Rural Thailand Villa – Delicious Food, Gracious Hosts, Rice Paddies Everwhere
One of the first traveler nominations we received back at Darn Good Digs’ launch in 2008 was for Gecko Villa – a beautiful rural villa way out there in northeast Thailand, as far from Bangkok as you could imagine. We were excited then to learn about such a cool vacation spot, and we’re even more excited now after rave reviews keep being published online. Here is our Darn Good Digs review of Gecko Villa:
What makes Gecko Villa so Darn Good? Located bang in the middle of rice paddy fields and sugar cane plantations, Gecko Villa is a green oasis far from Thailand’s tourist trails. The two things that truly made our stay were the superb food, and the kindness and welcoming nature of the local host family and villagers. Having our own pool was a definite plus!
Location: Gecko Villa is located in Northeast Thailand’s Isaan region, fifty minutes by plane or nine hours by train from Bangkok, and not far from the Laos border. The province, Udon Thani, is home to the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site, Ban Chiang, and its national museum which displays locally excavated artifacts and pottery dating as far back as 7,500 years. If that doesn’t float your boat, guests at Gecko Villa can take a boat ride among lotus flowers in the nearby lake, and all around are opportunities for exploring the villages, temples, and farms of bucolic Thailand.
Rooms: Gecko Villa is a northern Thai-style country house with a pool that you rent all for yourself! The Villa’s three bedrooms, large living and dining rooms, and fully equipped Western and Thai kitchens are in separate buildings and are connected by covered wooden verandas surrounding a garden. Traditional wooden furniture and artwork adorn the rooms and outdoor areas.
Food: Excellent and very zingy Thai food is cooked for you three times daily by Ten and Euang, the Villa’s caretakers and chefs, who live in a small village a couple of kilometers away. Ask to try local Isaan dishes such as spicy beef salad with mint or their wicked barbecue chicken with papaya salad. Make sure to say upfront what your chili factor is! Thai cooking lessons are also included in the price.
Vibe: Guests could just chill by the pool and eat well, but definitely take the plunge and ask to get integrated: the locals are very friendly and definitely enjoy a good time! Gecko Villa is owned and run by local villagers, and all revenues stay in the community.
Things to Keep in Mind: Take any personal necessities with you because the nearest banks and major shopping areas are 45 minutes away!
Price Range: 6,800 Baht – 8,900 Baht (three meals included, entire villa)
# of Rooms: 3
A big thank you to James for nominating this very cool getaway. As always, if you’ve stayed at any extraordinary independently owned accommodations for budget-minded travelers, please let us know and nominate them today on Darn Good Digs!