Day 207 to 229 Bangkok

Unfortunately I have almost no photos from the time I spent in Bangkok. Mainly because I was wearing a par of pants that didn’t really have space for my camera most of the time… well, there are a few pictures from the first few days though 🙂 After that I did a lot of massage courses. I am now licensed in Thai Massage (90 minute program) Thai Oil massage (2 hour program) and Thai Medical massage (I have been taught acupressure points to cure 51 different ailments). In total I spend 20 days in school (6 hours a day) while in Bangkok doing massage… a quite hectic period since we where out partying almost every night! 😀

 

First day in Bangkok. I met the girl to the left on the bus from Koh Tao and we ended up sharing hotel room for the first couple of days to lower the cost (after that I started couchsurfing).

IMG_2261 

Going to Wat Po for some sightseeing

IMG_2265 

They have LOTS of Buddha statues like this there… like several hundred.

IMG_2272 

A huge Buddha lying down. He is more than 30 meters long!

IMG_2276 

Going to the cinema to see Avatar in 3D… cool movie!

IMG_2284 

Not the best of pictures… but one of the few I had from Bangkok with CS:ers… well… you can look at my facebook to see some more pics that other people have taken of me 🙂

IMG_2292

Day 203 to 206 Koh Tao

After the meditation retreat my next step was to go to Koh Tao to do some relaxing with my new friends and to take a Rescue Diver course. We spent a few days in this fantastic Island with white beaches, beautiful diving sites and good parties at night… definitely a paradise Island.

Oh, and after the meditation it was a period where I was not carrying my camera around that often so unfortunately you won’t see that many pictures from this period… I started experiencing things more than documenting them for a while… but here is a few at least 🙂 (They are all of my friends that I met during the meditation retreat… so probably more interesting for me than to show that much of my adventures this time I am afraid…)

 

Checking in

IMG_2260 

Two girls I spent quite a lot of time with in the beginning on the Island 

IMG_2242     

We are on the beach again!

IMG_2248   

Butterfly cocoon anyone?

IMG_2252 

Dinner with the gang

IMG_2254 

I want food!

IMG_2255  

Hello!

IMG_2258

Day 192 to 203 Review of Wat Kow Tahm

I know many of you have asked me to tell you a bit more about my experiences at the meditation retreat Wat Kow Tahm, so here comes a bit of a “review”. First of all I should mention that this was one of the tougher things that I have ever done… to get a feeling try standing up, close your eyes and focus on your breathing for 60 minutes without moving… you will probably realize quite soon that your mind starts to drift away… when it does just note this and go back to the breathing… after a few minutes you probably will feel some pain in your feet… just note this and focus on your breathing. If the pain gets worse (for me my feet usually go numb after about 25-35 minutes) just go into the pain and examine it… how big is it, how does it feel, where exactly is the centre etc. If you can’t stand it any more you could try focusing on your feelings around it… are you afraid that you are hurting yourself, feeling impatient? Well, give yourself some compassion and see if that helps etc.

Ok, so is the hour over now? Ok, well imagine that you do these kind of exercises for 12 hours a day (we started at 4 am in the morning and went to about 8.30 pm every day… with some brakes for food and chores in the middle). And then imagine that you do this for 10 days… yepp… then you get roughly an idea of what it was 🙂

To be honest… after 3-4 days it actually started to become a lot easier and you could actually focus more on the things you where there to learn. The first thing that came was patience… with yourself for loosing focus, with time going soooo slow, with everything from standing in queues to following the schedule or not understanding basically. After that came increase in concentration. To be able to stay focused for longer and longer of periods. Once these started to work better we came more into other types of meditation such as compassion loving-kindness (useful for increasing your love for everyone in the world and generally behave in a more pleasant way and have more understanding for others). We also came into other types of reflections, everything from death to what causes us pain in life. One of my favorites was the compassionate Joy meditations. (I had some difficulties at times with this one though). It is about being able to be happy for your own and others fortune in life… to be happy for others joy. Actually not as easy as it sounds at times.

We also learnt some cool “tricks” such as how to deal with pain. Or rather your emotions connected to them which can actually make the pain itself irrelevant so to speak. I mean… it is still there… you just don’t care…. it doesn’t affect you really. (Normally the emotions are much stronger than the pain… think of when you here the sound of a mosquito… I think most of us have a very strong emotional reaction to this… but when you think about it… the pain of when the mosquito bites is actually not that strong at all really…)

The head nun, Mae Chee Ahmon giving a final speech at Wat Kow Tahm

A view of a small shrine at a viewpoint at the monastery.

IMG_2227

This is the view from up there

IMG_2230

The people in the retreat In the front our teachers are sitting together with the head nun in the middle.

IMG_2232

180 to 191 Koh Phangan part 2

This is to give a small update on some more parties we had on Koh Phangan, the New Year’s full moon party (which was kind of big) and my first attempts to learn how to use POI’s 🙂

Fireworks and Full moon party at New Year

 

Kao doing a fire show. (This thing is called a POI… I have started to learn it… but without fire :-D)

Another view from our Bungalow… the sunsets where sometimes quite extraordinary 🙂

DSCF0597

What can you say… couchsurfers… they kind of have their laptops with them 🙂

DSCF0607

We had breakfast almost every day at this place… great food and friendly personal. (The woman to the right was the one serving us most of the time :-D)

IMG_2064

Paaaarty time! (This time it is the Shiva Moon party)

IMG_2071

My camera doesn’t really do the UV color justice… but it looked pretty cool there 🙂

IMG_2077

With flash 🙂

 

IMG_2084

What is a beach party without some fire shows 🙂

IMG_2109

Annika Practicing with POI’s.

IMG_2127

Sushi dinner 🙂

IMG_2165

Birthday cake for Annika…

IMG_2170 

Playing pool… eeh… was that not what you are supposed to do with the blue thingy?

DSC02269

Yeay…. waterfall!

IMG_2184

A very nice view from a Chinese temple

IMG_2225

Kao taking a rest 🙂

IMG_2226

176 to 180 Koh Phangan

Here comes a first update from Koh Phangan, I will probably stay for a while longer on this island so expect more info to come later 🙂

The boat-trip out here was quite interesting. We where on a small shipping boat that they had decorated with rows of bunk beds… you really slept shoulder to shoulder with your neighbor.

IMG_1988

Victor on Christmas morning in our Bungalow

IMG_1989 

The Bungalow to the right and the beach to the left 🙂

IMG_1992 

3 small Santa ready for Christmas!

IMG_1995 

Swedish Christmas dinner

IMG_1996 

Well… KIND of Swedish Christmas dinner 🙂

IMG_1997 

I am staying with the two guys in black… the girl to the right I met up with on the boat ride over to the Island…

IMG_1998    

Half moon Christmas party… was really wild… SO many people there 😀

IMG_2004  

Foam machine on the beach of the full moon party (the day after)

IMG_2010   

A lot of people on the beach!

IMG_2014    

It is a bit dark… but Victor is actually on that slide to the right 🙂

IMG_2020

Yea… Bevis and Butthead… or? IMG_2024  

These are called bucket shops… they sell a bucket of liquor (about 1 liter) for between 150-300 bath. (About 3-6 euro)

IMG_2027 

Henri putting UV-paint on Victor

IMG_2031 

Soo nice 🙂

 IMG_2038

Scary hand!

IMG_2040 

Then the question came… did the text work?  IMG_2049

Well… Victor got a bit jealous… so luckily Chantal decided that it worked for him too 🙂

IMG_2050 

Typical Thai spelling 😀

IMG_2057 

From our porch on the sunset.

IMG_2060 

Barbecue dinner (The thing in the middle is actually on fire)

IMG_2061 

How many people can you fit on a scooter? Well the extra saddle in the front kind of gives you a hint 😉

IMG_2062

Day 174 to 176 Phuket

These days where quite fun… I got to meet up with my parents again and revisit Phuket. I was there once before in 2005 but must admit a few things have changed… they don’t try to commercialize the Tsunami as much any more for one thing…

I also had the realization that my travels have changed the way I see and react to things in many ways. During the days I spent with my parents I did see them in a new light. Things that just a few months ago would have made feel angry or hurt or upset just flew right through me this time. I also realized that I cannot take responsibility for how anyone else feels, it is totally up to each person how they react to information. To be able to do this requires that you are fully conscious of your emotions and thoughts. And realize that what you feel or think is not who you are.

Once you have stopped identifying YOU with your emotions and thoughts you get a choice. Because once you observe your emotions from a “third person” perspective you realize that you are creating pain for yourself by staying in this mindset. There is no sane person who would ever create pain for themselves and when you then have the choice to react or not to circumstances around you it becomes clear that there is only one sane way forward.

Well, to be aware of this requires that you stay present, that you don’t identify with roles, and that you are very careful with how you react on things that SEEM to be positive things. (Such as if you build your happiness from when someone tells you that you do something well, or that you are beautiful or any other happiness built from external factors. The danger of this is that the happiness you feel from this is just the other side of the coin that brings misery or pain to you, such as when someone tells you that you do something bad, that you are ugly or other things that hurt you.) True happiness radiates from within… and is in all of us!

Well…. that was a few thoughts I had right now, here comes some pictures from Phuket 🙂

Mom and dad on a shopping street.

IMG_1980

All three of us

IMG_1983

A guy that was connecting a new while to the electric net… not quite the Swedish standard 😉

IMG_1984

On a restaurant, I love those happy smiles 🙂

IMG_1986

Day 171 to 174 Penang

After Langkawi it was back to Penang to pick up our Thai Visas and spend the weekend on the CS invasion that was taking place. We had a great weekend touring around the Island looking at beautiful scenery, bathing in waterfalls, eating good food and going out to clubs!

From the Dragon Show the last night:

In the car of our host the first night… we managed to squeeze in 7 people in it… was just a TAD full 🙂

IMG_1897 

Victor in da club… (yea… the sun was very strong that night 😉

IMG_1900 

Josh partying loose!

IMG_1902 

Playing with dragon costumes!

IMG_1905 

Heeello!

IMG_1906 

Victor doing a cool pose!

IMG_1909 

Josh on his pink scooter.

IMG_1912 

The view from the place we had lunch the first day of the CS invasion… really nice!

IMG_1916 

Michel, one of the organizers at the lunch place

IMG_1917 

Cool girls…

IMG_1920 

Me chilling… oh, and the small scrub wounds on the knee is from falling with the scooter in Langkawi.

IMG_1924 

CS:ers at the invasion.

IMG_1925 

Group-picture of all of us!

IMG_1930 

The girls riding a horse… Josh and Victor where more fascinated with the equipment of the horse though…

IMG_1931 

Don’t they look cute… on the love bench…eh?

IMG_1932 

Hmm… something tells me I don’t want this one to bite me…

IMG_1936 

CS:ers at dinner during the invasion.

IMG_1941 

Victor goes with a mask in the night!

IMG_1944 

Many of the CS:ers as the waterfall on Sunday

IMG_1951 

We went up another mountain…Michel is pointing out something.

IMG_1954 

Dragon show at night… this pole was actually really heavy!

DIDIMG_1967 

People queuing for free food… wait… did I say free food… eh… forget the part about queuing…. people RAN over!

IMG_1968 

You can never get enough hugs!

IMG_1971 

Don’t you like my gloria? Yea… soon new hair color 😀

IMG_1972 

Ula looks kind of happy!

IMG_1973

Day 166 back in Kuala Lumpur again

Ok,this is probably the last Kuala Lumpur post that I do in a while… going of to some more beach-like places soon 🙂 This is mainly to talk about a nice barbeque that we had up on a mountain watching what we hoped would be a meteor shower (but it was cloudy so we didn’t see much) was a very nice time anyway though 😀

 

City view from the mountain

IMG_1876 

Two CS:ers up on the mountain

IMG_1877 

Milda, ehm, I mean… someone… preparing some weed to be smoked. (Yea… they kind of have a death penalty on possession of drugs in Malaysia…)

IMG_1880

Magnus the wizard… (no I still don’t do drugs!) IMG_1881

Josh slipped on the way down and hurt his leg.. (yea… we also didn’t understand why he needed to take of his t-shirt because of that 😉

IMG_1882

Day 165 Singapore

Singapore… I went here mainly for the ZoukOut dance festival… but ended up arranging a pillow fight there too… quite a lot of fun 😀

Most of the below pictures are from other people’s cameras, found on facebook 🙂

I kind of feel that there was  some collaboration here on the fighting…

11032_353681185244_801665244_10270570_4980572_n   

Time for posing…

11032_353681320244_801665244_10270581_7559781_n

and again

11032_353681335244_801665244_10270583_5487985_n 

and again…

11032_353681345244_801665244_10270584_1260172_n 

and again…

11032_353681465244_801665244_10270595_2529069_n 

Whee… pillow flight… ehm… I mean fight!

11032_353681490244_801665244_10270597_4452952_n 

Super-tall pillow fighting machine!

11032_353681535244_801665244_10270601_1796377_n 

Pillows in the air!

11032_353681575244_801665244_10270605_2527494_n 

Some massage after a fight is never wrong… but wait… I think there is a hidden message here 🙂

11032_353681590244_801665244_10270607_3506186_n 

Under siege…

13833_220873279084_642354084_4134033_8304543_n

and then it calms down!

 13833_220873309084_642354084_4134034_1590640_n

More pillows in the air!

    16649_218074667358_639517358_4169813_1822178_n

Some might recognize this as my facebook profile picture..

16649_218074687358_639517358_4169815_5023403_n 

Singapore street… very much cleaner than Malaysia…

IMG_1838 

Very nice Buddhist temple

IMG_1839

You can buy these small shrines to put the ashes of a loved one… as a grave.

IMG_1840 

On top of the temple… hard to believe that this is in the middle of the busy city.

IMG_1842  

ZoukOut festival… looooads of people!

IMG_1847   

Why have a dance festival in a country where it is 30 degrees also in the middle of the night? Well, for one you can have a dance floor in the middle of a pool… for the other girls can run around in bikini during the party 😀

IMG_1852  

Fireworks during the festival

IMG_1855   

Want to hook up with someone? Go to the flirting point!

IMG_1860 

Why not do some wave-riding during the festival!

IMG_1862 

Flirting point in full action 😀

IMG_1863 

Good music, cool lights and laser-shows… great festival!

IMG_1873 

The couchsurfing crew!

IMG_1874

Day 155 to 164 Kuala Lumpur

Once back in Kuala Lumpur I visited the city a bit more… such as Chinatown and Little India. (Oh, and I got my Indian Visa… can now go to India with multiple entries whenever I want for the next 6 monhs… yeeeha!

Was also going to a place called Batu Caves where they have a pretty cool Chinese temple.

 

The KL tower… quite impressive and beautiful

IMG_1779

Look up… naaah… i am not falling or it 😀

IMG_1770 

Ehm… is this a copy of Starbucks or are referring to something completely different (it was a cafe… and the guests seemed quite normal actually :-P)

IMG_1772 

Me with two CS-gils at a gathering

IMG_1775 

Arriving at the “Monkey house”, a place where I stayed for quite a few nights in KL… for some reason all guests there had their laptops with them… and yepp… all of them where long-term travelers, gave me quite some inspiration!

IMG_1781 

A Chinese CS-girl took us to a temple and showed us how the ceremony is when you burn incessant.

IMG_1783 

Some of them where thin and some of them where thick.

IMG_1784 

Walking around in Chinatown… you can find lots of expensive “brands” here fro all over the world… to very… ehm… attractive prices 😉 (everything fake of course!)

IMG_1787 

Four CS:ers and their cameras 😀

IMG_1789 

This house was apparently a facade they had left after WWII.

IMG_1791 

Monkey house the day after a party… but we managed to clean up quite quickly 😀

IMG_1794 

Batu Caves… the first step was to get up all these stars… phew!

IMG_1819 

Once you are up the view is pretty nice though!

IMG_1796 

I think the opening looks a bit like  a heart… or perhaps as from within a smiling mouth 😀

IMG_1801 

Inside the caves… they where huge!

IMG_1805

A monkey that found a coconut… lucky day!

IMG_1811 

Mo, Moritz and the CS-girl who brought us to the caves.

IMG_1812 

Moritz next to the fire!

IMG_1814 

A sermon over a relic in the temple, they washed the thing in honey, and oil and milk…over and over again!

IMG_1815 

A Cs-girl (Ula) sleeping in the Monkey house… I just liked her style 😀

IMG_1825 

Look a monkey… THAT is why we call the house the monkey house 😀 (The girl to the right, Milda was my host in the house and the guy to the left, Josh was the guy who told me about its existence)

IMG_1820 

A normal shopping mall… ehm, with a rollercoster inside.

IMG_1823 

I wonder what discrimination on race, age and gender would say about a job-add like this in Sweden 😀

IMG_1824 

A CS-group that wanted to go Salsa-dancing… unfortunately they didn’t let us in since we where wearing shorts…

IMG_1826

Another CS-party… started out as a pool-party but ended up indoors in the end.

IMG_1836 

Cool dudes… (we where watching a 3D movie… that’s why the “cool” glasses,… and our gangster looks!)

IMG_1829 

A view from the Petronas towers… the building in front is tiiiny in comparison 😀

IMG_1831  

The park outside Petronas tower… more of that in the next post which is about a Pillow Fight I made there 😀

IMG_1834

« Previous PageNext Page »