Sunny skies for the weekend and jumping fresh seafood – what else?
- You don’t contribute to the local Thai economy by staying in international hotel chains or shopping at 7-Eleven. A homestay allows you to explore the local lifestyle and locals to earn a small income.
- A unique homestay in Southern Thailand offers you the opportunity to enjoy incredible food with a true straight-out-of-the-wok taste.
- Activities include fishing, cooking, eating, Muay Thai boxing, long siestas, swimming, and relaxing in the natural surroundings.
First, the weather forecast looked simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.
It’s always good to escape from Bangkok, a 10-million metropolis with concrete highways and sky trains flying over your head. On a late afternoon, the party took off for a fishing trip in Southern Thailand, more precisely in Ban Laem, a small fishing village in the vicinity of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The latter is located around 800 km south of Bangkok and can easily be reached by train. It’s a slow journey, but beautiful and cheap – just how I like it.
Then you need some creativity.
I have been to a couple of remote locations, but the Ban Laem Homestay is really off the beaten track. In fact, it is almost impossible to find. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Although a strong language barrier exists, we managed to organize a telephone call between the Ban Laem Homestay owner and our Songtheaw driver. It appeared to be a 20 km drive to the north of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The approximate location is here and the village is part of the Tha Sala District.
Once arrived, we were welcomed by the fishing community with hot sweet coffee and snacks. We were also given local names because the villagers were unable to pronounce our name.
This is definitely not the place where you ask for the wifi password and an iced latte. And even a trained stomach might turn upside down after eating steamed rice with shrimp paste as breakfast. However, the village offers simple, but clean accommodation and several activities while enjoying the natural surroundings. Interesting though to see that technology is quietly sneaking in. You can spot villagers with cheap candy bar phones, but the village chief was already a proud owner of a knockoff iPad! It’s only a matter of time that they will create they will start using Facebook and start browsing the web. Actually, the homestay already has its Facebook page.
Mr. Taksin is 39 years old and acted as our guide in the village and during all activities. He or one of the locals drives you around with a little motorbike. Taksin also runs a little burger place next to the regional road, just a stone’s throw away. He will be honored if you try out his burgers.
Ban Laem is the prime spot to enjoy seafood so fresh that it is nearly jumping on your plate.
At the crack of dawn we took off in a traditional fishing boat. The wooden fishing boats are built in the village’s workshop and it takes about a month to build one. The village also sells them for 60,000 THB or about 1,400 EUR. Fishing is mostly done with nets as the water is muddy and shellfish were our target. We fished and swam for hours and then sailed back to the fishing village with our catch.
Then the real fun started!
We turned almost every critter from the sea into a dining feast, from barbecued clams to fried shrimps and succulent chili crab. There was also soup of magical black chicken (not from the sea) and diverse curries.
This is a true down-to-earth, no frills, cook-yourself experience that you enjoy while sitting on wooden benches and trying to prevent mosquitoes from eating your legs.