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Monday, 29 October 2012

Bamboo Nest, Chiang Rai, Thailand

Written by Christina Kay Bolton
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Bamboo Nest is the ultimate rural Thai escape It’s so far off the beaten path, in fact, that the owners, Nok and Noi, had to put in a road beyond an already remote village just so people could gain access.

Nok is so sweet - she will come to pick you up anywhere in Chiang Rai and drive you back to her retreat; the airport, the bus station, a guest house, or in our case... a bar. My heart was in my throat on the last part of the journey to her land; the angle is straight up at some points and we were very close to the edge of the cliff at others. I took some relief in the fact that she drives this route twice a day!

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Once we arrived the relaxation began as there was not much to do besides lay in the hammock on our cottage’s porch and watch the sunset. The rustic bamboo cottages, our living quarters, were simple, but adequate; they included a large room with a bed and mosquito net, a bathroom with hot water, and solar powered lights. 

It is quiet  at night save a chorus of insects (except for 10 days after lunar new years’ when the celebrations in the village below go on all night – we caught the tail end of that and it was quite a contrast from that night to the next!).  The only real problem was that the bed was quite hard, but if you can overlook is a paradise for get-away-from-it-all rest and relaxation. No wifi, internet, hawkers, and definitely no touts yelling: ‘taxi, taxi?’

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Nok and Noi do just about everything here from cooking to solving electrical problems and acting as hiking guides. Nok cooks up a good curry for dinner and also makes a variety of European favorites for breakfast.

We hiked up to the nearby Akha village and explored. There were people selling Akha traditional tribal crafts, as well as a small restaurant, but the food was mediocre at best though it had an outstanding view.  The village was perched on the side of a cliff with vistas over a tea plantation. We also ventured straight down hill to the waterfall. 

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One advantage to staying at Bamboo Nest is the sense of camaraderie you feel with other guests. We all became friends just because of solidarity from all being together and talking about our daily activities at the large dinner tables. 

Each night we heard about hikes, elephant riding, and hot springs experiences from the other guests as well as from the owners. Each morning, we had to choose; either spend the day in the hammock or go on another new adventure.  

Provided you’re looking for an inexpensive, rustic place where you can soak in the rural Thai culture, Bamboo Nest could be just the place for you.

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©Christina Kay Bolton

Last modified on Friday, 28 December 2012

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