Udon Thani accommodation in Thailand

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Responsible tourism: Udon Thani accommodation in Thailand

The villa is directly owned by a group of local villagers who were encouraged to launch an alternative holiday destination for visitors seeking to leave the beaten path of tourism in Thailand and to experience rural village life, as lived by the vast majority of Thais not living in the main cities or mass tourism destinations. 100% of revenues from guests is retained and distributed by them, locally.

Sceptical at first, they have been delighted and indeed surprised that there is a group of people who are keen to experience their lifestyle first-hand.

That visitors take an interest in rice farming, water buffalo, local village traditions and crafts, local temples, the countryside, the flora and fauna of the local listed wetlands, the extraordinary local cuisine and the slower pace of rural Thailand, has enabled them:

- To keep their families together, given the income generated from guests, in an area where it has been traditional for fathers and sons to leave for the cities or foreign countries to seek menial labour
- To pay for a better education for their children
- To take a renewed pride in indigenous traditions, customs and practices
- To launch initiatives (control of waste disposal, pollution reduction, the promotion of indigenous traditions) that have not traditionally been at the forefront of villagers' minds, given more pressing economic dictates.

Reviews of Udon Thani accommodation in Thailand

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 24 Aug 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The trip was memorable because it was so relaxing and we were thoroughly taken care of in the most serene surroundings. The villa itself was beautiful; the beds comfortable; the ac very effective and the food and drink plentiful and delicious. Ten, Ann and the other delightful ladies could not have been more gracious. The highlight for the children was having unlimited access to motor bikes and the pool.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Chuck some shorts and t-shirts in a ruck sack with some sun screen and mosquito repellent and just go!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Ten and his family certainly benefited; the rice we ate was grown in his paddy field and all the food was locally sourced. Although there were very few shops - we bought a few trinkets and snacks from the local people.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Without doubt the best holiday ever - and such value for money.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Terry,

Thank you so much for your very kind comments on your stay: we are delighted that you enjoyed your holiday, and do hope that you will have the opportunity to return soon.

It was likewise a pleasure for us all to meet you and your family, and we do hope that you enjoyed the remainder of your trip.

With best wishes from us all.

Ten

Reviewed on 04 Nov 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Being punted along in a small boat on the red lotus "sea" with beautiful birds,
buterflies and insects, gorgeous red waterlily flowers everywhere and a sense
that the landscape hasn't changed in years. Tranquil and unspoilt.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't expect much to do in the evenings, so perhaps don't book it for too many
nights if you like to go out and meet people and aren't satisfied with your own
family and companions company! Take lots of good books, dvd's and games. Strong mosquito sprays/lotions. Be prepared to walk or cycle to villages nearby despite the intense heat - there's always the wonderful cooling pool to come home to.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Well, perhaps to a small extent - food bought / grown locally, use of local
masseur, some of the rent profits going to help the upkeep of the local school.
Without us tourists putting some money into the local economy less effort would
be made to support conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I mis-judged just how quiet and isolated the villa was and how difficult it was
to arrange trips to places more than an hour away (Ten was reluctant naturally
to drive us long distances and what looks near on a map isn't because of the
unmade roads/potholes and the time it takes to get to places) and therefore we
had a fabulous time for the first week, resting and relaxing and exploring
local attractions but I'd booked the villa for just too long and we were
beginning to go a little stir crazy (particularly our 15 year old who found it
less easy to amuse herself) after we'd had dinner in the evening. After a week
we realised we'd have to have to hire a car or move on to somewhere a little
more lively and we decided we did not have the courage to drive ourselves so we
decided to go from the sublime to the ridiculous in terms of extreme
tranquility and unspoilt surroundings to the commercial hotbed of Phuket. We
knew we wouldn't like the place (and we didn't) but our daughter deserved to
have a bit more fun and it did give us a chance to see the South of Thailand as
well as the North. BUT- my husband and I absolutely loved the villa and have
nothing but praise for the wonderful setting, the people - Ten, Euwang and the
ladies who cooked fabulous food for us and made us feel really welcome.

Read the operator's response here:

Dear Geraldine,

Many thanks for your feedback on your stay: it was a pleasure meeting you and
your family.

We are delighted that both yourself and your husband enjoyed your stay, and we fully understand that a two week stay in the countryside might not be the first choice for a single teenage daughter! We do hope that she enjoyed the more lively "other side" of Thailand in Phuket - although regret that you in turn did not enjoy the island. As parents with four children we understand it's not always easy to balance things out!

In terms of benefiting local people, individual stays at the property may not seem to make a large impact, but over say one year, many individual stays add up! As a standalone villa, it is true we will never have a vast impact, but your own stay played its part in supporting ourselves, our children, our relatives, the "ladies who cooked," as well as other suppliers and so forth -
all local people in a region where a lack of work typically means that villagers are forced to migrate to Bangkok or elsewhere to seek employment. As we say here, to build a mountain, you first have to move one rock - and every rock added by those who stay with us is very much appreciated!

I'm also glad that you enjoyed the lotus lake boat trip. Just for information for other potential guests, I'l like to note that this is best made from November through to early March, rather than at any time of year.

Although you did not mention it in your comments, I am very sorry that your daughter did not have a permanent internet connection at the villa. The telephone towers were being re-positioned by the cable company during your stay, and we expect to have a full wi-fi broadband connection up again within the next few weeks. Again, with 4 children of our own, we are aware of the part this plays in their lives!

Finally, a big thank you to you all for choosing to stay with us, and for taking time to send us your comments - one of the most important things in helping us to improve.

With our very best wishes from everyone at the villa

Ten


Reviewed on 17 Feb 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


This holiday in the villa was truly spellbinding! As a family of 5, my wife and I with 3 adolescents we spent 4 nights in our personal idyll. Our hosts were truly remarkable, with Ten carrying on supplying sumptuous meals and appearing always ready to help - despite the fact that his wife had, by accident amputated her finger while cutting bamboo shoots for our arrival meal! She was hospitalised for all but the last few hours of our stay. Pick up at the airport as promised and whisked through the darkness to a fantastic, isolated villa, with the sounds of crickets and insects only for nightlife. Not a neon light or disco within many tens of miles. A stunning horizon pool beautifully surrounded by the villa and acres of grounds to explore beyond the walls of the property not to mention the vast tracts of paddies all around. Bikes supplied for trips out to the local area and sublime Thai cuisine served up regularly -- Papaya salad to die for. I could wax on --- and on.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Give this place a go, it has remained in the top 2 holidays we have ever had and that is true for all of us adults and youngsters. Take binos, get the Audubon bird book, camera, some books, any booze you want --and enjoy!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The money remains in the local village and we tried to buy local produce. NE Thailand is still off the tourist trail and so you will not see many Westerners.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely fabulous, we genuinely hope to return someday. As long as Ibiza is not what you are looking for this is the best.

Reviewed on 19 May 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


My husband and I stayed 4 nights in the villa. For me the best part of the holiday was having the freedom to explore the local villages on the back of a scooter. Taking in the local scenery of the surrounding tranquil countryside and seeing real Thai culture. Also, the family who looked after us were fantastic. They couldn't have done any more to make the holiday as memorable as it was.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take a good camera - the photo opportunities are amazing!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Definitely. The villa provides permanent employment for not only the family who looked after us, but also the local villagers who support the everyday running of the villa.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Perfect. Just what was needed after a hectic week in Bangkok.

Reviewed on 19 Jun 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The relaxing villa, great pool, food, and the great people.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Unless you really need to unwind you only need a few days here.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


5 just what we needed.

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2006 by

First ...... THANK YOU . If it was not for your web site I would never have found this accommodation! How can I describe this accommodation? I don't know if I can, but here goes........ Hazel and I spent 6 nights there at the end of February 2006. This is almost the peak of the hottest and driest part of the year.

This accommodation is adequately described on its web site. What it cannot describe and what I may have trouble in describing is the peace, tranquillity and blissful surroundings. At the time I called it "the Garden of Eden", "Nirvana" and "Heaven on Earth". We both lead very busy working lives and this accommodation was the perfect location to chill out, wind down and re-charge the batteries.

I know I am not doing the place justice as I struggle to find the right words, but this is so different from anywhere I else I have been. Ten and Euang, they run the property, will call each day at meal times and cook the most wonderful local food . They are more than happy to introduce you to local life or leave you to your own devices. The local people were very friendly and never stopped smiling.

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


On the last day it was my 57th birthday... Ten arranged for some of his family and friends to come to the accommodation and we had a birthday party - Thai Style - we were treated like long lost friends. It was fantastic! (understatement!). For any doubting Thomas' out there .. NO, I didn't get a bill.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take lots to read, or DVD's or CD's. A pair of binoculars would have been good to watch the wildlife!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We met a lot of local people during out visit, they are financially very poor. But the right contact with outsiders will hopefully encourage the children to learn at school and widen their horizons. These people have a lot to offer and we have a lot to learn from them.

4. Any other comments?


This accommodation is almost a unique experience and if you like your own company and don't need bars, disco's, shops and the bright lights of the big city, then give this farmstay a go..... even for two or three days - you won't regret it!

I would give it 4.5 stars. I still hope there is a 5 stars out there somewhere. I've had a lot of holidays and it would have to be good to be the best. So I'll put it up there with the best I've been to, so far! I hope this is a little more clear than mud, but if you think of Bangkok at the peak of the day, then this farmstay is the other side of that coin.

Reviewed on 04 Apr 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The power cut one night; Ten and his wife (the owners) took us out to "eat locally", which involved piling half the town into the back of the 4WD, driving to the local eatery and singing some video karaoke with the local teachers. After that, we were taken to the local village monthly festival - an experience we never would have had were we travelling alone.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Ask the owners to teach you how to cook Isaan food, especially the Kao Thom!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

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