Our first trip in Asia, as a family of 5, brought us to Thailand.
For two weeks Phuket was going to be our “home away from home”.
Massy was there to attend a workshop. Instead the 4 of us were there to enjoy the beach, do some sightseeing and take in a completely new experience in a foreign country.
For our stay we booked a delightful little hotel at 10 minutes walk from Nai Yang beach: Seapines Villa Liberg.
The hotel is in the north of Phuket, at only a few minutes from the airport. We spent two weeks in a lovely environment, with an amazing staff that took great care of us!
The effects of jet leg
Like every long trip, one of the worst effects is Jet leg. Usually it can last for days, they say it depends on the number of hours difference. It was no surprise that for the first days we slept and woke up at the strangest hours.
Emma and I would wake up at sunrise, wander around the pool and garden. As I was capturing these moments I couldn’t stop thinking at the fact that our little hotel reminded me of the movie “The Best Marigold Hotel”! Probably because the guests that were staying there were mainly middle-aged but also for the more traditional look of buildings.
I was told from my swiss neighbors that, since the tsunami hit in 2004, this is one of the few areas that still maintains a more traditional look. In other locations everything is being built-in a more modern key. This is really sad since part of the beauty of traveling to different countries is to witness what their traditions are, and this includes also what their homes look like.
The hotel architecture style
I believe the structure of this hotel follows very much the traditional Thai house which adapts to its environment. It has open high-pitched roof that facilitates air circulation. Open windows and walls in combination with a large central terrace which provides ventilation and offers relief from the hot and humid climate.
The wide overhanging eaves protect the house from sun and rain. Rainwater runs off the steep roof quickly and falls through the permeable terrace and house floors. The use of wood and bamboo reflects the once abundant forests that provided these materials cheaply.
The reasons for high thresholds
One of the aspects that mostly made me curious of the structure, was the high thresholds between the rooms. I have to admit that we all tripped a million of times over them, specially at night!
I was able to find a few different reasons for them. First one based on superstition and traditional Thai belief. The raised thresholds prevent evil spirits from creeping in at night and disrupting the sleep of the inhabitants.
Another reason is based on a functional purpose. In fact the high threshold acted as a structural aid holding the wall sections firmly in place on their frame.
Finally there was a safety purpose. Since the early settlements of the Thai kingdom were largely agricultural communities built along rivers, canals and waterways. In order to prevent babies and small children from falling into the water, the thresholds of the door were raised.
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Check out the lovely hotel we stayed at Seapines Villa Liberg!!