22 June 2012

Warm Jungle Nights

I’m staying at a place up in the mountains 1.5 hours outside of Chiang Mai called Spicy Villa Ecolodge Bungalows that were completely built by volunteers and made from materials in the area.  There are four “villas” where some are private bungalows, others are “dorms” and by dorm, I mean that there are three tiny “rooms” with their own bed inside them all under one roof but perfect enough for some privacy.

This place  is the epitome of the northern mountains of Thailand.  It’s nestled up on a mountain overlooking a valley of rice paddies and it’s surrounded by jungle.  Every night Samart (the owner/creator) and some of his staff or any volunteers help make a family style dinner for everyone and let me tell you, the food is delicious!!!  All guests are called for dinner just before sunset and everyone sits around on the floor chatting away while the backdrop of the valley and sunset are in the background.  The warm nights are stunning and bring a strange combination of so many different elements.  Tonight, there was a crescent moon on one side of the valley and heat lightning over the mountain ridge across from us lighting up the sky for hours, along with fireflies flitting about us, the usual jungle bug and lizard sounds, and where the air here smells like lilacs, earth, almonds, and sweet grass.  Did I mention it's something close to paradise?

Right now, I’m laying in bed listening to all of the insect sounds of the night in my bamboo bungalow  with a leaf roof… It feels like I'm basically sleeping outside but with a roof over my head… listening to a little lizard just drop from the ceiling to floor right next to my head… ick.  Hmm, checking... yep, still paradise.

Chillin' and watching the sunset

Communal cooking using seasonal, local ingredients

Eco-Villa = Recycling program

Just some of the tasty delights!

Dinner time!

Outside my bungalow (aka, dorms)

Meet Samart.  He kicks ass in just about everything.  Full of life!
Cool Thai guy with an Aussie accent when he speaks English.

Good morning view from my bed!  Best view to wake up to...


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