My wife and I just finished building a house next to my
friends, elephant refuge. The photo above is one our
way to look at land in this tiny mountain village




i wasn't joking about being on the fringe of his elephant camp. This is his son Mafia--yup his name is mafia

we have a year round brook running the length of our land and we had a neighbor create a dam so the kids could play
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OK we've identified 4.5 Rai of land (about two acres) which is a side of a mountain with brooks running on two sides of our new property, made an offer, got accepted and we are excited to death. fast forward 3 years, the government wanted to make land ownership more legal in these remote villages so they sent surveyors up from Bangkok and guess what !! we have 11.5 Rai of land not 4.5. we received our first tax bill for the land and our house. A very official letter came in the mail. I ripped open the envelope to discover that our tax bill was 18 Baht EIGHTEEN Baht

two days with a backhoe and the construction can start

our nearest neighbor allowed us to use their electricity to build and I of course paid the bills

The water to the house comes from the mountain and yes it is FREE


As i mentioned, the neighbor allowed us to use their electicity to build until we got our electric meter installed. I downloaded an APP from the electric company so I could pay the bill promptly--It has never been over 300 Baht (TEN dollars) for both houses


we have rose apples on the property



no Michelin stars but not bad our ONLY restaurant in the village

tea plantation near the house


my wife installed the enamel wood burning stove just in time for the weather to turn 40C about a 100F. it really gets pretty cold at almost 1000M elevation

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To celibrate, we met with our lawyer in the village's ONLY restaurant (above). The food is incredibly delicious and no more than 70 cents



our other nighbors are about 10 minutes away
i'll fast forward to today when the mountain house is complete
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The staff from Elephant highlands moved our belongings from Chiang Mai to the new house
We had to go to town hall to pay two years taxes which had been in arrears. The bill for two years was 98 Baht (just under three dollars)


one of a hundred lychee trees
1 of a 100 lychee trees



incredibly daunting job of beating back the jungle to lay the lawn. The staff from the the elephant highlands comes down to do this back breaking work

we now have 100 coffee bushes as well as chilli and lemon grass



first lychee of the season