Last weekend I stumbled upon one of those awe-inspiring places, where I imagine myself living for a while, improving my writing skills, cultivating a great inner peace and gaining farming experience. Me and my companions didn’t know about it and we didn’t look for it so when, by chance, we found it we were amazed and surprised.
We encountered the gate to Rai Siwavej & Farm Stay on a gravel path after a 20 minutes ride from Chiang Dao town. This farming bed and breakfast belongs to a Thai couple who decided to build some bamboo bungalows to host visitors on their land.
The small wooden houses have a front porch with comfortable deck chairs and the inside is extremely homelike, the beds are wide, the sheets smell fresh and there are thick blankets for the chilly nights.
As soon as we put down the rucksack, Wet, the owner, was eager to show us around. First of all the common veranda where we could help ourselves with coffee, tea ,water and bananas. Then, he was proud to illustrate us their contact cards, a map of the area and a book for the guests.
Next, he took us on a walk around the property and at the same time he recounted how they ended up there, however, he stopped the story every time there was something worth pointing out and describing, “ We bought the land twenty-seven years ago, I was living in the south before.. these here are the longan trees.. anyway, I liked this place very much…”.
The way he talked conveyed the serene joy he had achieved in that place and that he now shares with the visitors who stop there. Rai Siwavej & Farm Stay would not be the same without Wet and his wife and the care and warmheartedness that characterizes everything they do, from collecting a ripe papaya to making sure you are having a comfortable sojourn.
Eventually, we paid a visit to the garden: there were some vegetables I was familiar with and some others that were completely new to me. I picked and washed a carrot like I used to do in my grandparents garden while Wet went on, “ We don’t need to buy fresh products, we have them all here…the guests also like our vegetables, they gather them and cook…try the strawberries, they are very good!”
Later, I did the tour again, on my own, observing the details and imagine living there. Close to the garden, there’s an open hut: four poles, a bamboo floor and a roof, perfect for morning meditation and yoga practice. From here a path leads down and to the river bank, where the air is cooler and the water is transparent. In this spot enormous bamboo plants rise and among them a hammock hangs, the ideal reading and resting location. Furthermore, I noticed that the silent, which was interrupted only by the sound of roosters and birds, would allow me to focus on my work.
At that point I made a sort of commitment: wherever I decide to stop for more than a couple of months I want to recreate this situation whether it’s on the mountains or by the beach, certainly it will not be in the middle of a big city.
I would like to build a wooden shelter on a fertile land close to water, it can be a river or the sea. There should be animals and nice people. And even if it won’t be for ever, it’ll still be a dream coming true.