Well the rainy season has started, so I have time to sit down and talk about living in a remote village in Thailand. Plus, I'm thinking breakfast might be late this morning.
My wife’s name is Dee. This morning, I told her before she went to the local market, that it was going to rain. We live on the outskirts of the village that she grew up in. Her mom’s home is a couple of miles down the road. Sorry about the pole but this shot was taken in haste from The Library.
Let’s start where I live. My house address is:
222 Moo 14
Phrom Phiram, Thailand 65150
The above address answers the question ‘What’s it like living in a remote village in Thailand?’ Are you confused? Don’t worry, you get use to it. Let me explain.
If you look closely at the photo below, you can see the outline of what we call the Teak House. Our place is called D&G Resort and is located on the banks of the Nan River in north central Thailand. As a quick reminder, our place ain’t really a resort, I just added that noun for fun.
The Moo 14 is simply the Thai government’s way of saying Neighborhood #14. My wife came up with the 222 idea. Something about the numbers being lucky and she wanted to add them to our address. And she did.
We live in Phrom Phiram district that has 14 villages scattered throughout. Our village is named Saphan Hin. The latest census showed that about 1.500 people live in this village but in reality the total is much less. Many adult Thais born in this area are still registered will a local address, but actually live and work in Bangkok. I bet there are not more than 500 people that reside here on a regular basis. I know only a few, but I think that they all know me.
Community events tend to happen on a regular basis, but most are just an excuse to have a party to celebrate something. There are Buddhist affairs, birthdays, block parties, plenty of national holidays and the list goes on and on. Here we are at our house blessing years ago with the monks in attendance. I don’t pretend to know much about these get-togethers, I just go with the flow.
Most of the villagers are involved with farming in one way or another, usually growing rice. Farming is not easy and often the profits are just enough to scrape by until the next crop is harvested. Growing up on a farm in America, I know that many farmers can be hard working and stubborn and Thai farmers are no different.
They often end up in a vicious cycle of needing more pesticides and fertilizer to grow Hom Mali rice which brings in the most profit. One of the problems is that big companies have bought much of the surrounding farm land and produce rice on a massive scale. It makes it tough on the smaller farms. These farmers would consider B120,000 or $3,800 profit a good year.
When villagers in the past decided to settle down, they built their houses close to each other and would have their farm land a few miles away. That method is still common and the cattle farmers are no different. During the day, the cows are taken out to various fields to eat and fertilize the land. Late afternoon the farmers will bring the livestock back to their house.
There is a travelling market that comes to the village every Wednesday. I just grab what I want, the vendor weighs my selection and tells me a price and I pay. My wife has to haggle over such purchases. Thais demand freshness in their vegetables and are quick to point out when they are not.
Below is pretty much a typical older farm house in the village. The shutters are rarely opened in order to keep out mosquitoes or unwanted reptiles of which there is plenty. The farm trucks are usually colorful and tough. Many of these trucks are still started with a hand crank. I should add that they have a distinct sound going down the road. Imagine a chain saw with a bass voice.
I could go on and on about living in a small village in Thailand, but that is enough for now. Plus, I think breakfast is ready. At the end of the day, the longer I live in Thailand the less I know. My Thai wife is just the opposite…