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This is a non-commercial site so I don’t endorse businesses for any financial or other gain. If I come across someone who I feel is providing a service or product that will benefit my readers then I will include their details in this section. As always you can make your own assessment and go from there.

Swimming Pool and Water Filtration equipment HERE

Homestay, Ban Lat, Nong Bua Lamphu HERE

Nuch’s Apple Guest House in Si Bun Ruang HERE

Real estate Agent in Chiang Mai HERE

Thai to English translator HERE

Water Filtration Solutions HERE

Quality bedding HERE

Jomyim Coffee HERE

Lek Car Rentals – Udon Thani HERE

Isaan lawyers HERE

Chiang Mai Taxis HERE

CM Custom Tailors Chiang Mai HERE

Recommendations in Nong Bua Lamphu, Isaan HERE

Added 22 November 2016 – Nuch’s Apple Guest House

I am pleased to be able to add a local business to my list of recommendation.

It is almost impossible to find farang friendly accommodation in Si Bun Ruang. There are masses of small Thai-style resorts in the area (I was told 24 and growing) but they are all built for local consumption and many make money from “short time” bookings (not overnight if you see what I mean – big business here). I used to recommend friends stay at a place called Suanam Lion Park resort, which is where we went when visiting Isaan from Chiang Mai. Unfortunately this place has fallen into the usual non-maintenance issues that applies to temples as well as resorts 🙂 and I wouldn’t put people I wanted to stay friends with into the resort these days.

We visited Nuch’s because friends of ours, who previously experienced Suanam, had booked it and I wanted to make sure it was up to standard. I am happy to report that it is a delightful little place about 20 km from our home. It is owned by a Swiss guy and his Thai wife, who I presume is Nuch, and she was very welcoming and speaks excellent English.


Gaun and Nuch. How do I know her husband is Swiss 🙂


The guesthouse is on the main road but it is for local traffic only so you’ll get the early morning and late afternoon burst and then not much.

The guesthouse has three smallish rooms set to the side of the main house. They have everything you’ll need including a flat screen TV, a bar fridge, a small table and chairs inside as well as on the veranda, a proper bed, not just a mattress on a concrete slab and a decent sized bathroom. In a thoughtful design so rarely seen the shower has been located so as not to flood the entire bathroom when you use it. How simple to do and yet how unusual to see in Thailand.


It is such a relief to see a quality build set in landscaping and not painted in lime green and purple!


A real bed and it felt comfortable. As Thais are used to sleeping on concrete floors they usually replicate this when they buy mattresses.


Simple but neat.


A shower wall and the shower head not pointing at the toilet 🙂 Advanced design in action.


Nice to see somewhere to put bathroom things. How many times do you get a washbasin like that and that’s it! Everything ends up on the floor.

The place has real gardens and out the back is a lovely small apple shaped pool and a seating area.


As a bonus the drive from Si Bun Ruang will take you through some typical farming landscapes and several small and Isaan villages. It is a drive worth taking just in itself.

You can find Nuch’s Apple Guest House HERE or just search for it as they have been very busy and are listed on all the major booking sites as well as some I have never heard of. Good job. You can phone them on 089-275-8846. The Google maps location (correct) can be found HERE.

Added 31 October 2016 – Real Estate Agent in Chiang Mai

A recommendation from a friend I trust for his opinion came through today for a real estate agent in Chiang Mai. I pass it on as follows:

Before I give recommendation, you would be aware that a ‘real estate agent’ in Thailand is not at all like one in Australia.

They only advertise, show property, rent/sell property, witness documents, take their fee, and leave – there are no guarantees and no services and no legal backup.

I would also add that most Agents use a Lease Contract that is sometimes made by the Owner and it places all onus on the renter – eg. they have to replace/repair anything that breaks (aircon/fridge/washer).

But they will change anything in the Lease if you ask – they will be reluctant – but just ask them to change any Clause (give them the words that are OK).

There is no REIA standard Lease Contract that is approved by Law Society and Consumer Affairs – it is totally buyer/renter beware here.

Having said that we used a couple that are very nice, and they are both good people. They have an office in Promenada Mall – but they will come to you, or meet you at a property.

Realtor Chiang Mai – Paul and Esther Chuenchai – 085 614 8205

Esther is the brains of the operation – talk to her first.

Added 21 Jun 2016

If you need documents translated from Thai to English or English to Thai get in contact with Totsaporn Paiyakarn who is based in Ubon Ratchathani. Tay studied at Khon Kaen university and he helped me out with a recent translation issue very efficiently.

Snap 2016-06-21 at 21.08.05

You can find Tay on the following email:

[email protected] or phone him on +66 87 447 0684 if phoning from overseas, or 087 447 0684 from Thailand.

Update 29 Jul 2016:

Tay is back to teaching on Skype again after a while.
“PM me if you want to schedule a Thai/English class with me.
Private lessons based on students’ needs 💻📖🖊
รับสอนภาษาอังกฤษ/ไทยสำหรับชาวต่างชาติผ่าน Skype นะครับ

Added 29 Apr 2016:

H2O Water Systems


I have added this business because although I haven’t bought any products from them yet Ruben, the owner of the business, has been very helpful and quick to respond to the emails I have sent him about some issues we are having with our water filtration system. He was also kind enough to process a water test with some samples I sent him. I am hopeful that Ruben will be able to call in and look at our system at some stage when he is next in the area and I will report back if we do further work with his company.

1-Snap 2016-04-29 at 12.27.39

I am sure there are lots of water businesses on the Thai script internet but H2O is the only one I have found in Isaan with an English website HERE so it is definitely worth a link on the blog. If I was starting again I would have made the trip to Buriram to talk to Ruben. They introduce themselves as:

Located in the Isaan, North east of Thailand, province Buriram, we are a water filter business with experience in this region since 2007, and offer you a wide range of products and services.

Whether you need clean household water, clean and safe drinking water straight from the faucet, a rain water harvesting system, a pool or a pump, or help and advice on any other issues concerning water, give us a call or visit us in Satuk, Buriram.

Ruben’s contact number is 091-6731316 and you will find others on their website.

Added 12 Jan 2016:

Quality Bedding


The smart striped bedding we bought.

One of the items I have found very difficult to source in Thailand has been white bedding. Maybe it is easy in Bangkok but out here in Isaan not so much! The Thais have a love of everything coloured in the bedroom preferably combined with themes of dolphins and teddy bears. The more vibrant and contrasting the colours the better. Even farang orientated places like Living Index in Udon or Robinson’s in Central Plaza are unlikely to come up with a big choice in plain white bedding, if anything at all, and the prices are as much or more as you’d pay back home.


A range of towel sizes on offer. See price list below.

I was therefore so pleased to find a locally based business owned by Manfred and his wife, who supply a really good quality range of plain or subtle striped bedding along with other bedding accessories and towels. Manfred is in Khon Kaen and as we were visiting there the other day for an appointment we arranged to meet up. Manfred was kind enough to meet us at Khon Kaen Immigration, which is really easy to find on highway 2 just North of Queen Sirikit hospital and we followed him to his storage facility.

Camera 360

Duvets plus friend for those cooler Northern nights.

We ended up with a boot full of bedding at a very reasonable cost. We bought 2 sets of king size fitted sheets and top sheets (the latter I am finding is a very Australian thing. Did we get that from the English?), 10 pillow cases, 4 padded pillow protectors, 4 towels, and 2 padded mattress protectors for 7,500 THB or around A$ 300.00.


You can contact Manfred on 0857 818 121. The price list below gives you the full list of his products although you should double check prices when ordering. Manfred will post throughout Thailand and you should receive the order within three days.

Bedding price list


Jomyim Coffee

Good quality fresh coffee beans is the essential basis for a decent brew and so I was delighted to receive a recommendation from a reader for a small roaster based outside Chiang Mai as follows:

One of life’s simple pleasures. Good coffee. In this case, very good coffee.

This is gourmet coffee from Huayhom Maehongson Province, Thailand. It Comes from Baan Huay Hom (name of the village). Arabica beans grown in highland Mae Hongson province (1200-1600 m). Single origin artisan coffee at its best.


Thank you Greg for the recommendation. BTW when shipped you get a plain packet not this “fancy” one – or I do anyway.

I buy the Old School medium roast and it is a fine product priced as advised by Jomyim:

For the price of medium roast Old School normally sold at 200 Baht/250 gram, but if you buy more there will be a discount rate depend on amount that you order (600 Baht/1kg).

We did not have an outlet in Udon Thani but we can sent to Nong Bua Lamphu province at the normal rate postage in Thailand (around 100 Baht/ 1 kg for EMS).

First priority of the day - even before brushing my hair as you can tell.

First priority of the day – even before brushing my hair as you can tell.

The love of my life after Gaun of course!

The love of my life after Gaun my wife of course!

Jomyim can be contacted on 091-848-6599 or his wife on 095-594-1544 and the email is [email protected]. Order a kilo. You won’t be disappointed.


Added 20 Nov 2015

I had a recommendation from a friend who used Lek car rentals from Udon Thani airport:

“LEK car rentals were great – easy to deal with and cash was OK with them – absolutely no issue getting deposit back either. I would recommend them to anyone who asks for a rental car”

Details below and ask for Bob:

Lek car rentals


Isaan Lawyers

I have had a number of dealings with Isaan Lawyers and can comfortably recommend them for advice on Thai legal matters. Sebastian provided me with the Usufruct to secure my long term usage of the land I bought in Si Bun Ruang, which you can read about HERE. He was also kind enough to provide advice on my ownership of the house once it was built and you can read about the build in weekly chapters HERE.

I am about to finalise my Thai will and that’ll be done through Isaan Lawyers.

Snap 2015-04-29 at 10.57.30

Chiang Mai taxis – covered in a separate post HERE.


CM Custom Tailors 

We visited CM Custom Tailor based on a tripadvisor review HERE. This entourage included my wife and daughter, our purchase included cashmere trousers, blouses, skirts and shorts. The service was excellent and then I wanted to wait a few months to see how the trousers held out before commenting. The trousers are great for the Canberra summer and winter I am really pleased with the material offered the style and fit. I haven’t heard any complaints from the women so I take that as a sign of satisfaction too. Giorgio and the team went to great lengths to ensure that we were satisfied with the clothes purchased. Make sure that you know what you want and that you are not rushed. I would definitely go there again. At the prices offered it would be just rude to haggle.

Phil and Julie



212 Rajchapakinai Road | Opposite Wat Chiang Man (Temple), Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand

Snap 2014-12-21 at 18.23.31

Correctly marked on the Trip Advisor map for once.


Thanks for reading.