We are Hank and Moon
In January 2020 we opened Moon’s Thai Homestay, the authentic holiday retreat we designed and built together. Having invested everything we have into the venture, the pandemic halted our progress just as we were welcoming our first guests. As a photographer and masseuse by trade, the global Covid-19 crisis has also cut off all our normal forms of income, placing our survival here at risk.
In normal times I, Hank, am a photographer working in schools in UK. In the off season I am with my wife Moon in Thailand and I help her in our small fruit farm and latterly the homestay, which we built during 2019 and opened in January 2020.
Moon is a practitioner of UN recognised traditional Thai massage and also works part-time as a care-giver in a local hospital, all the while also tending to the orchard and gardens and her 13 year old son.
We know we are blessed where we live in a beautiful country, with a beautiful climate and surrounded by nature, culture and history and that inspires our wellbeing each and everyday. We want to share this with our friends, our family and with guests from far and wide - so we ask you to help us to save this dream by making a commitment to a future trip.
Our covid story goes like this.
We decided in mid 2019 that we would open a holiday home within our small orchard here in northern Thailand. Our aim is to welcome guests especially from UK, and elsewhere, and to introduce them to true Thai hospitality and buddhist culture in an easy and accessible way. In August 2019 we borrowed money from the Farm Bank and within 5 months we had a lovely teak and hardwood house ready for guests. In January 2020 we advertised on Airbnb and our first guests arrived within 2 weeks.
In March 2020 I was away doing some school work when the first whiff of lockdowns broke, and taking advantage of a halt to proceedings I flew to Chiang Mai, intending to stay for only for 3 weeks. However, the pandemic accelerated and within days of reaching Thailand my return flight was cancelled, the borders were closed and a hard lockdown began. Authorities announced border reopening and tourism would resume in July, then September and so on. We are still waiting.
The long and short of it is that I am still here. All my school work in UK last autumn was cancelled and so far in 2021 everything remains that way. Our homestay was ordered closed, along with all hotels and other guest houses and while now open again, domestic tourism is really not a thing, and a recent flare up of covid in the south has caused yet more disruption.
We have survived up to now on savings and a severe cutback on every expenditure that we can control.
Alas the savings were intended for some development work here to add a sala for meditation and yoga, and an organic natural swimming pool, and ultimately another guest house, to enable group stays, corporate team building/workshops/retreats. These may have to wait.
So our plan for survival until things get back to "normal" is to crowdfund.
We are seeking your support in a "pay it forward" campaign, where your donation today counts against the cost of your stay here with us in the future, valid for use within the next ten years (or longer if necessary). Of course, if you would simply like to help us out but not stay, that would be very much appreciated too!
Currently, (March 2021) the house costs just £80 per night and sleeps 7 with 3.5 bathrooms. We promise to look after you exceedingly well and make your stay here exceptional. In the future we plan to accommodate 12-14 and possibly more.
By reaching our target we can maintain payments to the bank and live frugally for 12 months, by which time hopefully international travel and tourism without quarantine will be back on.
We fully intend to complete all the additional works here, as and when funds allow. Therefore our stretch target provides for the natural swimming area and sala, which will make your retreat here significantly more satisfying.
The video above shows you what we have created so far, and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have by email or whatsapp.
[email protected] or whatsapp on 07768608085 (Hank)
Thank you so much!