Isan Rural Village
Khiri Travel Thailand’s, Koen Olie, blogs about some surprises exploring a rural village and local farming in Thailand’s Isan countryside.
Recently I visited my friend, Hua Deng, who lives with his Thai family in a small village in the Isan area of northeast Thailand. We went for a stroll through Hua’s village and the surrounding countryside where I was intrigued by the huge variety of crops and ongoing activities.
Besides farming and fishing, locals are busy weaving baskets or repairing fishnets. Agricultural activity shows large areas of crops such as tapioca, sugarcane, rice, bamboo, rubber, and on a smaller scale cotton, lemon grass, and spring onion. Livestock consists of pigs, chickens and a few cows. From the ponds, fish and even frogs are also part of the menu!
There is no lack of fruit either: mango, pineapple, coconut, banana, passion fruit, star fruit, dragon fruit, tamarind and matoom (as in bael fruit tea) are growing all around on trees, plants or bushes. There are also kapok trees that produce seedpods with cottony fluff. Before modern manufacturing, these natural fibers were used as filling for pillows and mattresses.
Hua’s village is very tidy with roads free of liter and a recycled rubber trashcan in front of each house. Traffic is light with just a few cars or motorcycles or the occasional “iron buffalo.” One local housekeeper uses part of her house as a restaurant where we had a bowl of killer noodle soup. Afterwards, we took a ride to go survey a new temple under construction.
Mr. Deng’s village is one of many interesting and attractive villages that are easy for FIT clients to tour for an authentic rural Thai experience. For me, the highlight of my visit, beside the taste of that soup, was being shown how to open a matoom fruit with a machete.