Finally settled in Pattaya, Thailand. Can once again come back to the finer things in life – own quirks and activities I´ve grown to love – the view being beside the point I had the chance to make pancakes this morning and they were delicious! Also enjoying the idea of not needing to do anything and have the possibility to calm the spirit and enjoy the nothingness of everything surrounding me.
Last I wrote I was tired in Phnom Penh – we ended up staying there for a week or so which gave me a chance to play some badminton with the local Cambodian national team. The experience was great and I enjoyed it, but Phnom Penh didn´t have anything for us – a fully squeezed lemon. Some of the people we met were great, but the percentage was so low that more people drained the energy rather than share or grow it.
So.. again, cut my plan a little short and we headed South again – why South? Well, we had time and we wanted to visit the Bokor mountain – “Escape to the Bokor Mountain” (previously alternative blog title). We enjoyed it a lot and this time it was special in a way, 4/5 days the mountain had cloudy/rainy feel to it, but not this time. It was very clear and the view was wonderful. The stay had a twist this time – I got sick and am still sick now for.. the 10th day, but it´s much much better now. Why did I get sick? Slept with an open window and the nights are chilly here already which I am not yet used to. This heat plays tricks with your mind in every aspect, but I get used to it slowly.
After Kampot we headed to Sihanoukville again and enjoyed our most favourite dining place at Victory Beach. Also had a better room and really enjoyed the stay this time (last time was ok, but not as good as this time). Ended up staying there 3 nights after which we had a new heading – Siem Reap. As I promised to coach the Cambodian national team, then we headed through Phnom Penh and stayed there for the entire day and planned to leave with the nightbus. Even left our bags at the bus station – didn´t have any energy left to care if anyone would steal it there, but it was quite safe, or “quite” “safe.” Nobody stole anything, fortunately. Saw “The Killing Fields (1984)” – I recommend you watch it if you want a little information on the Cambodian history concerning the US and Khmer Rouge – horrible incidents happened to a great people, but hopefully they are recovering now and heading for a much more wonderful future.
The nightbus that should have arrived in Siem Reap at 6am, arrived at 5:15 – good news? Well, yes and no. We and another tourist we met fell asleep at around 4 o´clock and hoped to sleep until 6, but well, you already know how that ended. But what we instead got in return was a very relaxing walk, with the cool air, sun not yet up and a beautiful quiet morning. Our trail lead through a beautiful park (which we later realized was one of the only parks that were so beautiful, other places were ‘local’ e.g. no nature parts and mostly shops, people and no side-walks + traffic and noise). So we got a very sweet morning, a wonderful feeling. If you ever come to Asia I recommend waking up at 5-6 AM – it is much cooler, you´ll see the cities waking up and you have more light time in a day. I sometimes wonder why I didn´t do that at home – I mean wake up at 5-6am, but then I realized why. You want to know? Well, ask yourself a question – at what time does the sun rise for example on 15th of November and let´s not even talk about December. Different cycles, different motivations.
Why were we visiting Siem Reap? For Angkor (Wat). It was and is quite interesting. I´d love to one day return and meditate there during the night (well, it´s not important WHEN, but that´s the only time the hordes of people aren´t there). But they weren´t that disturbing in the end – but it´s only if you realize that a lot of people are not on this planet to grow mentally, then you just learn to see them in a specific way and not waste any energy on the impact their existence has on you.
I liked the Ta Prohm temple the most, but hey – who didn´t or who hasn´t? It´s called the “Tomb Raider” temple, but I saw that so long time ago that I didn´t make any connection with it – I just liked how the nature is slowly trying to take over the temple and creating unique architecture which the people are trying to limit, mold and hide (unfortunately). You can still see how they struggle, but I guess it´s a 50/50 story – on one side you´d want the nature to fully take over and let natural life rule, but on the other side the younger generation wants the chance to also see it. I guess, they will now, but not how the natural world has wanted it to be or maybe the natural world is the one where people intervene? Inception.
On the 7th Nov we started heading to Pattaya, found a rather cheap bus ticket and the trip to Pattaya took 13 hours, only about 470km. We didn´t ride the bus for 12 hours, but rather fell into the “be apart of the tourists who are /all together/ taken to the border crossing at noon, so it would take longer for no apparent reason.” By that time I didn´t really care as our forward trip was planned and I already planned the whole day being gone because of travelling. Since we were heading towards Thailand, the land of extremely friendly people everywhere and much much much much much less hussle – we were ready endure anything faith/karma/life had to throw at us.
One we entered Thailand, the feeling was great. Much more relaxed than compared to the feeling in Cambodia and what was going through my mind was “Home Sweet Home” (another alternative blog title). By now we have realized something we previously knew – Pattaya is not really a representation of Thailand, or at least not a fair one. Why? Too many tourists and the only part that represents Thailand in any way, for me, is that the people here have in most part preserved their wonderful energy and way of life. I mean, I really REALLY admire Thai people – huge respect has grown towards them and the way they live and choose to act on daily basis despite the surrounding life is mind boggling for me.
I don´t know if you know this by now, but Thailand has reached the top of my loved countries in the world. But I guess the “Home Sweet Home” kinda gave it away and.. I have not yet seen Chiang Mai, which we will briefly visit and get to experience, but I have the feeling it will only get better.
So now we´re staying in Pattaya, we have a condo here thanks to Juri who organized us this place. We eventually didn´t plan to even visit Pattaya, but when he offered us this place, we couldn´t really resist. Looking from the picture you can maybe guess why. Also another big feature which I wrote about in the first paragraph – there´s a kitchen here! That means cooking and enjoying the pure energy behind the food. Of course, the street food here is still much cheaper, but I miss eating my own energy and for me – nothing can top that, nothing.
The last picture – intriguing way I learned to fold plastic bags. It´s 23:16 here and time to hit the hay. Will do some sunbathing tomorrow for the 2nd time during the whole trip – first time was in Sihanoukville (the 2nd visit) and I´m not counting the sunbbathing I did while driving the moto.
What can I say to finish my yet another blog post? What have the Thai people taught me? Listen to yourself, no matter who keeps blabbering around you, no matter how “fabulous” the unnecessary information sounds that others keep sharing – just do what you do. If someone is trying to hold you down or misguide you – be water, my friend (Bruce Lee). Just simply do what you need to do and trust.. in yourself – you´ll have an extremely wonderful life full of value you never imagined possible.