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October 2006
Local Homestay
A homestay in a Thai house

This is our bedroom in the local homestay – fortunately we were the only visitors so had the massive room to ourselves.

Satellite everywhere !
Most houses seem to have power and most have satellite TV, no matter how remote.

In towns, everyone is a shopkeeper or restauranteur - they are all family run micro-businesses. There is no big businesses of note. No retail chains. No western businesses of any note (no Mcdonalds, KFCs, Starbucks etc. Towns are often just a single long mainstreet with dozens sometimes hundreds of small shops, all the same width, and where the family lives as well. Typically in the evening you'd see the shopkeepers watching TV while still keeping the shop sort of open.
Beyond the towns everyone lives in basic wood or mud houses.
This is a typical Thai village where the people live in houses on stilts. The house is divided into several rooms. The eaves are used for storing food and household utensils and underneath are kept tools, cattle and poultry. In some places a smaller house is used for cooking or other domestic activities. All have fishponds, TV, power. Sleep on the floor on a hard mat.

A Hmung house

This is a Hmong house. The houses are really very primitive, far more so than they appear on the outside.  These really are as basic as you can imagine, mud or crude wood shacks with mud floors. No heating.
In these homes the whole family lives in the one room in the house and sometimes there is a separate room for the kitchen. Everything is in the one room - the whole family and even the motorbikes.

The kitchen of a Hmung house

Text and Photos Copyright Nova Fisher 2006