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Trekking to Lunch

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June 16, 2014 / Thai / By
Ryan Dickinson

On my first long weekend as a teacher in Thailand a few friends and I went to stay in a secluded retreat in Chiang Rai. This retreat, known as the Bamboo Nest, was located in the mountains above a local village. Owned and operated by Nok and Noi, these accommodations included basic bamboo bungalows and solar-powered electricity.

The best part about our stay at Bamboo Nest, however, was the trek we took. Led by Noi we weaved our way through rice patties, mountainsides, Chinese villages, and vast fields. As we trekked Noi pointed out different plants, always noting which ones were edible and which herbs had medicinal properties. During the first part of our journey Noi also kept cutting down bamboo shoots and stalks of various sizes, not mentioning what they were for. Around lunchtime we stopped at a Chinese village to wash-up and to break for lunch.

With the help of Noi and a local village girl we prepared our lunch of sticky rice, chicken, and tea. Though this meal was simple and basic, it was also incredibly delicious.

It was during the preparation of lunch that we used the bamboo shoots and stalks that Noi had obtained. We made sticky rice by placing the uncooked rice into the hollowed bamboo shoots and cooking it over a blazing fire. Then, we used segments of the bamboo shoots as teacups. The chicken we ate was prepared and cooked on madan wood. Madan wood is a specific type of wood from the Garcina schomburgkiana Pierre plant, a plant that produces a popular Thai fruit. According to Nai, cooking the chicken on madan wood helps it to absorb the distinct and delightful fragrance and flavor of the plant.


Not only was our lunch delicious, but it was all the more memorable because of the fact that we ate it in such an immersive setting. Sitting cross-legged on the deck of a family’s home, we ate our lunch as we watched dogs roam and children play. The entire village had such a communal and peaceful atmosphere: dogs, chicken, roosters, and pig meandered freely seemingly not belonging to any one person. Life in the village just seemed so removed from the rest of the world.  

After lunch, we were visited by an older woman who wanted to sell some of her wares. She had a number of unique and colorful woven items available. My friends and I all bought a woven bracelet and bag. For those interested, she also visits the Bamboo Nest on occasion to give weaving classes.

We eventually continued on our trek. The second part of our journey included a river cruise and a trip to a local hot springs. Yet, for me at least, our village lunch was the most memorable and enlightening part of our experience. 

Bamboo Nest

Country: Thailand

Province/State: Chiang Rai

City: N/A

Address: 41 M 6, Baan JaJaw T. Doi Hang Muang

Zip/Post Code: 57000

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: +66 89 953 2330

Website:www.bamboonest-chiangrai....

Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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