“5-Star Sleeping” at Hill Tribe Homestay
Blogger Meg Sine and her niece spent an enjoyable evening at Baan NaSa after trekking about 10 km through the forests of Doi Inthanon, northern Thailand.
We arrived to our Karen hill tribe village homestay destination for the night just in time before it started getting dark. Our welcoming committee was the wife of our trekking guide and two village children. They gave me a lipstick blossom, so called because the seeds inside the red flower are used to make red dye. Sure enough the open blossom turned my fingertips as red as lipstick.
Our homestay accommodations were way beyond expectation. We were so tired and hot from trekking the forests of Doi Inthanon that when we entered our modest bamboo cottage that held a real bed with a mosquito net canopy, we felt like we got upgraded to the presidential suite! We even had a modern bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower. The fact that there was no electricity was only a minor inconvenience compared to the comfort of everything else.
Our main trekking guide, Khun Chai, was the head chef for dinner. The stove was a ceramic container sitting in a fire pit and fueled with chopped wood and sticks. He cooked a fabulous meal of stir-fried chicken, veggies and dal. He had carried all the ingredients in his shoulder bag, even a bottle of his favorite fish sauce condiment. Our host family served khao niew (sticky rice) from a woven basket. Khun Chai seemed very confident of his cooking skills and the delicious food proved his case.
The kitchen was lit by one light bulb suspended by an electrical wire from the bamboo roof. Their only source of electricity in this village of five families is a small solar panel that charges a battery.
We all ate together sitting on the floor with a low table. Someone gave me a low stool to sit on seeing how uncomfortable I looked trying to sit with my sore hiking knees folded in front of me. Floor sitting is not something I do with any regularity so I was totally disabled without modern furniture!
After dinner, Mrs. Nasa took us to another hut, again lacking any furniture, where she did her weaving. She sat on the floor with a back strap loom wrapped around her waist and held in place with her outstretched legs. The warp and weft of her loom held yarns in a beautiful burgundy color woven tightly with two narrow stripes of a contrasting color for accent. The Karen women are skilled weavers. They make all their own traditional clothing and sell high quality fabric for clothing, bags and sarongs at the local market. Stephanie and I both bought some scarves and shoulder bags that she had made on her loom.
For more information about trekking and a remote village homestay at Doi Inthanon, or for booking requests, please leave your contact information on the form below.