Living Like a Local in Surat Thani
On the morning of day one of the trip, guests are picked up at Chaiya train station by a saleng - a motorbike with a sidecar. Enjoy this unique journey to the homestay villa and enjoy relaxing in its surroundings after a long trip.
Around 2 pm, we’ll head out to explore the local area with a knowledgeable, helpful guide.
Back in the saleng, we’ll take the scenic route through the stunning natural beauty of Surat Thani countryside, with picture-perfect views of palm tree plantations and idyllic rice fields.
We’re headed back to the train station to discover a little-known secret. A train carriage behind the station has been turned into an expansive library for locals, set in a serene setting flanked by giant trees - the spot is popular with budding photographers who are in the know.
Next, head to Wat Phra Borommathat Chaiya Temple, a must-visit temple that reflects the arts of the Srivijaya period. The temple’s most famous features are its ornate central stupa and a cloister lined with sitting Buddhas.
We’ll also stop in at the Chaiya National Museum to view some ancient excavated artefacts that help build a picture of the life of Thai people through the ages.
Our final stop for the first day is at the Viya crab factory. Viya crab products are some of the nation's favourites, which is a lot in a crab-crazy nation. Learn about their processes, try some products, and get insight into the company’s sustainable crab conservation efforts.
Head back to the homestay at around 5 pm and relax before a busy second day in Surat Thani.
No insight into Thai life would be complete without a trip to a local morning market. Head there and let the guide steer you through the fresh produce and seafood to see the importance of these markets to local people as they get their fresh ingredients for daily meals. Sample a few delectable treats, including Chaiya’s famous salted eggs.
We’ll then drop into the local fishermen’s village for various activities there. The local villagers here are emblematic of Thai hospitality, extremely welcoming, and happy to talk and share with visitors.
We’ll stop at a private collection of antiques in the village that almost serves as a mini-museum before heading to a masterclass in silk weaving. At the Wan Mah silk weaving centre, we’ll learn all about the intricate process of making the gold-silver braided fabric that this region is famous for.
Next, we’ll head to the dock to observe the fishermen unloading the day’s catch, appreciating how integral fishing is to the area - the community's beating heart. Chill and relax while admiring the deftness of the fishermen while appreciating the picturesque location surrounded by mangrove forests.
Enjoy a snack and a coffee from a local coffee shop before heading back to the villa to prepare for your next destination. Our saleng will take guests back to the station.