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Discover the ancient traditions of Chiang Rai’s Tai Lue people at Phangha Homestay

A visit to Chiang Rai’s Pangha Homestay community feels like going back 100 years to a time when Thailand wasn’t even called Thailand but rather ‘Siam’, when people got around on bicycles or rickshaws rather than cars, and when hands worked all day long to make crafts and materials (instead of typing away on keyboards…)

Situated in the very north of Thailand not far from the Myanmar border, the defining feature of this community is its people, who are of Tai Lue origin, that still maintain many of the distinct cultural characteristics passed on from their ancestors to this very day. This includes a unique northern dialect, traditional fabric-made clothes with bold patterns, and a fascinating cuisine combining elements of Vietnamese, Burmese, Isaan and Lanna food. Luckily, you’ll be able to witness this interesting culture upon arrival, as you are greeted with a welcome ceremony and introduction to the community’s history and way of life. You can also taste some of their fusion-style dishes, such as Ram Fuen rice and Tai Lue pizza.

Much of the time during the afternoon of the first day has been designated for activities in and around Pangha. There is a chance to visit some of the old-age businesses and mini-factories that are still standing, including the world’s only ‘rice paper’ making center and an old tobacco curing plant. For those seeking a little more rest and relaxation from this trip, the village is also home to a herbal foot spa and ‘gold fiber’ spa.

As the sun begins to set, there’s time to head out of the village to admire the scenery looking over the Khun Nam Nang Non Mountain, as well as inspect a local rice paddy in the evening.

After enjoying dinner with the locals, it’s time to get chill out and relax in your gorgeous homestay for the night – certainly one of the highlights of this “Extraordinary Experience”. The accommodation is comprised of a large, hand-built wooden house that has been expertly renovated inside making your stay both a comfortable and memorable.

Plenty more visits and activities await the next day on this “One Night Stay with Locals” trip. After breakfast in the village, head out to participate in some knowledge-building activities, including trying your hand as a Shan’s knife smith and candle maker! There is stop-off at the pretty Kimju Guava Garden before visiting an area at the Thai-Myanmar border that is only temporarily permitted for tourists to see.

Then it’s time to go back to the community to enjoy another northern-style lunch at a local restaurant. With a full stomach, take part in the ‘Phra Singh San Chana Man’ workshop at Wat Phra San temple before bidding farewell to your Tai Lue hosts and heading home.

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/.

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Seafood, scenery and souvenirs: witness a side of Phetchaburi you’ve never seen before at Baan Laem Pak Bia

This “One Night Stay with Locals” takes you to Phetchaburi province, just a 2-3-hour car or bus ride from Bangkok. Most people who come to Phetchaburi for their holidays are local Thais looking for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the capital for a few days – which generally involves booking a hotel in one of the province’s popular seaside hotels or resorts.

However, this carefully-curated trip takes you well off Phetchaburi’s beaten path, and into the local community of Baan Laem Pak Bia.

This quaint community is situated close to the banks of the Phetchaburi River, which means that there is an abundance of seafood to be caught – and eaten – right on your doorstep, including mullet, crab, shrimp, and other shellfish.

Kick off your “Extraordinary Experience” at Baan Laem Pak Bia with a warm welcome into the community, which comprises some storytelling, local herbal drinks and snacks.

Once suitably refreshed, the day’s main activities begin with several agricultural demonstrations and visits, such as checking out how the locals sell and grow sea grapes, a stop off at a hydroponics vegetable farm and observing a blue crab fishery bank demonstration and fish market.

During the afternoon, one of the highlights of this trip to Phetchaburi awaits with a boat tour along the shoreline, providing an excellent opportunity to observe the chilled-out way of life of the local fishermen. When you stop off at a sandy beach, you can also collect some of the pretty shells to keep as your own personal souvenirs – or take them back home for friends and family (just don’t tell them that their gift was free…)

Afterward, the boat tour will take you back to your community homestay for dinner, which includes a show (with karaoke, too!), before you bed down for the night in Phetchaburi.

Wake up lazily in the following morning for a relaxed breakfast before heading off with your guide for more fun activities close to the Baan Laem Pak Bia community. Observe a tie-dyeing demonstration followed by a Thai dessert-making session. Before lunch, try your hand at basket-making using narrow-leaf cattail or lesser bulrush.

One of the highlights of this trip is scheduled for the afternoon of day-two. Your guide will take you straight to the recommended ‘Laem Pak Bia Royal Project’, which is a water treatment project that uses natural processes to maintain mangrove forests. You’ll be able to learn all about this fascinating project, as well as the highly-technical methods that go into preserving the local mangroves – one of Thailand’s most iconic natural plants. At the center, there are also some world-class bird-watching opportunities for the avian enthusiasts out there.

On the way back, stop off and browse for some hard-to-find local community products at some shops. Once you arrive back at the community homestay, it’s time to pack your belongings, bid farewell to your hosts and head back home.

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/.

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When Isaan meets Lanna: Discover a hybrid of cultures next to the Mae Kong River at Baan Tha Khan Thong

Life in Chiang Rai’s quiet “Baan Tha Khan Thong” community revolves around the nearby Mae Kong, the world-famous river that marks the border between Thailand and neighboring Laos towards the north. As a result, many of the fun and educational activities that await you here on this “One Night Stay with Locals” trip are based on (or close to) the water. For example, there’s a chance to take a boat trip out on the river to admire the majestic scenery from a different perspective, with the green rice paddies and steep mountains forming a picturesque backdrop.

There’s also plenty of things to do and see on dry land, with this sleepy village being home to Sacha Inchi tea making, cotton weaving, and brown rice milling. You’ll be able to learn all about these traditional agricultural practices directly from the locals, who are happy to share their knowledge and let you get your own hands dirty by helping out, too.

Of course, one of the best things about going on an adventure to a new place in Thailand is the food, and on this trip you’ll be discovering many exotic flavors and exciting northern dishes that are hard to find anywhere else in the country. Some of the culinary highlights that Baan Tha Khan Thong promises include grilled sticky rice and pumpkin with egg, parm plajaew bong, and fresh vegetables. A traditional Khantoke dinner is also served up for dinner, which consists of a variety of Northern Thai dishes arranged together on a short, round table with spicy dips, sticky rice and more fresh vegetables; it’s the perfect way “Experience the Extraordinary” Lanna cuisine while socializing and exchanging thoughts with your friendly hosts.

As well as the delicious menu, the evening provides the chance for visitors to soak up this unique community’s culture, which is a colorful hybrid of Isaan (Northeastern Thailand, which is where many of the villagers originate from) and Lanna (the local word describing Northern Thai culture). This fusion can be witnessed in the form of art, with Bai Sri Su Kwan and Hae Khan Toke ceremonies, showcasing their vibrant clothing styles, music and forms of dance.

After heading off to bed (with a full stomach), you’ll wake up the next morning in your charming homestay with the fresh breeze blowing over from the nearby river. There’s some more time in the morning for a leisurely breakfast and further knowledge exchanges with your hosts before bidding farewell to Baan Tha Khan Thong and Thailand’s most-northern province, Chiang Rai.

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/.

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Discover the best of Thailand’s southern Phatthalung province at Tamod Community

Thailand’s southern Phatthalung province is generally overlooked by tourists, who tend to opt for neighboring Trang or the holiday hotspots of Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga. And while this province may not boast any real beaches, there is still plenty to discover both on and off the water that runs through intertwining streams throughout the rugged landscape.

Your homestay for the night on this “One Night Stay with Locals” trip is located in the old Tamod Community, which is tucked away out of sight in the Buntad Mountain Range and near Thale Noi. The mountains and adjacent river produce some stunning scenery, which you’ll be exploring via road and kayak. The community is also well-known locally for how it uses past knowledge from floods to create suitable water management systems, which you can learn all about on this trip.

Arrive relatively early on day-one at ‘Lhad Ton Sai’ – the name of your homestay in the Tamod community. After getting acquainted with some of the friendly southern locals (and trying to understand their unique regional dialect), you head off again to pay respect to Pho Tun Chuay at Wat Tamod temple with the chance to try some tasty (and a bit smelly) fried durian at the nearby clean-energy OTOP center.

After lunch, learn more about the community’s endeavors to create a sufficient agricultural economy. This is before another “Extraordinary Experience” of the trip – kayaking along the river until dusk falls, when it’s time to watch stunning the sunset at Kuan Ta Kom (or over the reservoir). To round off a memorable evening in Phatthalung, enjoy dinner together and head back to your quaint homestay for some sleep.

In fact, you’ll probably want to hit the pillow quite early, because the early morning of day-two presents an opportunity you won’t want to miss: seeing the sun rise and the sea of morning mist rise over the mountains like a silky white blanket. This is from a lookout point at Kuan Ta Kom.

By the time you’re back down, breakfast is served at around 8.00am before heading out for more community-focused activities. These include a trip to the Apis Cerena Knowledge Center, learning how to make crispy rotis (one of the all-time favorite Southern Thai snacks) and lunch ‘Krua Roi Sai’ style at Lhad Ton Sai.

Before heading home, there is time in the afternoon to participate in a knowledge-building activity at Soon Ruam Jai Song Sasana as well squeeze in a refreshing visit to Lan Mom Jui Waterfall to beat the heat.

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/.

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Uncover a hidden gem deep in Nan province’s countryside with a visit to Sila Petch community

Venture right in the heart of the wilderness of Nan province, with this “One Night Stay with Locals” at Sila Petch community. While tourists may flock to nearby Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in their millions, Nan province promises just as spectacular scenery, with mountains, jungles, rice paddies, wide rivers and cascading waterfalls all to see – just not as many other people to run into!

Many of the local villagers here at Sila Petch are of Tai Lue origin, an ethnic group mostly spread over Southern China and Laos. Upon arrival, learn more about their unique traditions and way of life, which stretches back hundreds of years, with a welcome ceremony and introduction to the community.

One of the best ways to learn more about a culture is to participate it yourself, and you’ll have the chance to do that by trying your hand at some Tai Lue weaving at a local knowledge center. Other fun and educational activities planned for your afternoon in Nan include picking local vegetables at a farm and inspecting the rice paddies the sit in the foothills of the famous Luang Phra Bang Mountains.

After returning to the Sila Petch community in the evening, soak up even more culture as you experience a traditional Bai Sri Su Kwan ceremony, Sa Lo So Sueng Show and Tai Lue dance. This is all before one of the highlights of your “Extraordinary Experience” in Nan – enjoying a northern-style ‘Khantoke’ dinner that involves sitting in a circle and sharing a range of small dishes together with your hosts, including fresh vegetables, spicy dips, grilled meats, sticky rice and herbal sausage.

Your homestay for the night is in the style of an old-age Tai Lue house, with the sounds of the nearby river creating a peaceful atmosphere as you fall asleep. Don’t go to bed too late though, as the next morning you’ll need to wake up at 6.00am for a visit to a local market and then a merit-making session (the monks from a nearby temple walk in procession in front of your homestay).

You’ll need a hearty breakfast of own, as the rest of the morning is packed with more activities. After visiting the Sufficient Economy Learning Center, your mini-hike through the forest and to Sila Petch waterfalls begins! Pass Luang Pho Phu Kha Shrine, Bo Namthip, Stone Bridge and Mon Lue Si, learning more about the surrounding nature and community’s history as you go. By the time you reach the waterfall, it’s more food awaits (lunch), with the chance to cool off in the refreshing water before heading back.

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/.

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Thailand Travel – Hotels

If you’re planning to go to Thailand there are many options when it comes to hotels. Weather you would like modern conveniences and condition from the art technology, or would you like to stay somewhere with wealthy historic value, there’s a spot for you in Thailand.

You will find many famous worldwide hotels and resorts in the region, in addition to more compact mother and pop places. Each place can give your trip a unique feel. You will find places around the beach and places within the forest, regardless of what you would like your surrounding to become Thailand makes it happen.

Some metropolitan areas, like the northern capital Bangkok, are classified as party metropolitan areas while some tend to be more relaxed and fewer crowded. Keep traffic and activities in your mind whenever you book your stay. Some metropolitan areas offers malls selling jeans while some have road side stands with hand crafted goods.

December is really a hot here we are at vacationers flowing in Thailand. Book your hotel outdoors of December to save cash and miss a few of the crowds at tourist points of interest. Hotels offer cheap rates in off seasons.

Many amenities can be found within the bigger hotels internet, on-site workout area, and spas. Should you remain in a little inexpensive place within the older less populated metropolitan areas pricier all of the features. Request your tour operator about hotel amenities when booking to make certain you are not in shock whenever you appear. You may also look for online photos of hotels and browse reading user reviews.

Consider activities when booking your hotel and lodging. Make certain you’re remaining within an area that provides activities that appeal to you. Hike within the forests and examine the waterfalls or remain on the shore and snorkel. Many aquatic sports and activities can be found in addition to tours. Keep travel occasions in your mind when planning outings. You will find also many zoos with exotic creatures you cannot see elsewhere.

Thailand is among the rare locations that offers something for everybody and it has activities for each budget. Always investigate before you decide to book your hotel to ensure that you realize where you stand remaining, what’s near by, and just what your hotel offers.