A Small Piece Of Paradise. We spent the last part of our Thailand travels in a small and relatively unknown village by the name of Ban Krut. After staying five weeks in the Chiang Mai region, we were really wanting to get to the coast to enjoy some much awaited beach time. But where to go?
We met so many people all recommending different islands or coastal towns, such as Koh Samui, Krabi or Phuket. Now, personally I much prefer smaller and less touristy places, but obviously I love white beaches and coconut palms as much as everyone else. So I did what I often do, I sat down with google earth and did some virtual exploring.
At some point I came across this little village right on the beach, that was described by most reviews as a small and quiet place with few foreign tourists. The pictures I found were gorgeous, all showing long stretches of sandy beach and endless rows of coconut trees. Just what we like 🙂
Wandee Resort. A Gem Of A Place. We stayed at a guesthouse called Wandee Resort, which appealed to me because of its slightly quirky deco and the fact that it has several small independent units around a common kitchen. I’m really not a fan of your typical five-star-beach-front-and-pool hotels, feels way too westernized and vacation-minded for me. I much, much prefer places like this – small and family run and with a laid back, unpretentious atmosphere. It was the.best.choice.ever!
Ning & Jungg Lee, who run the place with their family, are fantastic hosts, so kind and friendly. While we were there, they organized a dinner for all the guests with delicious homemade food from both Thailand, Vietnam and Korea. We truly enjoyed this moment of perfect hospitality, it was a great way to get to know both our hosts and the other guests better.
Seashells And Stray Dogs. But No Snakes (This Time). Some of the other guests at our resort told us a few really scary stories involving snakes, which supposedly were all over the place. Normally. We managed to spend a full ten days at Ban Krut though, without seeing a single one. Perhaps we were just lucky. Or unlucky, depending how you look a that 😉
Personally I wouldn’t have minded seeing one or two. At a safe distance, naturally.
What we did see, was stray dogs. Like in the rest of Thailand, they are pretty much everywhere. It’s something to be aware of, and you need to know what to do around them. Most of the time they don’t really approach you, and when they do, they are generally sweet enough. BUT rabies is a real issue and you just never know, so I prefer to be on the safe side, and told the kids to just not go near them, generally. Obviously a few times the rule would fall, but hey, you can’t go around living in fear either. Common sense and realistic awareness is the most important thing.
We didn’t have any issues here or anywhere else we stayed. The only time I did get a bit worried, was one evening in Prachuap. I was walking to the night market to get some dinner, and passed by the entrance of a park where there was a group of dogs hanging around. They growled and barked seriously at another person walking past them, and I admit that did make me feel somewhat uncomfortable. I changed sidewalks and on the way back made sure to pass the park while a few cars were driving by as well. The cars seemed to calm them down a bit.
Something else we saw a lot of, was seashells. We spent almost every afternoon at the beach and collected an incredible amount of different shells and conchs. The most impressive ones though, were actually the empty shells from mussels that the waves brought in – I had no idea they could be that big!
Ten Days Out Of Time. We had a fabulous time at the PWS Family Summit in Chiang Mai and Pai, but after a few intense weeks with a LOT of activities and social interaction, we honestly all needed a bit of down time and to just chill and…do nothing 🙂
Ban Krut was a perfect place for this. For ten full days, we really didn’t do much else than hang out at the resort, play cards or games on the ipad, scout for birds and lizards or cook delicious meals. Virtually every afternoon we would take our bikes to the beach and swim, build sand castles and look for seashells. We went to the local market and stocked up on fruit and veggies. Enjoyed yummy street food and fresh pineapple and mango smoothies. The pineapples were THB20 each! That’s not even $1. (I learned later on, that the province of Prachuap Khiri Khan is the biggest pineapple producing region in Thailand). In short, we took ten day out of time to just BE.
How To Get There? The easiest is by far the train. There’s a local line that runs between Bangkok and the cities in the south. It’s simple and not expensive. A standard 3d class ticket on Thai trains only costs a few Baht, and the trip in itself is an experience. For our part, the experience almost got a little bit too exciting even, as we nearly missed our stop and had to jump off the train in a slightly chaotic manner!
We must have been too busy admiring the landscapes or keeping an eye out for the food selling ladies (who passed every 10 minutes during the entire trip) that we overheard the announcement of Ban Krut, or maybe there was none, but in any case the train was almost at the platform when I suddenly realized where we were – so naturally got a wee bit busy collecting all our stuff while simultaneously getting three kids to find and put their shoes back on. Within seconds the entire wagon was aware that the backpackers were about to miss their stop, and everyone started getting our bags down from the luggage racks and helping us carry it to the door. Once out of the train, people were laughing and waving to us as the train moved on. Welcome to Thailand!