Andaman Discoveries Blog

Friday, April 20, 2012

 

My experience in Ban Talae Nok Homestay


This month I had the chance to experience the beautiful “Village by the Sea” Tour organized by Andaman Discoveries with our wonderful translator Pi-Tui and guide Hem in Deh’s lovely homestay. This was part of the trip for two French guests we hosted “Frederic and Rozen”. They spent two days and one night discovering the way of life in the village of Ban Talae Nok and experienced the cultural activities with the locals. During our time there, we were able to enjoy the delicious southern Thai meals with our host family; every day there was a delicious array of dishes presented Thai style of course.

When arriving to the village we had a walk through the community and learnt about the history of the village, and what happened during and after the tsunami and saw how they rebuilt the village in a nice and respectful way doing their best to respect the nature of the area.
After enjoying a relaxing break on the hammocks and a walk through the beautiful village, we learnt about the batik technique of hand-dyeing fabrics by using designs drawn in wax. It was very interesting and enjoyable to have time for drawing.  It was nice to feel like the old days when we used to have time for this kind of leisure, and discovering this kind of art.  I was able to keep my “creation” as a nice souvenir and it hangs with pride on my wall.




After this relaxing and fun activity, we went fishing with two local fishermen who taught us how to manage the fishing net. We all went into the water together while trying to keep the net down, so the fishes did not escape. Then we had a barbecue on the beach cooking the fish that we caught; it’s amazing to have dinner with food that you actually catch yourself from the sea. I now understand why fishermen are proud of their life style; it was such a great experience. I will never forget the environment and the landscape surrounding us and the unforgettable colors of the sunset.




The next day, we were shown how to weave leaves of the Nypa Palm with the villagers in order to make traditional roofing from the local mangrove plant. It’s great to learn how I could build my own house with this material thanks to this kind of natural technique.  And I now understand where the authentic houses in Thailand come from.



Later we were shown how to cook local Thai food with the host family; it’s very interesting and I hope to do it back home for my friends and my family and the result was great and delicious. We had fried fish, shrimps in curry, and vegetables in a coconut soup that we just freshly grated.


 In the evening we had a cultural exchange by sharing stories and experiences together. Rozen and Frederic brought pictures from France to show the snow and the countryside and how dry the mountains are over there compared to Thailand. We also have the chance to dress up in traditional Muslim clothing.  It was funny to see how you actually look like when you are dressed in a different way, you are able to be in the shoes of another way of living.


I could only stay in the village for one day and one night, so I couldn’t experience the mangrove tour in long-tail boat, and the hand-crafted soap making workshop. But Rozen and Frederic had very positive feedback from this experience.  They wanted to discover the cultural part of Thailand and they have been amazed by the simplicity and the kindness of the family homestay, and also by the way they live in harmony with the nature.


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