This is my third trip to Chiang Mai in about 12 months and this time instead of staying in the same place, I decided to stay at “the popular spot” for climbers. My partner and I had eaten many meals in the restaurant here at Jira Homestay, but never contemplated the accommodation as an option. We are what bookings.com call a “Mature Couple” and to be perfectly honest, we are not interested in the late nights and continual chatter about what piece of rock someone couldn’t hold on their project every day.
However, its all about Jira Homestay for now and they deserve to be advertised in a very positive way. Nung Yao and husband Om are an absolute delight. They are incredibly friendly and they work super hard every day to give you the best possible experience when you stay with them.
There are four accommodation options available depending on the level of comfort that you want to partake in. You can rent a bungalow, a room, a dormitory spot and there is camping available for the extremely budget conscious. Take into consideration that our bungalow is the most expensive option and it is 350 baht a night. Thats about 10 bucks/euros a night. The rooms are 250 baht and the dorm is about 120 baht. Do the math……this place is super cheap to stay at!
The bathrooms are clean and tidy and the showers work ok. The beds are comfortable and I have heard someone say the dorm beds are more comfy than the beds in the rooms. The dorm looks like a series of cake covers from your grandma’s kitchen. It’s all very cute and cosy. There are fans in the rooms and mosquito nets. 5G WiFi is available at no cost and it works really well most of the time. If you are looking for luxury go somewhere else.
There is no shortage of food as the menu caters for the locals here. It’s a local restaurant and very well respected. Its important to know the portions are huge and you can feed two people with one meal. The soups come in very large bowls as do the curries and the rice servings are big. They don’t make special orders, but they will accommodate you in the best way they can. Breakfast is from 8am and if you want a pre-made lunch they will do it the night before for you.
If you have special dietary requirements due to diagnosed allergies/intolerances or are a vegan or a vegetarian by choice, then be sure to be able to state this in Thai. If you don’t like spicy food “Mai Pet” should serve you well. Here spicy is very different to “Western Spicy”…….Google translate is a pretty good tool and there are other apps available you can choose to assist you in your search for understanding.
I found that it helped a lot, when I learn’t to say please and thank you in Thai. The Thai people are very polite and humble people and it shows respect (you’re not at home anymore and you are the guest here). It’s not a resort! I have observed that certain people forget their manners a lot and they sound like they are demanding their needs be met. Remember your manners here at all times.
Scooter hire here is not an option, but there are scooters you can borrow to run up to the convenience store or local supermarket (not at all like home) for supplies. By law in Thailand you are not supposed to ride motor scooters without an international licence. Especially if it is a borrowed scooter (totally illegal). Check out what the rules are before you go racing off on one, as the local police don’t take kindly to it at all. Also, be sure to have helmets on (You can use climbing helmets if one is not readily available).
Be aware that there are creatures here that roam freely around water sources and they have been known to scare even the toughest of British climbers in the middle of the night. There are frogs, geckos, scorpions and the occasional snake. Squirrels, lizards and mice are present as well.
All in all the experience here is wonderful. A dose of Thai culture and cuisine with a dash of seriously fun climbing thrown in for good measure. You will not regret staying here with this wonderful family and their fabulous humility. Gracious to the very end indeed.
Find them at: https://www.facebook.com/jira.homestay?fref=ts
Note** Prices subject to change without notification.