Thailand: to Mr “Air’s” Homestay near Krabi

We had a restful morning… we didn’t have to have our bags out until 11.00.

After another delicious, freshly prepared Thai meal for lunch we were ready to leave for a two and a half hour private mini-bus transfer to a one night’s home stay at Mr “Air’s” home near the town of Krabi.  This promised to be an interesting experience.

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We’d been told that all the boys would be in one room together and the ladies would share another room.  And another experience to look forward to…the shower was just a large container of water and a dipper.  Perhaps, we thought, one night would be enough?

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We four boys were ready for anything… well almost for anything!  It turned out that we had two rooms to share so we weren’t as crowded as we could have been.

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We only had time to throw our bags in the door before we headed off on a guided walk around Mr “Air’s” spread out village.  It’s a Muslim village.

I knew not to go too close to these red ants… they pack quite a bite… so I used the tel lens on the camera to make them look much closer to me than they actually were.  Discretion is by far the better part of valour.

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These pods belong to a tamarind tree, (Tamarindus indica).  The tree grows naturally in tropical Africa and is a monotypic taxon, meaning the genus Tamarindus has only one species.  The pods contain an edible pulp that is both bitter and sweet at the same time. This pulp is used widely in cuisines around the world.  It is also used in traditional medicine and as a metal polish.

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These fruits belong to the cashew nut tree (Anacardium occidentale).  Once the green fleshy outer coat is removed the familiar shape of a cashew nut is more obvious.  The elongated stem above the fruit can be processed into a sweet, astringent fruit drink or distilled to make a liquor.  The green coating of the seed can be processed to yield substances that are used as lubricants and in paints.

The cashew tree originally comes from Brazil but the trees are now widely grown in Vietnam, Nigeria and India as a valuable crop.

The tree is very attractive. It produces beautiful rose-coloured scented flowers in panicles, followed by enticing red fruits before the nuts are produced. Cashew nuts are highly nutritious, containing high amounts of vitamin C and are excellent sources of calcium, iron and vitamin B1.

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These fruits are called Rose Apples (Syzygium jambos).  It grows naturally in Southeast Asia and is cultivated widely elsewhere as an ornamental and fruit tree.  Interestingly, it belongs to the Eucalyptus family although it is often confused with being a member of the guava family.  The fruit is rich in vitamin C, has a texture similar to a nashi pear and is often eaten with spiced sugar.

The wood is dense and is used in the production of charcoal.  The tannins that can be extracted from the tree are showing interesting antimicrobial properties.  In some places it is used in traditional medicine.

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We met this lady on our walk.  She was out collecting herbs for the evening meal.

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Beautyberry (Callicarpa sp.) has eye-catching purple berries.  A wide-spread genus being found in east and south-east Asia, Australia, Madagascar, south-west North America and South America.  Tropical species are evergreen, whereas temperate species are deciduous.  The berries last on the plant well and are an important survival food for birds and some animals when more attractive alternatives are no longer available.  The highly astringent berries can be made into wine and jam.

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Adenium obesum, variously called Mock Azalea, Kudu, Impala Lily and Desert Rose, depending on where it comes from, is native to the Sahel regions, south of the Sahara (from Mauritania and Senegal to Sudan), and tropical and sub-tropical eastern and southern Africa and Arabia.  The sap is used as an arrow poison throughout much of Africa and as a fish poison.

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A double-flowered form of Adenium obesum.

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A wild Ageratum species was growing as a weed on disturbed ground.

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A rubber tree plantation.

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Mr “Air” showed us how the trees were ‘tapped’ for their white latex.

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The delicate white petals of Bauhinia sp.

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At this accommodation everyone asked to help in the preparation of the evening meal. Much of the food we were to prepare was freshly picked from the garden.

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We chopped and Mrs “Air”collected the prepared pieces to be cooked.

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There was plenty of fresh food prepared and ready to cook.

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…and more

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…and even more.

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These chillies went into a mortar and pastel.

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The ground up chilli paste was a LITTLE warm!

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And then dinner was cooked… thanks to Alif and Mrs “Air”. It was really good.

More anon

David

All photographs copyright © DY  of  jtdytravels

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