Every person needs a safe haven. A place to be able to unwind, relax, make a meal, enjoy a hot shower, wave to your neighbor on the way in. We landed in Thailand without one of those. We opted for an Airbnb, allotting ourselves 1 week to find our home.
Divine intervention is an understatement.
It was 100% God and The Universe pushing us to find our home far, far away from home here in Mae Nam Beach, Thailand. We had been walking around in the jungles near the beach, asking around countless apartments and hotels, trying to find a place that didn't totally blow our budget. 15,000?? 30,000?! WTH... the internet told us we can find a home for cheaper than that! Did Youtubers far and wide lie to us about this?? Were we actually going to have to fork over that much Baht a month for.... that bungalow?
Deciding that instead of wandering aimlessly and getting hangry, we stumbled upon a cafe for lunch. After soaking in all the free wifi, I turned to ask the owner on a whim if he knew anything in the area that fit our budget. MUCH to my surprise, he pointed across the grassy lot to an apartment building, tucked a little behind the road. I couldn't believe it, it's like once we stopped and asked for help, from higher powers and a really nice Thai man, we were presented with all we needed.
Off to discover our new home we went!
As we strolled up the beautifully designed landscape, filled with trees, plants, grass, and a concrete drive, we were in awe of the modern and clean look this place had! Bright colors popped against the blue sky. We came around the corner to a nice Russian woman playing with her daughter in a kiddie pool in front of her apartment. She greeted us and began to reel us into the amazingness of the place!
"Cheap rent, water, and electricity are cheap, the beach is about a 10-minute walk through this jungle path!" (coincidentally the same jungle path we wandered through!)
Wow! All of this sounded perfect! Garrett and I were in the flow and ready to receive this awesome information, nodding in glee at one another over everything this kind neighbor was telling us.
"Would you like to see my place?" she asked with a welcoming smile. Ummm... my first instinctually Americanized thoughts were "Scuze me lady are you trying to kidnap me and poison me? I don't know you.. STRANGER DANGER!" But then my second thoughts were, "You are here for a reason, go with the flow." and so, we flowed.
We got the phone number for the landlord, Lek, from our new Russian friend and contacted her immediately. Lek responded so fast! We weren't even off the lot when she called us back. We booked a time for later that weekend to meet up and see the room options.
Fast forward to Saturday we were moving into our new home away from home.
We ended up staying in the apartment for the remainder of our 2.5 months in Thailand. We made great friends with the neighbors, the Cafe owners who pointed us in this direction, and even had a few of our friends rent from her because we loved it so much!
Here are my honest opinions about our home!
-Fantastic location on Ko Samui, in the north near Mae Nam Beach area. I feel like this is honestly the best part of the island. You can get anywhere on the island from here with a motorbike so easily. A more local vibe, way less traffic than areas such as Bo Phut and Lamai, and the apartments themself sit right next to the main road, are less than a minute walk to a 24-hour Family Mart and the delish Cafe De O, 10 Minutes to the Beach, and for us, a 10-minute walk to our Muay Thai gym was ideal!! (I attached a map at the bottom of the page for y'all)
-Amazing Landlord. When we locked ourselves out, she was here in less than 10 minutes to let us back in. When I was 60 baht short of my rent (I ran out of coins...too many Boba stops beforehand lol) she let me pay it in the next few days when she saw me again. She provided us a fan, an electric cooker, hangers, and an extra table and chair!! All you have to do is ask, and she will help fulfill in any way that she can. A woman who truly cares about her tenants and her business. When native (and massive) spiders snuck into our room one night (at 9pm), Lek opened up another room for us to stay in and got bug spray to us the next morning!
-Beautifully kept grounds. Some people take this part for granted. We saw some of the other places around us and by far, she cared the most. The concrete pathway is lighted and lined with gorgeous plants and trees. Landscapers come often to keep it manicured. The black pebble parking lot has so much space for everyone (and their friends) to park! I have seen over 6 cars and multiple motorbikes parked here one evening! Our apartment was on the second floor facing east, so I'd sit on my balcony and read every morning watching the sunrise. The neighbor has a Rooster who loves to eat bugs around here, and a neighborhood cat or two occasionally pop up to watch the little birds play in the cattails in the early hours of the day. Peaceful and serene is the best way to describe this slice of tropical Thai heaven.
-The room itself! We have by far the comfiest bed we've had in all of Thailand here. Built-in side tables with plugs on both sides of the bed.. AND light switches next to the side tables... can I get a hell yes?! The rooms have multi- lighting as well, recess above the bed is great for night reading. Our main light is more of a whole room glow instead of harsh light because they're tucked behind molding! Our bathroom has a fan build into the lightswitch- HUGE plus! The shower has a hot water heater (that actually works! *cried tears of joy*) and fantastic water pressure. A beautiful black countertop that holds all of my toiletries. We also..a very fancy, foreign concept.. a bidet. We have ample storage in our double-stacked wardrobe, with built-in drawers and a sleek black interior. Our kitchenette is plenty to cook up some delish dinner! The electric cooker she got us doubles as a steamer so we've made TONS of kinds of meals here! The flooring is a beautiful black tile in the bathroom and natural wood-look laminate in the rest of the apartment. Overall, this place is beautiful and well thought out. The AC is remote controlled and ALWAYS cold.
She has 3 different types of homes to choose from as well, an apartment (which we had), A studio-type home with a full kitchen, and a one-bedroom home.
-Staff. Her main gal, Pak is the sweetest person! She lives on the property and always has a smile on her face. Once when we were faaaaar down the road, at a cool thai market, she saw us walking home and offered to take our groceries home for us on her motorbike so we didn't have to carry them the 3 km home. I mean who does that! She daily sweeps the hall walkway and will change your sheets and towels for you, all you have to do is ask. She makes us feel like we have a great support system here.
- The only con I have is that there is no pool, but that's way okay! I'd rather soak in the beach while I have once so close anyways!
Overall, Lek and the apartment made our stay in Thailand unforgettable. She showed us that Thai people are some of the absolute kindest people to walk this Earth. Gave us access to all the places we wanted to go, sights we wanted to see on the island! We only have fond memories when it comes to our home there. When we come back we are 100% calling her first! I can't wait to sip coffee on my balcony and enjoy these amazing sunrises once again. I am so grateful for this blessing.
To contact Lek for your apartment rental:
Phone: +66 081-677-9527 (Thai number)
Map of the area!
I highlighted her place in yellow, Google maps isn't quite correct. As you can see My little blue dot on the 3rd picture is just about where the apartments are actually located.
Check out my food blogs if you need delicious places near here to get your grub on!