a mushroom farm, and craftsmanship demonstration teaching you how to make household brooms from grass.

Before lunch, there’s time to squeeze in a visit to Wat Khao Khun Panom and Tak Fah Cave, following the trail of King Taksin who covered the same route hundreds of years ago. After your sightseeing fill for the day, it’s back to the homestay for one last time to enjoy a leisurely lunch and witness the ‘Manorah’ dance – rounding off your “Extraordinary Experience” in Phrom Lok, Nakorn Si Thammarat.

To learn more about “One Night Stay with Locals” in Thailand or to book a trip for up to 10 people at a special price, please visit www.1nightstaywithlocals.com or www.facebook.com/AorSorSocial/.

Discover a different side of Thailand with a “One Night Stay with Locals”

From southern provinces that you may already be familiar with such as Phang Nga and Chumphon, to the more remote northern provinces of Lampang, Nan and many more, 13 destinations have been carefully chosen by Thailand travel experts as part of this newly-launched “One Night Stay with Locals” project. Not only are these villages very remote (meaning you will beat the crowds even in high season), there is also a huge variety of community-focused activities available, such as getting your hands dirty picking fruit in orchids with the locals, taking tractor rides through the jungle to waterfalls or heading out on fishermen’s boats to find the catch of the day!

Spanning across four provinces (Lampang, Chiang Rai and Nan) there are four different communities to visit in the north of Thailand as part of this One Night Stay with Locals program – each one as fascinating as the next. Tucked away in the mountains of Lampang, there is the chance to go miang leaf picking with the locals at Baan Pa Miang, as well as learn how to make (and eat) the popular dish using this produce. Neighboring Chiang Rai province has two destinations to choose from: the laidback Pangha Homestay near the border with Myanmar where you can learn all about the Tai Lue people and the old-age craftsmanship, or Baan Tha Khan Tong, a thriving community next to the Mae Kong River that combines elements of Isaan and Lanna culture. To truly get away from it all, Nan province’s Sila Petch village feels like it is in the middle of nowhere, yet there are still plenty of friendly locals to show you around the area and guide you through the forests to a waterfall.

In addition, Baan Khiri Wong Kot in the northeast of the country (Udon Thani) lets you experience a true taste of Isaan – especially the deliciously spicy food, rural countryside and famously friendly Isaan hospitality from the locals.

Tourists also flock to Thailand’s southern provinces for the beaches, boat rides and adventure activities. At our handpicked southern communities, you can still experience all of this and more – just with none of the crowds. For example, at Phang Nga’s hidden Baan Sam Chong Nuea community there’s a chance to explore swamps and mangrove forests with a local fisherman while helping to afforest the area. At Pa Tew (Bang Son) in Chumphon, most of your time will also be spent on the water while eating as much seafood as you can, rafting and spotting fireflies in the evening.

Other local communities waiting to be discovered are located in the less-frequently visited provinces of Phatthalung and Yala. These include the stunning Tamod Community where you can join in with a range of sufficiency economy educational activities, as well as kayaking and taking in the sunset over the reservoir, while Yala’s Chulaporn Pattana 9 Tourism Community boasts a gorgeous combination of forests, mountains and rivers.

Other choices of local communities that you can visit includes Bo Hin Farm Stay in Trang, Phrom Lok in Nakorn Si Thammarat, Laem Pak Bia in Petchaburi and Laem Klat in Trat.

To learn more about “One Night Stay with Locals” in Thailand or to book a trip for up to 10 people at a special price, please visit www.1nightstaywithlocals.com or www.facebook.com/AorSorSocial/.