Romance at the Mekong

About 600m from the Mekong River, lives this sustainable couple. The Thai farmer with his English wife…

IMG_4069Clare &…

IMG_4101… Wat!

I met Clare in Australia few years back at Birdwood Downs. All I remembered was her lost in the bougainvillea bush pruning away those prickly guys, in the baking sun. Nothing stops Clare when she’s in a mission!

We decided to visit Wat and Clare at their place up in North East Thailand (Isaan). It is at the Mekong which parted Thailand and Laos.

We were welcomed by Miss Piggy and Tooey, the piggies! They wander freely in the yard and chomp up the new plants, which drives Clare a little mad… But Miss Piggy gave them so much food unintentionally. Not the meat but she put her poo in everything – tomato, pumpkin, papaya… When Tooey has some free time, he snorkels in the puddle he made for himself. Quite a character, loves jumping on his mother and falling off from her!

IMG_4076Wat constructed their cosy hut, with wooden posts and bamboo walls. With a few mates, he savaged some good wood and made beautiful steps to the entrance.

IMG_4128From this hut, they get a view of the vege garden, cow pen and the rice fields. What a sight to wake up to I thought! They cook mainly from the garden produce and have sticky and basmati rice from their parents land. Thanks to them we got some seeds from them and will plant them soon in our swamps. It’s not easy to find good rice nowadays!

IMG_4087Ablution with waste water recycling system. The gray and black water goes into the septic tanks, the leach drain and then onto their crops. Save some work of watering and fertilizing plants.


They have 5 girly cows and has built a cow condo to keep them. Wat reads magazine about cattle, we could tell how serious he is with his animals.


Every morning he wakes up at 6 to harvest wild grass for the cows. He will come back to the house in his motorbike hauling along the grass. Strong and steady…


In between the rubber trees, they planted Napier grass, Napier grass, Napier grass. The final goal is to make it the cow canteen!


Ting Tong is his name – means Crazy in Thai. Clare has decreed No Fighting for him. Cock fighting is a big thing there. He is so calm we could even hold and pat him like a dog.

  IMG_4162Beer O’clock at the chill lounge outside their hut! We had movie nights watching Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Crocodile Dundee!

After visiting them, I realised that it’s actually such a privilege to inherit family land. Living sustainable is a commitment, and they are doing that at their best. And it’s also really great to connect with the circle around South East Asia.


One thought on “Romance at the Mekong

  1. It was a pleasure to have Xin and Fred here and to hear their tales and have them share their experiences; it was a morale boost to see how far we have all progressed since we first met, and how strong the bond of like-mindedness can be that joins us together in our projects


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