The Issan Rockets and Glass-Hill forest monastry

After taking a bus from Laos to Thailand i am in Thailand now.
Wait a moment… i don’t know why but something is of with that beginning sentence.

I arrived in Si Sa Ket, a town that apparently has a temple completely made out of recycled bottles…and a town of which i only saw a pretty but pretty expensive hotel for the night where the Internet shut down regularily..

But from there i went to Huay Tap Tan to meetย Tony’s friend Noi.
She is an elementary school teacher for handicrafts and taught me how to make a palm leaf hat.
Also she can massage very well.

Then i went to the Monastery her brother leads.
And spent 5 relaxing days there, amazing food in the morning, 2-4 showers, and a little meditation.

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One day we were sent to go to see the Issan Rockets…rockets, but they don’t explode when they are up.
“Fireworks that doesn’t explode…sounds a little boring” i thought to myself, and i won’t judge you if you think the same.
Well we all could not be more wrong!

Did i promise to much? I have never seen something that incredible.
The rocket we carried actually won the event with a height of 370m aboutย 1 213.9 feet…as i said, i don’t want to be there when the rocket comes down!
Tomorrow i will go to Bangkok my definite and last stop in Thailand.
Let’s see how crazy it really is.
So Long (and without a sunset)
OLE

Koh Lanta and between

After Krabi (Ao Nang) i went straight to Koh Lanta.
The ferry made some stops on the way to take some people aboard, but i still slept pretty well ๐Ÿ˜€
Arriving inย  Koh Lanta, i obviously did not know where to go, but Chan was there, a small Thai guy and owner of a reggae bar.
He offered me a free ride to a bungalow resort, and when i shared some music with him he offerd m a free place to stay. (thank you Motte for all the reggae music ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

The Beach is way better than the one in Ao Nang which was crowded, here it is way more relaxed, a few reggae parties but not the full on hardcore stuff that Thailand is known for.

Pictures:IMG_1573Me and Jim, in his place…see previous entry ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_1602 IMG_1600 IMG_1599 IMG_1593 IMG_1592 Pictures of the ferry from Ao Nang to Koh lantaIMG_1586 IMG_1585 IMG_1583 IMG_1582Tourism in Thailand? BIGTIME! that is one of 20 massage parlours on Ao Nang beach, the massage was really good, but every saloon has 20 beds, it is just so massive!

But then i arrived in the Andaman Bay!

IMG_1651 IMG_1650Kirsten, Monique and me (2 south african girls i met in Penang already) IMG_1647 The water is so extremely clear!IMG_1645 IMG_1640 IMG_1638 IMG_1637 Relaxing is important!IMG_1634 More south African people IMG_1624 IMG_1623 IMG_1619 You can print you postcards yourself this time ๐Ÿ˜›IMG_1617 IMG_1612 IMG_1611 IMG_1608 ย ย  I am enjoying this!
I decided to take a week off and just relax and let go.
Tomorrow is birthday time, jammin on the beach!

So long
the tanned relaxed and massaged
Ole ๐Ÿ˜‰

IMG_1652

coolest guy in Hampi; the paradise Gokarna

Second Post in a row…[ i hope this doesn’t become a habit to bombard you with a huge amount of input and the be silent for a long time ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

I forgot to tell you about one of the great persons in Hampi!!
His name is Gali, and he is an amazing musician.
I traded my melodica for the selfbuilt travel didgeridoo, which sounds amazing.
IMG_0900At sunset we made music together, and everybody was invited to play along and use the instruments he brought.

Gokarna:
I took the bus from Hospet to Ankola and saw this popcon seller with 6 fingers:IMG_0902

and arrived there at 00:30 in the night.
The bus to Gokarna would go at 5:30… :/
So what should i do?
A Tuktuk driver asked me if i needed a riksha for 700-600rup. but i said it was to much, so he handed me a card of a guesthouse he wanted me to stay.
I assumed it was his guesthouse, so i asked him, if he would take me there for free, if i took a room.
After 60km of driving we reached the guesthouse and i noticed, that this surely wasn’t his guesthouse, because it was way to big and fancy.
And indeed, he asked me for 600 rupees, he simply did not understand what i said. So after 10 minutes of diskussion i gave him a 500 note, we agreed on 300 rupees, but he charged 350…because of tips! Well, ok…what for?
When i asked him to repeat the words: “I don’t understand” he didn’t understand, and the security guard who was “translating” the argument didn’t either…so if you meet a riksha driver who offers you a free ride, be careful that he actually understands what you are asking from him ๐Ÿ™‚

I slept in the guest house…things happen and it is no need to worry afterwards, and when i woke up i got rewarded!
Om Beach – Gokarna:
IMG_0903This was worth it!
IMG_0904

In Hampi i heard from some people, that there is paradise beach, where you can camp on the beach and apparently there was a nice atmosphere.
so i walked from Om beach…
You pass beaches before reaching Paradise with great names.
Halfmoon and petit paradis.

I did not reach paradise for 2 further days, untis i swam there, but this is a different story ๐Ÿ˜€
I met some guys sitting around a fire making coffee

IMG_0907The two standing french guys were leaving the day i arrived, so i overtook their camp in petit paradis. (actually we made up this name but don’t tell anybody, eventually it will get established ๐Ÿ˜‰ )
It was Awesome!!! I will go there again for a longer time period, and i can recommend it to anybody!
IMG_0911the first setup (the little water is freshwater, which i filtered with the pump, my mother kindly gave me ๐Ÿ™‚ )IMG_0909the hammock, i moved it later on, because, if you want to sleep in a hammock, put it as streched as possible or you will strain your back and not find any sleep!

IMG_0908and if you don’t have one of these…you won’t either ๐Ÿ˜‰IMG_0913the camp ( the hammock was moved under the washing line)IMG_0914view from the beachIMG_0915the beach.
it was really cool, the stones were only in the front, in the water, there was smooth sand.
Also the freshwater well poured in the sea and formed small little streams, which were fun to play with!!IMG_0912when you are living in the jungle, you become very creative!
i also started to make coconut bowls (when you come to gokarna, buy some rough sand paper…you wont regret it)

Of course there are very touristic, yet relaxed beaches Halfmoon, Om or Kudli become more and more touristic, the closer you come to Gokarna.
A lot of small guesthouses with restaurants.
Because not everybody wants to stay in the jungle.
In fact i wondered why people call it the jungle…it is just a forest, isn’t it?

IMG_0905Giant butterfly’s in all different colorsIMG_0917praying mantises IMG_0918IMG_0922IMG_0919bullfrogs the size of a small catIMG_092310 different kinds of ants, from 5mm to 4cm

Snakes, mungos, monkeys….
IMG_0927This was Lior, my good neighbor from Israel.
Me and him one day were sunken in thought watching the fire, boiling coffee, not moving.
When all of the sudden he jumped, and i jumped too…the snake jumped too..everybody got a shock, the snake just as well as us two ๐Ÿ˜€
1,20 m and 5cm diameter, the biggest wild living snake i have seen so far…i still don’t know if it was poisonous or not, but it was an intense experience to have a wild snake (which might be poisonous) 50cm away from you.
On the picture it was on the wall next to Lior.

We had different visitors, drinking tea and coffee, cooking having fun.
One polish guy convinced me to swim with him to paradise, i had not been there as i said before.
It is only 10 minutes swim and very cool.

2012-11-29 15.35.15the polish guy20121125_195127me in a lungi

A small history of paradise:
Adam and Eve tasted of the apple tree, because the snake asked them to, god threw them out, because he wanted to have all the apples for himself.
So they went to gokarna, because coconuts, ananas, bananas and mangoes are better anyways ๐Ÿ˜›

I stayed there the last night for full moon having a very nice jam session with a group of russians, who brought all kinds of cool instruments.

go there and stay at least one night at the beach! bring some food, and share it with somebody, they will have pots and everything so don’t worry about it.
If you don’t have or don’t want to buy a mosquito net, buy some mosquito coils and some Odomos, and you will not have a problem!

So long Ole
IMG_0924

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ )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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
there are 2 other videos i wanted to share, but now you just have to keep with the pictures :/

Goodbye Delhi, Hello Manali!

So after almost 3 weeks of staying in the moist heat of Delhi, i finally got to leave the city.

15h of bus ride with an overpowered Airconditioner…i felt like i am back in Ukraine again.


When stopping for a tea break in the next morning i somehow realized, that we are not the only bus travelling to Manali.


Bela (my host from Delhi) and Andy (the fashion editor)

When we entered the mountains the winding roads were extreme. Very steep and narrow roads, beautiful view and a bus travelling with 80 km/h…EXTREME!

We arrived in the morning and went to a guesthouse of a friend of a friend ๐Ÿ™‚
(from here i cannot put anymore pictures…slow internet…but i’ll put them later ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Manali is great, beautiful view on the mountains and a very relaxed atmosphere.
But you can really feel how it becomes more and more touristic.
However i found some nice people. I stay at another couchsurfers home. His name is Riaz.
And i found some company, a English guy and an Israeli girl, i met in a cafe.
I might go to an internetcafe tomorrow to upload some nice pics…

so long
OLE