Udon Thani accommodation in Thailand

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Responsible tourism

Udon Thani accommodation in Thailand

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

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.

Community

A Fair Deal
No middlemen are involved with direct bookings at Gecko Villa: all proceeds are retained by the families involved in the villa.

Village primary school support
Regular donations are made to our local village primary school, where students are primarily the children of poor farming families.

Responsible travel
Meet and interact directly with the locals!

Local sourcing
We source products and services locally, in order to provide a direct benefit to the immediate community.

2 Reviews of Udon Thani accommodation in Thailand

4.5 out of 5 stars
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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



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