Below you fill find maps showing the location of Gecko Villa, as well as suggestions of some of the things to see and do in and around the villa. Some of the activities are aimed at indulgence and relaxation, whilst others offer you the opportunity to get involved in out of the ordinary and hopefully memorable pursuits.
Gecko Villa is situated in the Northeast of Thailand, close to the north shore of Nong Han lake, approximately 20 kilometres southeast of Udon Thani. Depending on your travel plans, we will be pleased to help you plan your trip and of course to pick you up from Udon Thani (25 minutes away).
The map of Thailand below shows the position of Udon Thani, with Gecko Villa's location detailed in the "zoom box". Our map page features a satellite map of the villa location with longitude and latitude coordinates.
By air: Thai International Airways have several daily flights (50 minutes) on Airbus or Boeing aircraft, from Bangkok's international airport, Suwannabhumi. Bangkok Air also flies daily between Suwannabhumi and Udon Thani. Air Asia, Nok Air and Thai Lion Air have frequent low cost flights from Bangkok to Udon Thani from Don Muang airport. (More complete details on flights, airports and airlines may be found on our Thai Villa FAQ page. This explains that these airlines use different airports in Bangkok.) Air Asia also operates several flights a week between Phuket and Udon Thani, and Nok Air also flies between Chiang Mai and Udon Thani.
By train: Several daily trains from Bangkok each with three classes (approximately 9 hours). A first class compartment for two can be a novel alternative to flying, although you will need to book in advance.
By road: From Bangkok, a fascinating fly-drive via Khao Yai National Park & Nakhon Ratchasima (Khorat). Alternatively, drive straight to Gecko Villa from Nong Khai if arriving from Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
We will be happy to show you how to cook Thai food, concocting sumptuous dishes you can later recreate at home. Try your hand at north-eastern specialities such as Spicy Beef Salad with Mint (Laap Neua), and Green Papaya Salad (Som Tam), or try traditional central Thai dishes such as Spicy Prawn Soup (Tom Yam Kung), Grilled King Prawns with Chilli, Lime and Coriander (Kung Pao) etc. There is no charge for such a Thai cooking lesson. Find out more about Thai food.
Go walking (or take our bicycles) and explore the surroundings, rich in forest temples and villages, lakes and farms, and the listed wetlands of Nong Harn - the site of the breathtaking Red Lotus Sea. Participate in the giving of alms to monks, or enjoy a local "Puk Xieow" ceremony. Or fish at the large nearby lake and photograph original scenes & characters. Should you wish to visit the local school with your children, please do not hesitate to ask. You may find these basic Thai phrases and introduction to the language useful.
Skylab is the local name for the motorized rickshaws that constitute such a feature of rural life in northeast Thailand, where they are used to carry any number of goods to market: frogs or chickens, plump mangoes or knobbly jackfruit, noodles, fresh vegetables or huge sacks of chillies. The name derives from NASA's Skylab that re-entered earth's orbit in 1979. Getting to grips with a Skylab can be an unnerving experience, but the private grounds of Gecko Villa are a safe place to brave an attempt! The more sane may prefer to experience this vehicle as a passenger - an authentic way to surprise the villagers as you go local on the way to the market
Help us plant or harvest the green or golden rice fields - some local rice whisky may help you along. Perhaps you would like to try your hand behind the plough, or even try to ride a water buffalo. Find out more about rice in Thailand.
Watch the rocket festival; join in local festivals and experience the rhythms of Mor Lam dancing. And if learning our language and culinary secrets gets tiring, enjoy our food and rice whisky and listen by your pool as cicadas take the pulse of the night...
Relax by the pool and indulge in an hour or two of traditional Thai massage. The local village practitioners will be happy to massage away your aches and pains (approx THB300 / hour.)
Should you be interested in Thai boxing, we will be happy to arrange for a retired championship boxer to put you through your moves, and show you a few new ones! (The trainer's reasonable fees are payable directly to him.)
For special occasions, we will be happy to organize a firework display for you or arrange for a late night session of field-mouse hunting with muskets, accompanied by the local champion! If you dare not eat your catch, you can always enjoy a rice whisky instead.
The National Museum & Dig Site displays antiques, including earthenware pots from 4,000 to 7,500 years old. "The most important prehistoric settlement so far discovered in SE Asia" (UNESCO). Read about the discovery of Ban Chiang and its museum.
Na Kha Village has long been famous for its hand woven cloth, and offers both silk garments and lengths of raw fabric for sale. However, the village has changed over time. As it is no longer possible to witness weaving here, and as the destination has become primarily a collection of stalls selling garments and lengths of cloth, we only recommend a visit to guests who specifically wish to make such purchases.
Na Yoong Nam Som Park is renowned for its 30 metre waterfall, whilst at Phu Phra Bat Park you can see pre-historic paintings over cliff faces; caves, caverns and relics.
Nong Khai lies on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, opposite the Lao capital, Vientiane. Catch the spectacular Longboat Races if you can, or negotiate the riverside market.
The Road to Loei: an adventurous trip by bicycle or car follows the Mekong river along the Lao border to the town of Loei, with dramatic hilly terrain, jungle views and waterfalls.
A car and drive can be rented for those wishing to make a day trip to Vientiane in Laos, or for guests heading from Thailand to Laos after their stay. Please visit our page on travel to Laos from Thailand.
There are five golf courses near Udon Thani:
Victory Park near Nong Khai (18 holes - 4 x par 3, 10 x par 4, 4 x par 5)
Sri Thani (9 holes - 2 x par 3, 5 x par 4, 2 x par 5)
Udon Golf Club (At KM18 to Nong Bua Lamphu) (9 holes - 2 x par 3, 5 x par 4, 2 x par 5)
Airforce (Lions Military) (9 holes - 2 x par 3, 5 x par 4, 2 x par 5)
Army (Nong Samrong) (9 holes - 5 x par 3, 2 x par 4, 2 x par 5)
Skydiving, parachuting, microlight and ultralight flights may be arranged together with climbing wall fun. If you are keen to learn to fly or skydive, read more about action sports in Northeast Thailand.