Saturday, January 29, 2011

Unreal paradise

Main Ko Chang beach in the rush hours.
I reached the state that I needed a short holidays from my traveling. Traveling is great but sometimes one need a short break. Matthias sent me recently a nice story about the caravan that was traveling fast through a desert and it stooped only before reaching it final destination for a longer stop. Western tourist asked the Arabs why do they stop only few hours before reaching their destination. Arab told him that the souls need to catch up with theirs bodies.I am still far to my final destination but I had a feeling that indeed I had to allow my soul to catch up with me.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Deep blue

This is beautiful "over water"

flower in the night.
Ko Tao is a diving paradise and I went there to check out if I would enjoy diving, as well as to see how my organism would adapt to increased pressure and maybe to do my diving license.This is also one of the cheapest place to get certificated.
Surprisingly my organism adopted very well to those new conditions. I also manage to overcome the fear of removing the mask underwater and during the diving course I learned several basic skills like naturally breathing underwater, removing mask underwater and calm movements.

Coconut hunt

Successfully opened coconut.
On the Ko Tao I want for a day hike with Steffan. We climbed the mountain on the island and reached a beach on the other side. Snorkeling was not particularly good since there was quite a bit of wind and waves. On the way back I noticed a palm tree and thought about getting a coconut from the palm tree. There were some stones lying around so I started to throw in direction of coconuts. Palms are usually really tall and coconuts are far from the earth surface. On one hand one needs to take heavy stone to have enough weight to knock down the coconut on the other hand the stone has to be light enough to be able to reach the coconut.

Lady boys in Thailand.

Lady boy in Bangkok.
Thailand is interesting country. It is a traditionally Buddhist and it is a monarchy. Theoretically there is some democracy but I was told that most issues are decided by king. In Thailand there are three sexes: male, female and lady-boys. In Thai language there is a separate grammatical construction in order to refer to an lady boy. As early as in a school it happens that some boys are putting a makeup and are dressing up in female cloths. I have seen lady boys to work in restaurants, shops as well as prostitutes. I have also seen lady boy with a beautiful Thai girlfriend. It is really amazing social acceptance, I guess Polish lady boys can only dream about acceptance like this.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Years Eve in Fire.

Fire show.
Early afternoon on 31st December I reached Ko Pha-ngan (party island). I knew that all accommodation on the island will be overpriced and overbooked so I did not even bothered myself to look for one. I just booked the ferry to Ko Tao (diving island) for the next day, leave my luggage at one of the restaurant and decided to party for the whole night.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lost on the way.

Certain items did not feel like traveling with me. I guess that just got bored with traveling with me in such a speed. First was my phone that wanted to stay in Ladakh (by the way I got a new phone in Thailand, but I still do not have my polish Sim card). Second was my silk sleeping sleeve that I left at the boarder police and which one can see on the photo of my hammock. The most often lost items were my glasses and hats. I already have third pair of each.

Couch surfing christmas

Christmas Coach surfing gathering.
I arrived to Bangkok early morning on 24th December, not really knowing what to do for Christmas eve. I found out that there is a christian mass but i still wanted to join for kind of family Christmas dinner - and not really go to restaurant. I searched for polish community in Bangkok and I left a post on their forum, but no respond. Moreover I checked couch surfing website. Initially i did not find anything interesting out there and almost in the last moment I found what I was looking for. Scott, an American guy was organizing a Christmas dinner for coach surfers in Bangkok.

Lost Youth Hostel

Lost Youth Hostel
In Phitsanulok I came across a very magic place - abundant Youth Hostel. This place was closed only recently - there were still old vegetables in functional fridge and the whole place was emitting a magic energy. I was seriously considering to stay there for a night or not.... and I would if I would have with me the mosquito net. There were quite a lot of mosquito around. I hope to have a mosquito net with me next time I come across a magic place like this.

Seeking Inner Peace - Meditation retreat

Meditation lake.
Already for a while I was fascinated about mediation, and I wanted to try it and to look inside myself. At the beginning of my travel, while I was staying in Ladakh I joined three days silent retreat. This retreat took part in beautiful Himalayas and was a very intense experience on physical as well as psychological level. For three days we were mostly trying to work to concentrate the mind on the natural breath. My mind wandered a lot and it was a challenge to get it focused. This was my main conclusion. Later, thanks to the conversation with other travelers I realized that a three days meditation retreat was too short period for an initial attempt. I decided to try once again.

Sofa impressions

Now (now meaning when I am writing it and not when it will be  published) I am sitting on great sofa in a cafe and I almost forgot  how comfortable is to seat on the sofa. I just realized that I had never sat on sofa in Lao, Cambodia or in Thailand. When I had coffee, I  had it from the food stall or from a local restaurant where they had only chairs.

Loooooooong neck

Long neck tribe.
Initially I was not too enthusiastic about sightseeing hill tribes in Thailand since other travelers told me that it is very artificial, one have to pay even entrance fee for visiting a village. They had impression that they are visiting zoo. But the last day in Chang Rai I rented a motorbike in order to visit White Temple. I visited it from the morning and I still had quite a lot of time. I wanted to see the mysterious black house for the colour balance, but on the way there I came across the sign for the most known hill tribe in Thailand - long neck. So I changed my plans and went there instead to black house.

White, whiter, White Temple - impresive modern temple.

White Temple - Wat Rong Khun.
Wat Rong Khun, White Temple is located 5 kilometers from Chang Rai. It is modern temple that the construction started 1997. And is planned to be fully finished in 50 years. The Temple is designed in white colour with the use of white glass. In the strong Thai sun it is really whiter than a snow.... White temple is an amazing artistic project initiated and lead by Chalermchai Kositpipat - famous Thai artist.

Finding a place for holidays

Just after my meditation experience, I spent few days at Christian place, coach surfing in Ubon Ratchathani. It is very interesting the way that he is choosing the place for his holidays. He wants to experience one single place for longer and he wants to live in a medium size city. So he wrote a small script to randomly picked up his location. He beliefs that the destiny is leading him to this spot.