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How to Survive 3 Months in a Bamboo Shack

16 Mar 2019

Trying to save a few bob and baht in Phangan, huh? Youre not the only one, obviously. Been there myself, lived to tell the tale, thank Buddha.

Yep, you can get a bungalow for 200 baht a night or stump up 4,500 baht for a whole month. And sure, it feels like sleeping out under the stars.
If you still want to be over the moon after a couple of weeks though, it pays to be prepared.

Let me explain

The roofand how to fix it
Trust me! Bamboo shacks leak quickly, even if theyre just one year old. If you dont want unwelcome showers to wake you up again when its pouring cats, dogs, rats and whatnot, youd better get some silicone from Home Mart and fix that damn hole yourself.

The bungalow owner will be more than happy to provide you with a ladder when hes faced with the potential cost of a carpenter. Alas, he wouldnt pay one anyway.

The animals – and how to keep them at Haad Rin bay
Ever wondered where those squeaking sounds you hear at night are coming from? Nope! Theres no birds nest in your bungalow. These are rats.

Rat glue and rat baits come in handy. You can get them at Tesco, and even at 7eleven.

Dont put the baits outside your bungalow, though. You dont want to kill any dogs.
Since were talking about baits, theres no harm in buying cockroach baits and ant traps as well. When you hear rats, the roaches cant be very far. And ants will conquer your cabin sooner than you think. Eat inside once and there they are.

Lets not forget the mozzies. Tesco sells Ars Mat 12  – a real party pooper to those pesky creatures. Unlike mosquito nets, the arse mat will have the extra benefit of not providing any food for geckos. I didnt find garlic, eggshells or mothballs to be effective in terms of telling them to respect my nights sleep.

The messand how to prevent your stuff from going astray
I know arranging your stuff neatly sucks, but you dont want to find yourself not finding anything but bugs.

The looand how to avoid getting sick
If youre going for the plainest or crudest kind, dont expect to have a bathroom in your hut.
The bum gun asidesooner or later youll love it anywayyou absolutely dont need to worry about feeling queasy. I guarantee you wont be looking down the toilet, talking frantically on that poor, big white telephone that can only listen and absorb but not respond. Come to think of it, oh yes it can, actually.

Be that as it may, dont fret! You dont need a person at the other end of the line to know what to do. Youll learn how to squat like a skier in no time, let your bowels loose, and get out there before you have a chance to scream or catch some bug.

Need a taster? Have a look at this nice bowl:

The showerand how to keep away from it
No, no, hear me out! You got the wrong end of the stick. I didnt say you should become a scruffy begpacker.
But if the green mould on the damp wall is too much for you, why not have a shower in the restaurantstoilets?

Speaking of mould, should you accept to be saddled with this crappy job, vinegar is supposed to help remove it.

And when youve absolutely had your fill of large brown insects and rodents with long tails, go out and have a whale of a time. All the animals on your mind will suddenly be amusing.

Written by and Photo CrPhilipp Meier - Freelance Health and Travel Writer
I'm Philipp Meier, Freelance Health and Travel Writer / Translator. Formerly an accountant and English teacher, I now enjoy a quieter life as an expat in Thailand, writing travel-, alternative and mental health-related articles. I'm particularly passionate about Thai culture and travelling off the beaten track in the Land of Smiles. Find me on writerphilippmeier. com.