You can see more independent reviews on www.responsibletravel.com, and www.tripadvisor.com Latest review on Trip Advisor:
“Well worth the remote location”
person found this review helpful
We learned more about Thailand in our first hour with Jimmy than in our first two weeks in Thailand. If you want to see what real Thai life is like and not the tourist circus show, this is what you want to do. This is not the place to go if you expect a pampered hotel and lush accommodations - be prepared to go with the flow, try new foods and to potentially share a bathroom with other guests. That being said, all meals were large, filled with variety and delicious. Jimmy and his family (Lamai, Lizzy & Jolie) are wonderful. He is a kind and generous person who does this not for the money (he is retired) but because he loves it and wants to help his small village. As a Welsh ex-pat who has lived in Thailand for 14 years (as of 2011) he can provide the unique perspective of a westerner who is a member of a small (100ish) Thai village. It is well worth the full 5 days.
In terms of working it into the rest of your itinerary, from Chiang Mai, it is a quick and cheap flight to Udon, where Jimmy can pick you up. After your trip, we also found it to be an easy trip over to Cambodia (Siem Reep) for visiting Angor Wat. Jimmy drove us to the border (for a very reasonable price) where we caught a taxi the rest of the way. With a constant stream of interesting information about Thailand the hours in the car not only passed quickly but were treasured moments. (Be prepared to stop for many tasty coffees along the way!)
"Cultural stay amazing!"
9 Apr 2012 A TripAdvisor Member
The cultural package was exactly what we wanted: the real contact with people, lots of information on everyday life, the historical outputs and of course the excellent Thai cuisine. Our stay far exceeded the expectations we had my husband and me. Profile: young family with an infant of three months. Highlights: - warm welcome from Jimmy, Lamai and her family - constant concern for our comfort and our satisfaction - flexibility in schedule and activities - exclusive with Jimmy (a couple / family or group at a time) - excellent food - quality / price ratio unmatched So much to say about our stay there! We were treated like family members invited to share their home, their table and their history. Jimmy is an almost inexhaustible mine of information while Lamai helped us to communicate with local people. We must not forget the mother of Lamai which often proposed to deal with our little boy to give us a break. She watched over him carefully. The rooms are spacious air-air conditioning and equipped with double beds and the small pool made our happiness on hot days. Moreover, as Jimmy and Lamai have a little girl of 2 years, they have many things for children who have been very useful, as a small crib and stroller. The place is well suited for families. The meals were huge and tasty. We ate like kings: the food was tasty and varied. What we remember most, it is not the historical sites, but rather the many conversations with Jimmy and Lamai about culture and lifestyle of the Thais in their region. We learned more about this country and its people in a week than during the rest of our trip a month! We would definitely go back!
All the comments below have been taken out of the homestay Visitors' Book and can be seen when you visit. You can view a selection of entries written in the book by clicking the thumbnail images below.
We have just returned from 3 weeks in Thailand. We had intended to spend time in Auyttaya and Bangkok with just a few days in Lamai Homestay. Because of the floods, Jimmy picked us up from BKK airport and we went straight to the homestay. What fun we had! We have two children under 12 and they enjoyed every minute. We chose elements of all the different tours and spent 8 days there in total. We are glad now that this is the way things turned out. Bernice Boswell and family, Canterbury, UK.
Last week my partner and our 3 children made the Alternative Safari tour. It was such fun. My children are 15, 9 and 3 and all enjoyed very much. We have been to many national parks and it is true you expect to see monkeys etc. but mostly do not see. The children really loved to be so close to the animals. We have many photographs and ended our day on the waterslides. The homestay was good because we met so many Thai people who welcomed us into their homes. We made visits to Pattaya and Chiang Mai before but this holiday was the best for us all. Lilian Bornerup and family, Copenhagen
Two weeks ago we had booked to visit the homestay. We were nervous about the situation in Bangkok as we had booked a hotel there for first night. We contacted Jimmy and told him we were afraid so he arranged to come to the airport to collect us and take us directly to the homestay. We cancelled Bangkok hotel. We were treated like family. It was wonderful. Very peaceful and every minute was interesting. We went to so many places and met so many people. We took many many films and did not want to leave. Helle Vogel, Holland
We are four students from Denmark. My friend booked this and I was not sure but I think it is fantastic. We have the Village Life Experience and it has been so much fun. We have met village families, school children and Lamai's family. Everybody has been so welcoming. Only problem - we eat too much! The food is fantastic. Eva, Karoline, Janne and Arne, Copenhagen
This has been the best part of our holiday. We have been in Thailand for three weeks. We liked Bangkok and the islands but this experience has been special. We feel we can now talk about Thai life in a different way. We have been part of it for four days and have enjoyed every minute. We will be back to do the Khmer tours next year. Thanks for everything. Anna Henderson, Preston, UK.
I brought my wife and three small children to the homestay for the food-foraging package. It was fascinating. The children loved every minute and learned so much about thai life. The accommodation is spotless and the food wonderful. We have so many photographs to take home giving us amazing memories. Good luck to you and your family for the future. Hans Vogel and family, Netherlands
We were so lucky to book this break at the last minute. From the moment we were picked up until we left, we were all treated like family. Nothing was too much trouble. We made a silk scarf, a small basket, a place mat and we learned how to make beautiful Thai meals from scratch. The house is beautiful and spotless and the meals are excellent. This is wonderful value and I would recommend it to every family. We are two adults and 3 children from Holland. Heidi and Jacob and the children.
WHAT AN AMAZING BREAK FROM CITY LIFE. HERE IT IS SO PEACEFUL AND WE HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT THAILAND AND ITS CULTURE. i WISH WE COULD HAVE STAYED LONGER. THERE IS SO MUCH TO SEE AND DO AND THE FOOD IS FANTASTIC. THE BEST STAY WE HAVE HAD IN SOUTH EAST ASIA. GREGORY AND BET, SINGAPORE
We enjoyed our short stay so much. I wish there had been more time. Jimmy and Lamai made us feel so special and we feel privileged to have been part of their life for the three days. Rene Groningen, Belgium
My mother and I were thrilled with our experience at the Lamai Homestay. We had heard much about the Thai history and read articles etc. but nothing prepared us for the reality of the welcome and the experiences on offer. My mother is 80 now and thinks it was one of the most interesting holidays of her life. Thank you to Jim, Lamai and Lizi for your hospitality. Angelica Peterson, Holland
Lovely place you have here. Thank you a lovely time, super food and many, many informations about the real Thailand. All the best to you all from the 5 from Denmark.
We really loved our room and the great trerrace with its view of the lake. We will recommend it to all our friends to come to see the REAL Thailand and its communities, heritage and culture. Fascinating insight. Rene Kruger
Wow, now athe age of 47 I visited Thailand because my mum is Thai. I came first when I was 16 and visited very often regularly. I got married and had two children and still visited Thailand. I thought I knew everything - there could be nothing new again ... until I came to Jimmy and Lamai's place. It's like exploring a new world! Both Jimmy and Lamai have their share in giving information on a very friendly way. I respect both very much and wherever you go in the neighbourhood, you feel the fingerprint of both of them. They are doing such a good job! I hope we can go again. Freddy, Jozien, Eva and Julie Pesch, Netherlands
A wonderful and different experience. We have enjoyed all the trips and the food was amazing. We hope that others will be inspired by you. Lisa and Lene, Denmark
We enjoyed our stay in the guesthouse very much. We applaud the way in which you set up this kind of tourist visits without disrupting the original Thai way of life, contributing to the needs of this so amazingly friendly village by sharing. Being involved in the work of the rice process was an incredible experience. Also being allowed into the school and talk with the teachers was a good experience. Jimmy and Lamai are really warm and friendly and very knowledgeable about the Thai way of life. Fantastic few days. Sophia, Netherlands.
I just wanted to thank you for all your help in setting up my silk-weaving workshop at the Lamai Homestay. I had the most fantastic experience with Lamai and Jimmy that far exceeded my expectations. They helped to create some great memories that will last my lifetime. Julie Kostecky, UK
We have just spent the most memorable time of our lives in the village homestay. My teenage son caught crabs, scorpions, ants and fish and my 11-year old daughter made herself a silk scarf. In between we talked about life in rural Thailand and learned so very much. We have enough video footage to last us all of next winter! Long may you continue the good work. We hope to be back some day! Wendy and Alec Mathias and family, Croydon, UK.
The most memorable parts of our holiday were: seeing the village and how people live in rural Thailand, seeing silk worms in various stages, trying our hand at silk scarf weaving, seeing the old Khmer temples, eating Lamai's cooking, sitting in the beautiful garden - the alternative feel of it all - we loved everything. We liked our hosts very much. It was one of our most interesting holidays and we will be back! Burt and Helen, Oregon, USA
"We were delighted with our Rural Life Tour. We didn't know what to expect from a homestay - we had heard it could be very basic. It was not at all - Jimmy and Lamai had managed to incorporate western standards into a traditional Thai house and environment. It was perfect. The food was wonderful and both Jimmy and Lamai were friendly and knowledgeable and answered all our endless questions about Thai culture. We hope to go back one day." Xanita Phatan, Singapore
"...a wonderful short stay at your fabulous homestay a week ago. It was one of the highlights of our stay in Thailand and thanks to Jimmy and Lamai we learned and saw a lot. We will recommend the homestay to all our friends." Patricia van Zanten, Holland
" Our family (2 adults and 3 children) had a fantastic time with Jimmy, Lamai and Lizzie. We could not have been better looked after. It was like staying with family. We were pampered the whole time and learned such a lot about Thai life. We would like to return when the children are older. " Bunny and Jean Orwell, California
" I was delighted with the welcome my family received on our arrival at the homestay. The room was excellent, as was the food. I learned how to weave silk, and my children went food-foraging. It was a perfect holiday and I will recommend it to all my friends. " Jana Morgansen, Denmark
"We've been to Thailand many times and realise now that we have never seen how ordinary Thai people live away from the resorts. It was fascinating. We only had time for two nights and I really wish we had allowed more time. We will be back!" Thomas Schneider, Singapore
"We have never spent Christmas away from home before and wanted to experience a different way of life. We have done so and it was unforgettable. This is a beautiful place with wonderful people. Jimmy is extremely knowledgeable and Lamai is a brilliant hostess. Lizzie is adorable and was great company for Poppy. I think more mainstream holiday companies should include Isan in their itineraries. This area is still largely undiscovered - great for us!" The Wallbank Family, UK
"I so enjoyed my stay. It was so well organized and I like the idea that you are supporting the village. The food was delicious, the tours great and Jimmy and Lamai's knowledge were enormous. The silk village and market werea great adventure. The tours are great value as is the stay and sitting in the paradise of a garden is very relaxing. So if you want to relax, learn abaout the village life, see some of the highlights of Isan and want to learn about the everyday life of Thai people in a rice village this is just number one!
This was simply the best holiday I have ever been on." Birthe Knudson, Denmark
"Thanks very much for staying in your beautiful house, your lovely food and great stories. We also enjoyed our visit to the village. You have a place to be proud of." Thomas and Eveline Van Boxel (Holland)
"Thanks for your hospitality and mostly thanks for all the explanations on the tours. Congratulations on winning the Responsible Tourism award. Go on this way!" Leo and Riel Pusch (Holland)
"Thank you very much for your friendly and caring welcome. Thanks for all the experiences, and impressions you helped us with. Although we didn't stay long it was so worthwhile to travel here. Hope to come back some time." Karoline and Barbara, Australia
"Thanks for all the explanations and all you have shown us. You have a beautiful place. We wish we could stay longer. We will be back." Erik, Valerie and To (Belgium)
"Thanks Jimmy and Lamai for letting us enjoy a real Thai village. The houses were great, the silk weaving impressive. I even cycled through the rice fields, something I have never imagined doing before. Thanks again." Thomas Westendorf, Germany
"Thanks very much for a great opportunity to experience a totally different side of Thailand." Chris Sadowski, UK
"We had a great time and are very happy we made the choice to come here and not Chiang Mai. Would recommend people do the same." Robert and Susan Kleckley, USA
"What a fantastic four days! We are so pleased we came to stay at your home. Lamai - your food and your gentle nature were beautiful - thank you for translating for us, showing us Lizzy's school and doing our washing! Lizzie is beautiful and you are leaving a fantastic legacy to her! Jimmy - thank you for your tours and wealth of information about the local area and the time and knowledge you are passing on to the locals is wonderful.
The children loved the food foraging, - scorpion hunting, frog catching, fly catching and the visit to the school. It is great to give some children a view into another world!! We wish you every success for the future and we would love to return one day to experience other parts of village life." Michell, Julian and children, Australia
"Thanks so much for taking such good care of us. You made us feel at home. Your homestay is contributing in a very good way to the village life. It has been very interesting to see the village life, how you use nature's riches to make a living here. We live in a "throw-away" world and to see that you recycle and use everything again is surely an eye-opener for people. Thank you for sharing the village life with us. It has been very interesting, enjoyable and we learned many things. The visit to the market was very special, as we like Thai food and cook it ourselves at home. To see and smell all the herbs, vegetables and see the people there was very special." Yvonne and Jacob Dijkstra, Holland.
"Thank you very much for our wonderful relaxing stay. The tours were fantastic and Jimmy's tales were very entertaining." Greg and Jane, Australia.
"Thank you for a wonderful break from the hussle and bustle of Bangkok. We had a great time in the rice fields, catching frogs and scorpions and everything else. The ants from the market were very impressive. Harry can't wait to show his class our photos and tell them about everything he did. Hope to see you again." Fraine Mahoney and family, Australia.
"We had no idea what we could expect with this homestay but we are very surprised. When we arrived the people in Sida asked us if we are going to Mr Jimmy. They were friendly and adopted our son immediately. Lamai Homestay is fantastic, the house, the garden, the rooms and the food are perfect. We went with Lamai to the village and searched for scorpions, beatles and other creatures. Lamai fried them and we ate them at lunchtime. We also visited the school. Jim told us that the village people recycle all. We have learned a lot about life in a Thai village. People have a hard life, a lot of them are poor, but everyone is smiling. We are sure village people can be very pleased that Jim and Lamai started the homestay. We had a great time and will never forget." Jakob, Alia, Linda, Frank and Martyn Woltjes, Holland.
"We had a wonderful time here. Thank you very much for all your good care, for all the good meals, for everything you told and showed us. We know a lot more of Thailand now. Thanks again." Florette, Chris, Luca, Stan and Didi Koning, Holland.
"We have really enjoyed Lamai's cooking and Auntie is a star attraction. She has taught us Thai and Laos. The silk process was fascinating. We all really enjoyed that. We were very impressed with the rug we made. Thanks again." Geraldine Thomason, UK
"Thanks for everything. It was great to be here. To see the schools, to plant the rice and to go to the market. We learned a lot. Thank you again for your hospitality." Harm and Corina, Holland
"Thank you for letting us be your guests in your wonderful home. We loved watching your animals and enjoying Lamai's excellent food (that was always too much). Your garden was like paradise for us. Jimmy told us many things about Thailand that you could hever learn from books. Thanks for some very special days." Peggy Ahrens and Annette Wimmer, Germany
"I had an absolutely wonderful time with Jimmy and Lamai. They are both superb hosts and Lizi is delightful. I really appreciated all the time & effort put into making my stay so memorable. I learned so much & ate so much.
Thank you for assisting with the reservation arrangements. Each of you contributes to the warm welcome that guests enjoy." Marg Borthwick
"We had a wonderful time. Jimmy and Lamai were both so hospitable and kind. We learnt so much about Thailand and really enjoyed a taste of life in rural Thailand. Lizzie is so sweet and my daughter Issi really enjoyed playing with her in the pool. The children thought the food foraging a real highlight of their trip to Thailand and have been telling all their friends about it. The tours were all great - I especially loved the silk weaving village. All the food was delicious - Lamai worked so hard." The Baxter Family, UK
"Just wanted to send a short email to let you know we had a wonderful holiday with Lamai and Jimmy. Could you thank them so much for us for sharing their home with us and going out of their way to make sure we had a wonderful time. You can assure them we did, we have many wonderful experiences and memories thanks to them. They are doing a fantastic job and give so much more than we expected." Kathryn and Niven Chalmers
"Just to say that I had a great time with Jimmy and Lamai. Everything was as planned and Jimmy certainly looked after me. I felt like a celebrity wandering around the village and visiting the school was one of the highlights of my stay there. Hopefully I will visit Jimmy again one day and explore the region a bit more." John Wilson, Scotland
"The food-foraging trip is no gimmick. The whole experience is an authentic one from start to finish and the villagers were delighted by our participation. Best of all, the money spent directly benefits the community." Sean Sheehan, UK
"I stayed here for 2 weeks in June. The quality of the accommodation was excellent, the family were most welcoming and flexible. I would say that Lamai Homestay is an exemplar of sensitive tourism." Keith Turner, UK
"The thing I liked was the personal treatment. We were the only people there and Jimmy and Lamai took us to visit real Thai people in their own homes which I found really amazing." Jeanne Anderson, Denmark
"The food and accommodation were excellent - 5 Star! The trips were great, especially the silk tour….. All in all, I loved staying there, it was a both relaxing and invigorating holiday." Teresa Moy, Australia
"I have been to Thailand many times and had no idea that this kind of community existed. It was fascinating and at the end of it, I felt I had contributed to the survival of the village people. On top of that, the accommodation was extremely comfortable and the food amazing." Linda Barrett, UK
"We had a great time and will recommend Lamai Homestay to all our friends." Ting Ting, Singapore
"I thought the accommodation was the best quality and value during the whole of my trip." J Lavigne, USA
"....boy was I lucky to find the Lamai Homestay on the web. Jimmy was an excellent host/guide/raconteur, and I was very lucky to have him to myself. Loved the tours and the village activities. Wonderful food and no western tourists - brilliant!" Jeffrey Prince, Chicago, USA
"Thanks for offering such great information, we just came back from our nice journey with the "Thailand homestay in Koh Pet" last week.
The host, English and Thai mixed family, offered extremely flexible and warm hospitalization during our 4-day stay. From their handmade dishes to their professional guide, they made our holiday so memorable and relaxing. It was more than a journey. Both I, husband and my 7 years old son are of highly satisfaction. Furthermore, the room is clean and neat, the environment was quiet and safe. We would like to recommend and will DEFINITELY visit them again in a not so far future.
Reviewed for five stars !" Joei Lau, Tokyo