Eco-tourism in Thailand – a straw bale hostel!
After those dreadful 17 days volunteering with an European-Thai family, it was time to finally move things around and actually enjoy myself.I moved to the Clayzy House, an Eco-hostel, made of mud and local materials such as bamboo and straw bale. Eco-tourism in Thailand is rising and the only option for the ones who want to cause low impact on the environment..
Everything here is 100% ecological and respectful of the environment! Not only the whole hostel is made with local materials only, but every little part of this hostel is hand made. The owner, Neng the friendliest guy on earth, will make you feel invited from the first second you set food at the Clayzy house. I was there visiting and I had a feeling that would be my paradise on earth, but I had no idea my time there would actually impact me so deeply.
|Probably the nicest hostel in the world|
It was low season, it was incredibly hot and most guests were now gone. There was just me and a couple of volunteers, James and Devin. They were 2 of the nicest people I’ve met during my stay in Thailand and so was everyone who was about to arrive!
Here the days are laid back, the sea is amazingly warm and calm, basically like a gigantic bathtub.
The daily routine consisted in waking up very early, jump into that amazing water, go for breakfast, go for another swim, relax on the hammock, have lunch, relax some more, take long naps, jump into the water, etc, etc.
|The amazing colors of Koh Lanta|
|Hammock buddies buddies|
The day after I arrived, a new member joined the family, it was a funny Australian called Jonno, who seemed to be always in a great mood and had the most hilarious stories to tell. Well, I think he was the reincarnation of Casanova. The girls seem to go wild over him, which was really amusing for all of us.
Since the volunteers had a lot of work to do, Jonno and I teamed up for 11 days on our almost ritualistic lunches and dinners at a near by restaurant and joined the rest of the crew for the most amazing chilled -out evenings, rocked by the best tunes Devin had for us!
Koh Lanta is still not a commercial island. It’s a little pearl in the Andaman Islands, still to discover by the massive tourism industry and that’s what makes it so special for all of us. It’s still so pure and almost intact.
|The latino crew enjoying another sunset|
I’ve noticed that certain people are attracted by certain places, specially the alternative folks who want to escape the crowds and chaos of the over-developed parts of Thailand. Accidentally, I bumped into 2 Spanish I had previously met in Pai, northern Thailand. They were staying at a hostel near by and although we didn’t know each other very well, it was great to see familiar faces. They were also traveling on a low budget and found interesting ways to save money, such as catching wild coconuts that had fallen on the ground and eat them for breakfast.
|Colllages I made for the Clayzy house|
When I came to Thailand, I came alone, without much money, no maps, no lonely planet and basically no plans of where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do… I just wanted to get totally out of my comfort zone, I wanted to experience the world, I wanted to challenge my fears, go beyond and feel alive every single day!
I came to Thailand with very mixed feelings, the paranoia of a totally collapsed European economy, the lack of perspectives to get a job or any bright future, and falling apart relationship of over 12 years…. I actually wanted to party hard and forget everything I’ve left behind! I was escaping something I was tired of, but what I found in Koh Lanta was that I was actually walking towards something… I was searching for myself and I found me right there, at the Clayzy House!
The Universe never gives us what we want, but what we need. There were no wild parties going on there, my back got seriously injured during my Thai massage course in Chiang Mai, I was basically out of $$ and my workaway volunteering was an absolute disaster… but all these factors lead me to the Clayzy House.
And once I realized and accepted all this… a bunch of new people arrived and we had a massive party!
|Neng and hist pretty daughter, the crew enjoying another sunset and Neg building some walls|
It’s basically ironic that the moment we surrender to the fact we are not getting what we want, but what we need… all things want happen as well!
The immense peace and tranquility of Koh Lanta in the low season and the spirit of friendship and community of the Clayzy House were paradise on earth.
Traveling alone can be extremely liberating for a single female traveler! Sometimes when you travel alone, you realize that loneliness is a state of mind and that actually more people cross your path when you’re totally open to new things.
I’ve met more people during this trip than when I travel with friends or my boyfriend. I’ve lived each moment and each second of the day, fell in love, felt fears and went for it anyway, challenged myself and made friends for life!
|The ever expanding clayzy house with the help of the volunteers|
Koh Lanta seems to have a similar magic effect on everyone! That is a place I know I will return over and over. Around a week later, Oxana the new volunteer with the European-Thai family who owned the B&B was not very happy, left the family as well and joined us!
Although Koh Lanta is probably one of the most challenging places in Thailand for a vegan, it is possible to find where to eat. On the next post, we will explore the food in Lanta and the difficulties for a vegan!
THE CLAYZY HOUSE is the cheapest and most ecological hostel in south Thailand, so if you’re heading there!
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