Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

SimonD

Village Life Experiences

116 posts in this topic

A recent post which unearthed an old thread on the subject of village life stirred many memories, and provided valuable insights for aspiring village dwellers like myself, so I thought it was maybe about time for part two?

I am seriously thinking about moving to my GF's village when I come back to Thailand in 2012 as Pattaya and other touristy hot-spots don't satisfy either of us anymore. If I wanted to bump into farangs every day I could stay in London. If I wanted to be woken up at 6am by noisy motorbikes, loudspeaker trucks and heavy plant I could stay in Pattaya. Although a 'townie' by origin, I hanker for a modest house, some chickens, ducks, cats etc.. and my own space. In all, just a simple life without the stress of town living. Is it possible?

Your thoughts on todays Village Life...?

Simon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are villages, and there are villages.

Depends what you classify as a village, I have seen some that are nothing more than a hamlet, 7,8 or 10 houses max, a farang mansion slapped in the middle, the next most expensive house in the hamlet was constructed for 50k baht.

The place looked like some sort of village of the dammed, could swear I heard dueling banjos, civilisation(?) was at least 30 minutes away by car.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am seriously thinking about moving to my GF's village when I come back to Thailand in 2012
Simon stay away from Thai family or you'll play second fiddle.
I hanker for a modest house, some chickens, ducks, cats etc.. and my own space
If it's unavoidable that the GF's family are located nearby then put doorbells on the gates. Then spend a couple of months teaching them how to press it before entering. Otherwise 'my own space' won't be yours. To train my wifes family I had to put a lock on the gate when they didn't ring the bell, and make them use a gate 30m away. They didn't like doing that as it meant walking. Unfortunately it took a few months for them to get the hang of announcing themselves before entering 'my space'. Some still forget now and again, so on goes the lock. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I wanted to be woken up at 6am by noisy motorbikes, loudspeaker trucks and heavy plant I could stay in Pattaya.

Yep, move to a village and get woken up at 6am by chickens, dogs, etans, bikes with no baffles and the poo yai on the tannoy system instead.

Plus be prepared to get no sleep at all for three days every time someone gets married, dies or have a young lad going to the Wat for a 15 day skive.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends on the manners of the people in the village. Our people are great and respect my privacy. TThe only thing that gets to me is when someone gets married and the loud music goes on but it is their culture and doesn't happen often. Also a lot depends on the construction of your house, mine is Western standard which means I cannot hear as much noise as I would in a Thai style one. Other than that it is great, the weather is great and the air is so clean, I love it. Like I say though, it's all about respect, my village is small and we are all quite close, I have been to other villages that I wouldn't stay in. Do what I did and go and stay with them for a few visits and get a feel for the place, you will soon see if there are a bunch of freeloading drunks, but don't take a wedding or funreal to judge as everyone gets drunk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am seriously thinking about moving to my GF's village when I come back to Thailand in 2012
Simon stay away from Thai family or you'll play second fiddle.
I hanker for a modest house, some chickens, ducks, cats etc.. and my own space
If it's unavoidable that the GF's family are located nearby then put doorbells on the gates. Then spend a couple of months teaching them how to press it before entering. Otherwise 'my own space' won't be yours. To train my wifes family I had to put a lock on the gate when they didn't ring the bell, and make them use a gate 30m away. They didn't like doing that as it meant walking. Unfortunately it took a few months for them to get the hang of announcing themselves before entering 'my space'. Some still forget now and again, so on goes the lock. Good luck.

Great idea that!!! Being locked up your own space LOL.

To the OP..... The number one rule is to try to meet the locals at least half way. Try to build a modest house. One that will blend in at least aq litte. My house is Thai style. Concrete ground floor and wooden first floor. It is comfortable and in keeping with the surrounding area.

It is possible to keep people at arms length without being rude. Learn some of the language. Take some walks about the village. I like to go to the village shop for a couple of beers a few times a week. Show them that you are human.

If you wish to live in the village and be happy then the only way is to become a small part of that village.

I have been living in a village for over 13 years. If someone is at home then the gate and the front door is open. Never had to lock the locals out. Would not want to.

Makes me laugh that some people feel the need to use the word "train" when talking about people. But then again some people make a habit of showing themselves to be above others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Simon,

I followed and commented on your recent post about loudspeaker towers in villages. Your subsequent comments made more sense and explained your reasoning for considering village life.

These are my own thoughts on the subject:

Q) Why am I living in an Isaan village?

A) I first came to Thailand in 2005, then aged 61, divorced, redundant with little money, no property or assets in the UK. In other words, just about down and out. My only lifeline hung on a single remaining endowment policy which had been hammered into the ground and would only return about one-and-a-half million baht on maturity in 2009. I managed to get a job in Pattaya with a holiday company – legally with a work permit – lived in a small rented apartment in Jomtien, earned a bit of money, played the field with bar girls, moved to the company’s Phuket office during 2006, played the field with Phuket bar girls then went off to work in Bali for a few months.

In 2007 I moved to Koh Samui, worked for the original company and one night met a girl from Isaan who had just that day arrived on the island intending to work in a bar for the first time. I went to that bar every night for a week or so and kept her boss happy by spending a bit of money over the bar whilst enjoying the company of his latest recruit, so she never left the premises with any other falang. She never drank alcohol or smoked. (Still doesn’t to this day, apart from maybe two bottles of Spy a year!) A while later she left the bar and moved into my rented house. At the end of 2008 we went to Phuket where I worked until the end of that year, when the job was no longer available. I hadn’t saved any money because the income just covered rent and living expenses

Our relationship continued to be excellent; no expectancy or demands for money because she knew I hadn’t got any! After a lot of thought and discussion I decided the best route would be to move to her village, wait for my one-and-a-half million baht insurance maturity, then spend some of it converting her parent’s house on stilts to incorporate a new modern house underneath. The remaining cash would need to stay in the Thai bank in order to qualify for ‘Extension Based on Marriage’. We lived up in the old house with her mama, papa and her two young sons for a year until the new house below had been completed. By that time I qualified to receive the British state pension, enhanced with extra sums from SERPS and Graduated Benefits (a left over benefit system entitled to from previous years)

We married legally in Bangkok in 2009 so my pension is topped up with Wife Benefit (which can no longer be applied for and ends in 2020!) The grand total monthly income is a very modest amount that many farangs would gasp at and cry, ‘How on Earth do you manage to survive?” Which leads to the next question.

Q) How do I survive in the village?

A) I’ve always preferred country life. I’m fortunate to have a Thai family who are totally unobtrusive – even the year spent living together in the old upstairs house wasn’t a problem – believe it or not. Now, Mama and Papa live upstairs, myself, the wife and two boys live in the modern air-conditioned house below. The parents or any other visiting family members never encroach on our space, in fact even when invited to join us they prefer to visit ma and pa via the outside back steps leading upstairs, or once in a while sit in the shade under our front porch. It’s all very civilized and workable. The total cost to convert the house was no more than I would have spent on rent in places like Pattaya or the islands in just three years. Yes, If I could afford to live down south I would quite enjoy somewhere like Samui with nice beaches, but can live without the sea.

Our lifestyle is simple. Now approaching my 68th birthday I’m quite content with a routine of early morning walks along the quiet soi, (we’re on the edge of the village) or down by the river that runs at the back of the house and through nearby temples with beautiful grounds. A potter in the garden, a few hours online, or watching my favorite movies and British TV shows, or writing fiction and screenplays (I did have a novel published last year as an eBook and completed a screenplay, neither likely to make money or get noticed, so please don’t ask!) Sometimes a motorbike ride to the small town a couple of kilometers away, visiting the market and 7-eleven, a monthly trip by public transport to the city for supermarket shopping. And of course a few beers or something later in the day at home. Because the villagers know I’m not a rich falang, the men never scrounge beer or whiskey from me, although occasionally I ask neighbors to share a beer with me. I’m the only falang in the village; I do miss good English conversation sometimes, but wouldn’t want the life spent around guzzling in bars in town too often even if it was affordable.

My wife helps out on the family farm and runs the domestic things at home. Hopefully we’ll have a little money saved to take the kids for a holiday to the coast next year. It’ll be a bus trip to keep the cost down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have four years of posts on my blog if you looking for something to read. In the end you have to find your own way. No need to laugh, as some do, at those who do things differently. There are no hard a fast rules about living in a village. Besides your wants and needs will not remain static and you will be aiming at a moving target even after you have settled in.

I have a wonderful village life of beauty, comfort and simplicity, without the need to get drunk with the locals or live as they do. Then again I have lived here longer than most and have learned where I fit in the scheme of things. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really cannot understand all the posts about getting woken up by noise in the mornings?

If you live in the village you tend to be asleep around 9/10pm so it absolutely normal to awake at 6am like the locals........the best time of the day in my opinion,great if you are into jogging!

Rule number one there is no night life in the village,get used to that and you will be ok,good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6am may be normal for some but not me. I jog in the evening around sunset and we watch movies together until late. I prefer not to get up until 8/9am but built a house that is quiet and far from the noise.

I don’t know about that no nightlife rule. We recently had six funerals in as many weeks and they are all night affairs, followed by Loy Krathong and four days of winter carnival in the school grounds. Again I am far enough away as to not be bothered what others do. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s interesting to note the different reactions and comments in threads such as this. Reading between the lines it appears that the majority of farangs living in Thai villages are blessed with monetary good fortune which allows them choose a particular lifestyle. And why not indeed? On the other hand I feel that many resident farangs rarely put a point of view highlighting the other side of the coin – like mine; ie: – living on a tight budget. I remember reading a post a couple of years ago from one such chap who even published his annual budget on the forum – split right down into precise baht amounts on a daily basis for every item of expenditure! Okay over the top maybe, but certainly confirms many falangs do indeed live very simple lives happily. Then, conversely to opinions expressed here about not wanting to meet or mix with other expats, one often sees announcements from guys seeking drinking companions who speak English to break their boredom. I wonder how many chaps in the not-so-well- off group would jump at the chance to meet and chat with similar without feeling embarrassed over worrying about getting into expensive rounds in a bar? Maybe there’s room for thought for a ‘Only Surviving But Happy’ club who could organize cheap and cheerful meet-ups, members contributing a little bit to a kitty? Problem would almost certainly be travelling to and from the appointed places though! Mm – only a thought that’s very unlikely to appeal – or work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really cannot understand all the posts about getting woken up by noise in the mornings?

If you live in the village you tend to be asleep around 9/10pm so it absolutely normal to awake at 6am like the locals........the best time of the day in my opinion,great if you are into jogging!

Rule number one there is no night life in the village,get used to that and you will be ok,good luck

Right on!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Woke up this morning and so many replies! Thank you all very much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.:jap:

I've been to her village three times but have not stayed overnight yet. Each time I have been the centre of attention and been made to feel very welcome. Her close family number six adults and six children, plus two surviving grandparents and umpteen aunts, uncles, cousins etc.. All in all, about 30 people. I love the way they all seem to 'mushroom' out of the ground shortly after we arrive! Where on Earth do they all come from?:blink: On the last occasion they slaughtered a pig (I wished they hadn't, poor piggy) and we had a feast late into the evening (I didn't drink too much as I was driving back to Surin city afterwards). In addition, her close family have stayed with us in Pattaya on two occasions. Both times they brought sacks of food (especially shallots, garlic and chillies) by way of gifts, way more than we could ever use. Her oldest son also came to stay with us during the school holidays, wherever we were living.

To give you an idea of how well I get on with them (despite the language barrier but I do make an effort to speak a bit of Thai which they appreciate) my GF told me her younger brother wanted to go to a falang bar for a beer with me, so we went to my local on Khao Talo in east Pattaya. Sat down and the girl brought our drinks and one bin, which she put in front of me, assuming the drinks would all be on my tab. No problem with that. As she turned to go back inside, younger brother (can't remember his name right now) spoke to her in Thai and she came back with another bin and put it in front of him. He leant over and took the slips from my bin and put them in his. We ended up having way more beers than we should have and split the bin 50-50. I was impressed. We both had a great evening until hauled back by our respective 'ball and chains'!

Thanks to the replies on my other post about broadcast towers, I have had confirmed my suspicions about her fathers status. He is the Poo Yai, so I don't think there will be too much trouble over announcements there! I spoke to my lady yesterday by phone and she said he hardly ever used it anyway, mostly only at election times and for important announcements. She joked he could use the tannoy to ask everyone to be quiet as the falang is getting grumpy!:lol:

I've walked around the village a bit (its right on the bend of the 2375 road south from highway 24 at the point where the road bends back east), about 20km sw of Prasat and only a few km from the Buriram border. Looking on Google maps and Earth it is about two kilometres long by 0.75 km wide and her papa's house is slap bang in the middle.The Wikipedia entry gives the population of the district (also called Kohk Klang) as 6,500 spread over 12 villages for an average of 550 per village, so I guess Kohk Klang, being the 'hub' has a population of maybe 1-1,200 people but that's just a guess. The place certainly hasn't seemed very busy each time I've visited.

I will be looking to build a modest house on a piece of land on the southern fringe which her father gave to my GF about ten years ago and where there is currently a rickety old shack on stilts that he built for her. The plot is about 400 metres from the family house down a concrete soi and has woods in front, paddy behind and a minor river and more paddy to the right. Only one other house is visible from the property. When I first visited I was astonished at how crude it was it but it obviously meant a lot to her so I bit my lip. "Would you like to see inside the house my papa built for me?" she asked, almost bursting with pride. I took one look at the stairs leading up to the balcony/porch and tactfully declined as it honestly didn't look like it would take my weight. She has told me that this is where our house would be buit and it does seem ideal. Not too close to family, land looks well drained and has very scenic views in three directions. She has also told me that the village is not prone to flooding and has good run-off in all directions. The 'shack' is up on stilts simply to double as a storage area and animal pen below. No other housesn I've seen in the village are on stilts.

I want to replicate the Thai style bungalow we had in Pattaya - two bedrooms (one fan, one a/c, one for us and the other for her two boys who would live with us), two bathrooms, living room, dining room/kitchen, utility room, front porch/veranda (fo entertaining), side garden for her 'green fingers' and a rear garden for growing basic crops for our own consumption (tomatoes etc) and keeping some chickens and ducks. I've got some photos of the land. I'll try to dig them out. I'm guessing that I could get this sort of place for about 1 - 1.5 million baht, would that be about right? The land is hers anyway.

I know exactly what you mean about people wandering in and out all the time without knocking when we were living in Pattay and, to a lesser extent, in Chiang Mai. I would put a low wall around the property but that would be mostly to keep the animals inside, not people out. I think a few quiet words with any visitors would be enough. Like I say, the family are very deferential towards me, unlike her friends in Pattaya whom I had to throw out on a regular basis. Two fridges would also be in order: one for Thai food and basics (unlocked) and one for falang food (triple padlocked, alarmed and wired to explosives).:whistling:

I intend to get involved in village life as much as I can. Her father is showing the signs of hard labour in the fields and he and I get on very well. I would like to do my bit help the family. Some years back I bought him a powered rice-harvester (looks like the outboard motor from a longtail boat: hand-pull petrol engine on a long shaft driving a vicious looking two blade cutter). It cost me 5,000 baht and he uses it every day. The GF said he can now cut the equivalent amount of rice that used to take him a day by hand in under two hours and doesn't have to bend down all the time. It's the best thing anyone had ever bought him she said. Wandering around the village, a few beers at the local shop (which I will finance and my missus will run) would do me nicely. I also sponsor the local boys football team. I bought their last kit and boots. They had to change their strip to the colours of my English football team but as it includes a 'cockerel' crest (no prizes for guessing who I support) they were more than happy as cock-fighting is a popular village past-time is it not? I don't like the idea of it myself but 'when in Rome...'

My finances are in reasonable shape. When I'm ready to take the plunge in spring/early summer 2012 I will have about 10-12 million baht at my disposal, plus a monthly income of about 25-30,000 baht/month.

I'll stop yakking now, gone on way too long. Thank you all once again!

Kop kun maa krab!

Simon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6am may be normal for some but not me. I jog in the evening around sunset and we watch movies together until late. I prefer not to get up until 8/9am but built a house that is quiet and far from the noise.

I don't know about that no nightlife rule. We recently had six funerals in as many weeks and they are all night affairs, followed by Loy Krathong and four days of winter carnival in the school grounds. Again I am far enough away as to not be bothered what others do. ;)

With all respect i wouldn't call the Thai funerals nightlife,i understand what you are saying and they can go on all night if you are into sitting with the Thai guys drinking lao and doing your occasional karaoke spot smile.gif

By nightlife i mean bars and entertainment western style,i must admit though i have got involved in the party's under influence from time to time the best thing about living in a village is without doubt the unpredictability you will come across day in day out....you just know that something is going to happen sooner or later and it is genuine fun with the locals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! Woke up this morning and so many replies! Thank you all very much for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences.:jap:

I've been to her village three times but have not stayed overnight yet. Each time I have been the centre of attention and been made to feel very welcome. Her close family number six adults and six children, plus two surviving grandparents and umpteen aunts, uncles, cousins etc.. All in all, about 30 people. I love the way they all seem to 'mushroom' out of the ground shortly after we arrive! Where on Earth do they all come from?:blink: On the last occasion they slaughtered a pig (I wished they hadn't, poor piggy) and we had a feast late into the evening (I didn't drink too much as I was driving back to Surin city afterwards). In addition, her close family have stayed with us in Pattaya on two occasions. Both times they brought sacks of food (especially shallots, garlic and chillies) by way of gifts, way more than we could ever use. Her oldest son also came to stay with us during the school holidays, wherever we were living.

To give you an idea of how well I get on with them (despite the language barrier but I do make an effort to speak a bit of Thai which they appreciate) my GF told me her younger brother wanted to go to a falang bar for a beer with me, so we went to my local on Khao Talo in east Pattaya. Sat down and the girl brought our drinks and one bin, which she put in front of me, assuming the drinks would all be on my tab. No problem with that. As she turned to go back inside, younger brother (can't remember his name right now) spoke to her in Thai and she came back with another bin and put it in front of him. He leant over and took the slips from my bin and put them in his. We ended up having way more beers than we should have and split the bin 50-50. I was impressed. We both had a great evening until hauled back by our respective 'ball and chains'!

Thanks to the replies on my other post about broadcast towers, I have had confirmed my suspicions about her fathers status. He is the Poo Yai, so I don't think there will be too much trouble over announcements there! I spoke to my lady yesterday by phone and she said he hardly ever used it anyway, mostly only at election times and for important announcements. She joked he could use the tannoy to ask everyone to be quiet as the falang is getting grumpy!:lol:

I've walked around the village a bit (its right on the bend of the 2375 road south from highway 24 at the point where the road bends back east), about 20km sw of Prasat and only a few km from the Buriram border. Looking on Google maps and Earth it is about two kilometres long by 0.75 km wide and her papa's house is slap bang in the middle.The Wikipedia entry gives the population of the district (also called Kohk Klang) as 6,500 spread over 12 villages for an average of 550 per village, so I guess Kohk Klang, being the 'hub' has a population of maybe 1-1,200 people but that's just a guess. The place certainly hasn't seemed very busy each time I've visited.

I will be looking to build a modest house on a piece of land on the southern fringe which her father gave to my GF about ten years ago and where there is currently a rickety old shack on stilts that he built for her. The plot is about 400 metres from the family house down a concrete soi and has woods in front, paddy behind and a minor river and more paddy to the right. Only one other house is visible from the property. When I first visited I was astonished at how crude it was it but it obviously meant a lot to her so I bit my lip. "Would you like to see inside the house my papa built for me?" she asked, almost bursting with pride. I took one look at the stairs leading up to the balcony/porch and tactfully declined as it honestly didn't look like it would take my weight. She has told me that this is where our house would be buit and it does seem ideal. Not too close to family, land looks well drained and has very scenic views in three directions. She has also told me that the village is not prone to flooding and has good run-off in all directions. The 'shack' is up on stilts simply to double as a storage area and animal pen below. No other housesn I've seen in the village are on stilts.

I want to replicate the Thai style bungalow we had in Pattaya - two bedrooms (one fan, one a/c, one for us and the other for her two boys who would live with us), two bathrooms, living room, dining room/kitchen, utility room, front porch/veranda (fo entertaining), side garden for her 'green fingers' and a rear garden for growing basic crops for our own consumption (tomatoes etc) and keeping some chickens and ducks. I've got some photos of the land. I'll try to dig them out. I'm guessing that I could get this sort of place for about 1 - 1.5 million baht, would that be about right? The land is hers anyway.

I know exactly what you mean about people wandering in and out all the time without knocking when we were living in Pattay and, to a lesser extent, in Chiang Mai. I would put a low wall around the property but that would be mostly to keep the animals inside, not people out. I think a few quiet words with any visitors would be enough. Like I say, the family are very deferential towards me, unlike her friends in Pattaya whom I had to throw out on a regular basis. Two fridges would also be in order: one for Thai food and basics (unlocked) and one for falang food (triple padlocked, alarmed and wired to explosives).:whistling:

I intend to get involved in village life as much as I can. Her father is showing the signs of hard labour in the fields and he and I get on very well. I would like to do my bit help the family. Some years back I bought him a powered rice-harvester (looks like the outboard motor from a longtail boat: hand-pull petrol engine on a long shaft driving a vicious looking two blade cutter). It cost me 5,000 baht and he uses it every day. The GF said he can now cut the equivalent amount of rice that used to take him a day by hand in under two hours and doesn't have to bend down all the time. It's the best thing anyone had ever bought him she said. Wandering around the village, a few beers at the local shop (which I will finance and my missus will run) would do me nicely. I also sponsor the local boys football team. I bought their last kit and boots. They had to change their strip to the colours of my English football team but as it includes a 'cockerel' crest (no prizes for guessing who I support) they were more than happy as cock-fighting is a popular village past-time is it not? I don't like the idea of it myself but 'when in Rome...'

My finances are in reasonable shape. When I'm ready to take the plunge in spring/early summer 2012 I will have about 10-12 million baht at my disposal, plus a monthly income of about 25-30,000 baht/month.

I'll stop yakking now, gone on way too long. Thank you all once again!

Kop kun maa krab!

Simon.

Simon it is a pleasure to read your intentions and they are well planned and with a good head on your shoulders and a good lady i think you will be fine and settle in really well,fair play to you for trying to integrate so well.

If any advice is needed,it would be to never leave yourself short and always keep a nest egg back that only you know about and have access to.....just in case it goes tits up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

BANGKOK 28 June 2017 12:21
Sponsors