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My first homestay experience

This weekend I went to the little muslim village of Ban Talae Nok ,with my colleagues, for village guide training.  Ban Talae Nok is a small, coastal village with about 200 inhabitants where Andaman Discoveries is hosting community-based tourism with a homestay programs.

We arrived late in the evening, settled in our house, and held a meeting with the village’s tourism group. Unfortunately, as I don’t speak Thai, I could not understand what was being said in the meeting, but I felt that the local villagers were enthusiastic and pleased with the program, something Uzma, one of our native Thais in Andaman Discoveries, later could confirm.

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me Nypa Palm weaving

I’ve been travelling in Thailand and her neighboring countries before, but I never experienced a homestay. I stayed with Cha and her family, a cozy little house with a shop in front, laying in the upper part of the village. The levels of comfort may be lower than you are used to back home, but what you may miss, the locals make up for in form of hospitality and smiles. And that hospitality goes for the whole community, wherever I walked, I was greeted with a smile, “hello’s” and offered a ride to where I was going. But the hospitality never went so far that I felt I was interrupting their way of life.

Thailand is a country with a lot of surprises and mystery, but one thing you always can take for granted, is that the food will be great. In the village, they spared no expense in serving us the most delightful dishes. We were lucky to eat freshly caught crabs and fish, served with omelets, curries and exotic fruits. An interesting new experience was their breakfast. Many of the dishes served in the morning, I would call deserts back home in Sweden. They were sweet and sugary, reminding me of donuts and cakes.

I enjoy travelling off the beaten path and experiencing cultures in their genuine form, and I can honestly say that the stay in this village is one of my highlights of Thailand.

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– Sebastian Kollind

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