Nan – Land of the Ghosts…

…Forgotten!

Nan was a communist region and no tourist was allowed here 26 years ago.
So life is pretty much the old Thai life here.
I mean don’t get me wrong!
Obviously there are guest houses here, and in high season a few tourists, but you can not compare it to those touristic “hell holes” (as my host Tony calls them πŸ˜€ )
It is serene here, if you go out of the city, which has basically no traffic, you find yourself in a lush green forest, filled with hidden gumtree plantages, midst the mountains.
The province is full of beautiful National Parks and Wild-live Preserve Areas.
Every small village has its own temple. A little like the churches in southern Europe…just more beautiful, with dragons and mythical creatures πŸ˜‰
IMG_2206Tony hosted me in his Restaurant, if you are ever coming here check it out! He is an amazing chef and his wife makes delicious Thai food!
He worked as a chef for the Royal Navy for 6 years and now parttime as something i woud like to call extreme cook πŸ˜€
Cooking food for 1000’s of people in Afghanistan or in the Papa-Newguenean rainforests …somebody oughta do it

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Sadly enough I only spent 3 nights here, because my timetable kinda gets scrambled by the Songkran Festivities (Buddhist new year -> it becomes impossible to travel) and the end of my Thai visa, so i will go to Laos tomorrow morning.
But i think it will be great, spending a boat ride on the Mekong πŸ˜€

So long Ole

IMG_2171

goodbye malaysia, Hello Thailand!

After finishing my work on the yacht i hastily tried to get the last ferry to penang, where i wanted to get a 2 Month Thai visa.

Turned out the last ferry to Kuala Kedah was full, but i went to the terminal in hope that there would be a spare seat πŸ˜‰
i was lucky.
After a very rough boats tour, i met a nice old guy who dropped me at the busstation.
From there i drove to Penang.
(for anybody who.wants to get from Langkawi to Penang, this is the latest possibility…and also cheaper than a direct ferry)

In Penang i had a VERY nice taxi driver who helped me a lot, and even wanted.to give some money back because he saw, that i tried to save money πŸ™‚
It seems all the friendly taxidrivers group up in Penang, because the driver who took me to the embassy the next day told me that you need a passport copy and 2 fotos for applying.
All worked out very well.

While waiting for my visa to finish, i ate at Jim’s place, met some nice people and even got to sleep on the couch there, because all rooms were full.
JIM KNOWS EVERYTHING!!
Go there! It is worth it!!!

I took a minibus to HatYai, and a local bus to Krabi (which is the cheapest way to go!)
on the bus to Krabi i met a nice Thai guy, he couldn’t speak english but when has this ever stopped people from beeing friendly and ole from trusting them.
He had a friend who ownes a karaoke bar in Ao Nang, she could speak english, so i just followed him here πŸ™‚

Tomorrow i will take the ferry to Koh Lanta.
(so far what happened to me the last days πŸ™‚ )

Malaysia conclusion:

Malaysia is develloping!
A modern country which is comparable to Poland.
It is a muslim country, the people are racist in a peaceful way: 60% Malay, 30% chinese and 10% tamil…
at least that are the numbers that have to be forfilled in a public university.

It is apparently not as corrupt as Indonesia, not as touristic as Thailand and not as dirty as India.
-> i like malaysia

food: a lot of chinese food here
very good is:
-satee which is kind of a spicy fondue made in peanut sauce…hmmm
-the roti, which is very different from what i was used to from India
-tryΒ  Jackfruit, a very strange fruit!
i did not like the aftertaste, but i also don’t like blue cheese πŸ˜€

so long Ole

p.s. we have to switch to the old model again, because the internet in Thailand is very slow…

a second look on chennai and a farewell to india

(pictures from Chennai come, when i find an internet cafe)

the last 10 days i spent in Chennai…a city i did not seem to like for the first 7 days.
i was very keen on leaving the city, but i had to get my stomach tested (i will spare you the details of the stomach sickness-it was long and annoying/don’t ever drink tabwater, even if your indian hostfamily puts it on the table while eating…)
when i got the results it said i am healthy…but in the time the hospital took to test my samples i ate some bad pongal rice and got sick again…
so i always had something that kept me in chennai.
it is a big city, dirtier than Mumbai but with a lot more culture.
it took me a few seconds to realize the first part and some days for the latter.

as i said i was doing yoga every day with a very cool teacher Balaji (everybodys name in chennai is Balaji πŸ™‚ )
that kept me up the first few days, i had a little down.
because it is impossible to get in the harbour, even the private one..they are very afraid of terrorists -.-
anyhow after i met a few cool people my spirits got slowly back to normal again.
there are some beautiful parts in chennai. (see the pictures ?tomorrow? )

And i guess that is something India tought me, you can see beauty in everything, and you can learn something from anybody (sometimes he doesn’t even know, that he tought you something πŸ˜‰ )

i always described india as
“loud, dirty and extremely beautyful”
and i think i can still go with that.
It is these extremes that leave a strong impression, and also the paradoxes you can encounter.
India is a country, where the language changes every 200km and the food every 300km…it is like visiting different countries.
i have only been in 8 places in 3 month, and i have not even seen everything in these places…it is an own subcontinent, thats for sure:)

I met really cool people, that definetely had very interesting stories to tell, but on the same moment you realize everybody does. the only difference here is, that nobody is afraid of talking to you.
It is the mere opposite.
Everybody is talking to you. Indians want to learn something, most of them are not able to travel (due to money, family or culture), but still they are interested in other cultures.

The slogan of the tourist department is “Incredible India”
and i totally agree πŸ™‚
so long
Ole

p.s. my favorite “indian” food (or at least food i ate in india)
-Dal fry (the dark thick one as well as the light yellow one)
-Thalis
-Dosa
-Malai Kofta
-Palak Aloo
-Paratha

tibetan food:
-momos!!!!
-thentuk
-tsoma
-tibetan pizza

chinese:
-madchurian

The Tibetan Colony

Ok, so last time i showed you a picture of my host!
(i fixed the pictures, now you can actually see him πŸ˜‰ )

We (the american lady i met in the train, Jigmee and another monk) drove to the Tibetan colony.
I was stunned when we arrived, so stunned that i forgot to make pictures…
But then we came to Jigmees monastry by the Name of Jaipun.
It holds 4000 Monks and is divided in 4 monastic universites.

This is his university/temple.

And this is Lubum Kangtse, the compound where he lives.
[THIS PICTURE IS RELATED TO THE SPECIAL POSTCARD QUIZ!!!]

I did not have a PAP (protected area permit) so i was staying in the colony illegally, which is the reason why i did not see much of the colony itself.

But i saw some spectacular things:

Pudjas

you are not allowed to wear shoes in the temple

when having a pudja in the temple, they normally eat in between.

this is a teaching.
(i recorded some samples, you can see them in the P.S.-section)

Cooking
I love to cook, but the highest amound of people i ever cooked for was 10, the kitchen master here cooked a delicious soup for 1500 people!

the kitchen
the ingedients
cut the tomatoes
fry the onions and stir, so they wont burn.

Add 3 buckets of glass noodles to a big pot of fried onions and tomatoes.
thenn add 2 buckets of cheese
3 buckets of mushroom
2 buckets of Chinese mushrooms
and then around 8 buckets of different vegetables
prepare a bowl of chili sauce
and stir the milk tea

Debate session

The Tibetan debate is quite physical. it is almost a dancing. the one sitting has to answer the questions of the standing man. and nobody is allowed to become angry.

(i am sorry for the bad quality, but my small cam could not get it better, due to the darkness πŸ™‚ )the dance (i made a video of that)

the debate ground
symbolically putting salt on the head of the sitting one, because he made a mistake.

the “finals”, the groups gather and make a group discussion.
and people are allowed to stand up and to support the standing guy.
and then they do the dance together…

I did not make pictures of the reincarnation of the teacher of the Dalai Lama, who gave me an audience and answered some private questions.
Also i did not make any pictures of the chaotic street system, which looks really organic, and none of the beautiful Ratu monastery and its white abbot. The first white abbot in Tibetan Buddhism. A very nice American guy who studied Buddhism for more than 30 years.
So long Ole

SPECIAL POSTCARD QUIZ:
In the announced picture there are different numbers on the doors.
In which room did i spend 3 nights??
Hint: the guy walking is my host.
You get time until December to guess.
The comment must be on the blog!
I will announce the winner(s) when i write the first entry from Mumbai.

p.p.s.

i did not make this video, but the internet here is to slow 😦
there are 2 other videos i wanted to share, but now you just have to keep with the pictures :/