Drive to Homestay

Thursday, December 08, 2016
Homestay, Krabi, Thailand

I messed up on dates when I entered the Intrepid itinerary so I am missing this day . We stayed at the homestay tonight of the family of Mr. Air. When I went on-line to fill in this date with the Intrepid itinerary notes, there was no longer a homestay. I guess we were very lucky to have this opportunity. I went back to my paper copy and found the Intrepid notes:

Sit back and enjoy a local bus ride to Krabi province. You will travel by private minibus to your village homestay (approximately 3 hours). When you arrive, enjoy a walk around the village with your homestay host. Try out rubber tapping and enjoy the great food and hospitality of the region. Thailand is one of the world's three largest producers of rubber, and you can try your hand at tapping a rubber tree -- skimming the bark off the tree to create a path for the milky white latex to run down. There is also an opportunity to assist with the preparation of tonight's meal -- learn some of the delicious secrets of Southern Thai cooking and enjoy a dinner that tastes all the better thanks to your handiwork . This is a wonderful opportunity to absorb some of the daily ritual of Thai culture.Notes: Please be aware that this is a Muslim region so conservative dress standards are appreciated. Your homestay is located in a small friendly village, in basic multishare rooms with mattresses and mosquito nets provided. Bathroom facilities are shared.Included activities:Homestay walkHomestay Thai cooking demonstration

I woke up around 7 am and went outside so as not to wake Alex and I uploaded my photos from the last two days. Then I came to the restaurant, ordered a cappuccino and updated my blog with the notepad entries for yesterday and the day before. So I am caught up. I checked facebook and emails but nothing new. I should respond to Serge's email. It is now already 8 am so I still need to settle my bill and pack up. I hope the wet clothes from yesterday have dried in the air from the fan, but I wouldn't bet on it .

We didn't have to leave the resort until noon but had to check out of our rooms at 11 am. Since the sun was out, I spent some time taking photos of the flowers, especially the blue flowers on vines hanging near our room. I finished up packing after Alex got up. The last thing to be packed was my wet clothes from yesterday and the washing I added to them because they didn't dry. I Paid off our bill and Alex and I worked out our shares. Once we went to the restaurant to wait for the mini-van, I changed my Lao money with Tai for Thai money.

We set off and seemed to drive back the same way for a while. We drove for an hour and a half before we stopped for lunch. There were some food carts next to a gas station. We were a bit confused as to how things worked but then ended up with a noodle soup and some fish balls and pork strips. It was pretty good. Then I found a Magnum bar . We drove for at least another hour I think before we arrived at the homestay. We hung around for awhile and then went for a walk with the homestay owner - Mr. Air. He showed us some rubber trees, his little garden with eggplants, basils, hot peppers, kaffir lime plant and lemon grass - everything needed for tom yum soup. We passed a few shops and some houses and a cute little boy on a seat attached to his father's bicycle - with his father pedaling the bike.

Once back at the homestay, we pitched in with dinner making. It was a huge operation with lots of chopped vegetables. The homestay owner went off to fetch his wife from work. Once she was back, she supervised the cooking in a large wok over a gas burner with a high stand. We had a spicy chicken dish, tom yum soup, a sweet and sour dish, fish, a Chinese broccoli dish and something else that was spicy. Everything was great and we had wedges of pineapple on their own sticks for dessert.

Alex had brought some cards so Tai organized a card game . I watched. It was hysterical. I can't remember what it was and then there was a game called snap. The homestay ownerj's two boys joined the game and were very cute as they played. Alex was the silent deadly winner. Now the games have ended, the boys have gone to bed, I have uploaded my many photos and now am ready for bed too.

I am not sure how established this or other homestay operations for tourists are here. The one we had in India was an on-going concern and the homestay family had added facilities for their guests. Mr. Air, his wife and two boys lived in this large rambling house with several additions. There was someone's sister also living there perhaps with her spouse. As guests, we had two separate large rooms for sleeping and then we used bathroom facilities - toilets, sinks and showers - downstairs where there were at least four door - two showers and two toilets maybe. The kitchen and dining area were on the main floor with sides open to the air while the bedrooms had walls and windows. It was more like a hostel in a home setting.   It is a good way to learn more about how people live. Mr. Air's English was quite good but it was harder to talk with the women. I don't know that we took full advantage of our opportunity.

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