"We contacted the farm via their web page and communication with the farm owner Khun Ae was reliable, detailed and effective. Khun Ae speaks and writes good English, a major plus for any Non-Thai speaker considering a stay in a fairly remote area on a farm.
He organised a smooth and very friendly transfer with a Thai driver, Khun James. We were welcomed at the airport by an English speaker, who took us to the driver and answered any questions we had before leaving for the farm. The last kilometres of the drive over the winding road are beautiful, leading through lush, hilly and varying landscape. Finally you drive off the main road down a simple road to a small stream. Khun Ae will pick you up here with a four-wheel drive to cross this little stream situated about 100 meters down from the farm. However, you might simply want to walk over the great little bamboo bridge and approach the farm on foot as part of your starting holiday adventure.
The landscape is exceptionally beautiful. The farmhouse is sitting atop gently sloping pastures, whereas the extensive farm area itself stretches out in front and past the farm house on a kind of open hollow, partly landscaped with gravel paths, small lakes and natural pastures towards the rows of green banana trees in the back. The farm area is partly surrounded by hills with jungle-like vegetation, set against the background of higher mountain of the region. In October, everything was lush and green.
After many years in Bangkok and after losing the illusion that a stay in the Thai countryside is a guarantee for quiet, we are on the run from noise (and other) -pollution: music, phone ringing, people shouting, villagers or religious institutions waking up their fellow neighbours before sunrise, a disco bass in a distance since the early evening, noisy pumps, electric devices etc. None of this here. Here, for the first time in years, we heard the gentle falling of rain on leaves.
Khun Ae is in charge of the farm, helped by several people. Work on the farm is demanding and time consuming, yet Khun Ae is very personable, will answer your questions, and he and his colleagues will make you feel very welcome. Time allowing, he will join in activities himself.
You will be greeted by animals co-existing with each other, the smaller ones roaming freely over the farm: ducks, geese, Silkie chickens, fantail pigeons, rabbits. There are two adorable dogs, Izzy and Sam, and an equally charming cat, Oscar. Further away, on the pastures, a herd of cows and buffalos, (at present also a baby buffalo), will be grazing, and there are two pigs. The farm grounds closer to the farm buildings are almost park-like, with small lakes and huts to relax.
Accomodation: The “Sunset Room”, where we stayed is really an apartment that feels as private as a house, as it is attached to one end of the farm but faces away from it, and has its own little garden. It is a double bedroom, nicely furnished, cosy, with windows the length of two sides of the room. It has a modern TV set (which we didn’t use once) and internet access. There is a separate kitchen and very large veranda with sofa and table, from where you have a far view down the gently sloping pasture, where sometimes the cattle and buffalo will be grazing, towards the entrance and village in the surrounding green hills. The garden has both a beautiful loggia, (raised balcony with a view) and a big wooden pavilion.
On the other side of the farm house is a beautiful Thai wooden house on stilts. If you have never seen or even spent time on a Thai wooden house, don’t miss this chance. It has its own kitchen, several balconies / seating areas. Finally, beyond the Thai house, there is one additional single guestroom with an adjacent bathroom, beautifully decorated and with easy access (no staircase).
The price included the meals on the farm. In the sunset room kitchen, you find coffee and tea making facilities, but also a microwave/oven, fridge. (If you need anything beyond the meals served, ask the driver to stop at a supermarket on your way to the farm). We ate delicious Thai meals prepared by Khun Bpoo and Khun Mai who work at the farm, usually in the big eating pavilion in the farm yard with beautiful views onto the farm. Tom is vegetarian, I eat very little meat, and they seemed to effortlessly come up with a variety of vegetarian dishes, (and meaty dishes anyway). Ask for the farm shoot salad: “Yam Phak Goot”. They provide an American breakfast if you wish.
We spent our times walking on the farm area, sitting, watching and feeding animals, taking pictures, reading, napping, walking to the main road and looking at the little village stores, feeding the birds, admiring the beautiful buffalo, flirting with Oscar, Sam and Izzy, talking to Khun Ae.
I had a very good Thai massage from Khun Pani (from the village), the first good one in years since I gave up visiting the cold air-conditioned massage places in Bangkok with their varying quality of service years ago. We had a great walk in the surrounding National park area with Khun Ae and Khun Bpoo, collecting fern shoots and other plants for a delicious dinner, during which Khun Ae told us many details about the area.
As you will see from the detailed information that he will send, there are many more things to do. Next time, we are planning to visit one of the waterfalls and exploring a walking path leading further past the farm.
The return transfer was organised just as smoothly by the farm, and the driver Khun Montri drove us back nicely to the airport."
Map Of Thung Dong Farm
Here’s a map of the farm situated in a valley surrounded by National Park and jungle-clad mountains. Zoom in on the satellite-view to see the farm in more detail; the house and out-buildings, the lakes, the rivers and our own valley that winds its’ way through the jungle.