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Relax in a private holiday villa set amongst the paddy fields of the Isaan plateau, in northeast Thailand. This eco-friendly retreat is designed to reflect the Thai architecture of the region, positioned on stilts and with a sloping roof of terracotta. This pleasing design and the fact that the villa was built with sustainable tourism in mind, make this place the perfect antidote to the tourist traps of the south.
Nestling among rice paddies, orchards and tropical woodlands, Green Gecko is a far cry from the busy beaches of Thailand’s rambunctious south. The traditional-style villa boasts extensive grounds (3 hectares, featuring walled gardens, ponds and plantations of sugar cane and cassava), a private infinity pool and chic wooden decking and verandas, while inside there are two king bedrooms (en suite), a large living and dining room (raised on stilts for stunning views of the surrounding countryside), two kitchens, a sunken snug with widescreen LCD TV and DVD library and a “sala” (a sheltered but open-air relaxation area). All this is exclusively yours during your stay!
You might be thinking that this doesn’t sound that different to most other villa rentals, but you’d be wrong. Although the villa is a great place to come for some luxury and seclusion, it’s even better as a launch pad to explore the culture and landscape of the north-east, and the Green Gecko team are only to happy to help you. You can hike, bike or boat around the nearby villages and wetlands, visit the local school, join in the rice harvest or try Muay Thai (boxing), followed by a soothing pool-side massage. Fancy learning to cook Thai food? The villa is fully catered and serviced, and the chef loves to show off his skills. Or why not brush up on your Thai language over a rice whiskey? It’s completely up to you what you make of the Green Gecko experience. Whether you want to enjoy the luxurious villa in complete privacy or to immerse yourself in the local culture and legendary hospitality, Green Gecko is a top choice. And the best part? All proceeds from your time at the villa stay in the village, where they’re used to assist the local primary school and to promote ecological sustainability through tree-planting and conservation measures. Now if only the rest of Thai tourism was like that!
Isaan is a long way from Phuket, so if this is your first trip to Thailand and if you’re expecting beach bars and full moon parties you’ll probably want to stick to the south. The rural north-east of the country sees very few tourists, which means it’s friendlier but also more traditional, so it’s more important to be respectful here (covering up in temples, showing deference to older people, etc.). The Gecko team can fill you in on this sort of thing, and with their help you’ll have the chance to see and do all kinds of things that most tourists have little clue about: rice-harvesting, buffalo-steering, pig-rearing, etc. etc.! All this is optional of course; if you’d rather laze by the pool all day that’s fine too, though most guests tell us that it’s the lovely host family that make the trip that bit special. Either way, Green Gecko is most suited to those who enjoy lush landscapes, tranquil surroundings and getting off the infamous “beaten track”. If you’re an adrenalin junkie or a party animal, though, you best look elsewhere!
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