We decided to take a trip in December to see the Red Lotus Lake outside of Udon Thani. We wanted to stay near the lake and also enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside. Vince found Gecko Villa where you rent the entire villa including transfers to and from the airport or train station, all meals prepared by the chef on site, private infinity swimming pool, free internet, maid and laundry services.
We checked the different travel booking sites for the best price but realized that you will pay the lowest rate by contacting the villa directly through their website or Facebook page. Our price for 2 nights, all inclusive, was 13,600 baht ($414.76 USD). The lowest price we found on the travel websites was 19,000 baht ($579.44 USD). So we saved 5,400 baht ($164.68 USD) by booking directly with the villa. Our total ound-trip flights from Chiang Mai to Udon Thani was 3,960 baht ($120.77 USD). What we saved by booking directly with the villa more than paid for our airfare.
Nature at Gecko Villa
Gecko Villa Property
“There is a white squirrel in the big tree!”, I said to Vince as we were eating breakfast outdoors on the lovely covered wooden deck that surrounds the house. I was lucky to catch a glimpse of it two more times but is was so elusive and quick I was not able to snap a photo. In my research I found it is a sub species of squirrels indigenous to Thailand. It is not albino, but a white variation of the species and it is rare to see.
We were met by a member of Ten's family at Udon Thani airport and arrived at the villa in about an hour. The ride was through flat land with crops of rubber trees lining the road. Once we turned off the main road it was evident we were in a small village which Ten told us is his home village and houses about 500 people. His property is large and surrounded by crops, trees tall and small, bamboo and shrubs. It is peaceful, quiet and completely private.
One day I cooked a rice dish and as I cleaned up I will always remember the open kitchen, the sunshine and birds singing in my private outdoor kitchen! It was magical.
We saw bugs, frogs and we even saw a snake in the tree about 30 feet away. We slept under the mosquito net in the comfortable bed, fell asleep and awoke to birds, crickets, frogs and far away roosters. During the day we lounged outside, listened to birds and watched butterflies.
The pool was cool, but not so much that we couldn't use it. The night sky was spectacular!
But the most amazing part of the villa is the master shower!
Thai breakfast of rice soup?....“Yes we love it!” We put our belongings away and took some quick pictures of the pool and before we knew it our breakfast was ready. It had slices of ginger, green onions, cilantro, pieces of pork in a delicious broth with a raw egg cracked that you stir into the bubbling soup to cook it. This is one I will not forget!
Dinner was a large fish steamed to perfection with peppers, ginger, green onions, garlic and tamarind paste. There was also a bowl of Yellow Chicken Curry and of course a large pot of rice.
After dinner we lounged by the pool holding hands and watched the stars come out. Both of us could not remember the last time we saw the night sky filled with sparkles. Vince saw a shooting star and I said, “I want more of this.” We talked about our future and how lucky we are to be in Thailand stretching our retirement. We listened to the crickets and frogs we drifted off to sleep.
It is the middle of the night and I just had to snap a picture of two frogs in the bathroom. At 6 am when we got up Vince said one of the frogs was sleeping inside the toilet paper roll and crawled out and up the wall!
I made some coffee and a bowl of fresh fruit while we waited to Ten to pick us up to go to the lake.
As we arrived at the lake we saw hundreds of cars! It happens to be a holiday and it was packed. Ten helped us get our ticket for a boat for just the two of us. We waited for our number to be called and climbed in for the most memorable boat ride of our entire lives.
About 10 minutes into the ride the boat captain cut the engine and drifted right into a sea of bright pink lotus. He waited patiently while we leaned over, stood up and took as many pictures as we wanted. I nodded we were ok to go and he drove further to another place to stop. Once more after that we asked him to pull over and he smiled and we were stopped in a magical, surreal place that had me laughing out loud because it was so amazing!
Once at home we were treated with another bowl of rice soup and some fresh mango. We decided to work on the blog and I took some more video of birds, a large preying mantis and the resident Mum and kittens.
Dinner was Isaan Larb and Bamboo Shoot Soup. Both were amazingly delicious. Another relaxing evening as we watched the stars come out. We slept like babies!
These were the Tuk Tuk's in the area
What a wonderful trip!