When you think of Bangkok, you mostly have images of congested streets, crowded night markets, and an exciting nightlife scene. You don’t really associate Bangkok with the countryside in any way. So, when I came across a countryside experience while searching the Bangkok region of Airbnb, I was intrigued enough to give it a try.
I’m so glad I took the leap of faith on this unconventional Bangkok excursion because it turned out to be our most FAVORITE activity there!
We met our guide, Supansa, right off of the Wongwian Yai BTS station. We waited briefly for a few other people that would be a part of our group as well, and then we all squeezed into Supansa’s SUV to head to the countryside. The car ride was only about an hour before we arrived to a lush, peaceful environment that was the complete opposite of Bangkok. Sub Nai Din Farm, the 5.5 acres of farmland owned by Supansa’s family, was absolutely gorgeous!
Supansa first took us into the guest house and gave us all traditional Thai farmer clothes to change into. We then enjoyed some delicious juice from freshly opened coconuts and cut fruit.
Each of us got our own bike and we rode a short distance to the main house, where we met Supansa’s family. After a brief introduction, we were about to pick some butterfly pea flowers to make a popular Thai drink when a full downpour came from nowhere and took us (at least me) by surprise. Well, to be fair, it was monsoon season at the time (September), so I suppose that was normal. We decided to wait it out by just chatting a bit to get to know one another.
When the rain finally subsided, we partnered up and went scouting for our butterfly pea flowers!
From the abundance of butterfly pea flowers that we collected, we made a refreshing ice tea that was perfect to cool off from the heat. The color of the flower was a natural dye for the drink to become this really pretty purple.
After a refreshing start to our day at the farm, we were ready to get to work! First off, we buddied up and went on these rickety boats to water the coconut trees. I had no idea how physically taxing it would be to do that. Bridgette and I took turns where one of us would row the boat while the other would use this long wooden scoop to water the trees. After about 30 minutes, we were wet, tired, and had a ton of bug bites all over our legs. Bridgette did much better than I did. When I was the one watering the trees, I had such bad aim that I kept pouring the water on Bridgette instead, lol.
Throughout the process, we learned what it took to grow coconuts. Let’s just say that we will cherish deeply each coconut that we drink/eat going forward. It is HARD WORK to get those coconuts into the consumer’s hand!
We then took a long bike ride and were treated to remarkably lush views of rice fields and beautiful landscapes all around us.
We stopped at a neighboring farm to help a group of women who were busy peeling away the shell of the coconuts. It was another one of those things that was so much harder than it looks. The work conditions were less than ideal by our spoiled Western standards too. We spent about an hour helping them and I found it really hard to focus with the swarm of flies around me constantly buzzing in my ears. Bridgette, on the other hand, was laser focused and did a fantastic job. I was so impressed with her adaptability to do such hard, strenuous work in the heat! We left with blistered hands, but a deep, deep appreciation for these farm workers that work 14-16 hour days to do this job.
We also spent some time in the rice fields to learn about the process of growing rice. I felt really guilty for not appreciating the source of my food enough. There is so much work to be done before the food can actually get to the grocery stores and restaurants for us to buy to put in our bodies, and we really need to appreciate how incredibly hard farmers work from sunrise to sunset!
We finally went back to the guest house near sunset, and were sooooooo famished and exhausted. We were delighted to find a delicious home cooked meal from Supansa’s mom waiting for us. Despite most of the dishes being spicy, we finished everything, and I honestly appreciated every single little rice that I put in my mouth.
Even though the whole experience was physically draining and challenging, it was our favorite day from the trip because we got to immerse into the Thai farm life and culture, and that’s ultimately what we love the most about traveling to new places. This is truly the essence of what worldschooling is about!