We’ve finished our contract with NDI Nepal, leaving Kathmandu to make our way by air over the high mountains to Bangkok, Thailand. We’ve been here for about ten days. Tomorrow we hop a train to Malaysia where we’ll spend a few days visiting our friend Siew who lives in Penang.
We had hoped to post photos from the workshops we facilitated at the Future Leadership Academy conference with the NDI. NDI staff snapped some great photos, but everyone at the office is on holiday and so we won’t have photos for a few weeks. Rather than wait to post, we thought we would update you without these photos and post the others later.
So, getting up to speed… On July 7th we took off from Tribuvhan International Airport on a Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. It was a smooth flight. And we landed at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok around 6 pm. This is our second visit to Thailand, we were here in 2007, so we’re familiar with the airport and taxi situation. We got a cab and headed to our favorite Bangkok hotel – New Siam II on Pra Athit Road.
We had arranged a car for the next morning to take us to the Thailand Vipassana Centre, Dhamma Kamala, the meditation centre closest to Bangkok (about three hours northeast of the city). Because of our extended stay in Nepal and our contract with the NDI, we were not able to sit the meditation course we had signed up for. But the centre very kindly let us sit our own 7-day self-directed course. We were really grateful for the chance to sit, even if it was only for a week. We had sat a 10-day course here about five years ago. It’s really lovely. Well organized and developed. Our little course was great, but the centre is in the jungle and it was hot and wet. Surprisingly, despite the centre being in a swamp due to the heavy rains of the season, mosquitoes were not too bad. The rains have brought tens of thousands of frogs and other insect-devouring amphibians and lizards. They do a good job keeping the bugs at tolerable levels. But the frogs also make an incredible amount of noise at night. The trade off was worth it.
Now back in the city we toured around today to visit a few of the local temples and trip up and down the canal. Tomorrow an overnight train will take us on a 20-hour journey south to Malaysia, where we’ll visit Siew.
Here are some photos and commentary from the last few weeks. If you click on each one you’ll be able to see them better.
Hello Bangkok Airport…. we are so glad to see you and your modern amenities.
Scott’s residence, on the other hand, was a bit more basic than Karen’s. This shot was taken by squeezing into the corner on the bed under the window and shooting back toward the door. Notice there’s no ceiling. Or a bathroom. Men will have a nice residence in a few months, though.
These are neat. Ancient Thai public health. Lacking organized medical system, the 17th century Thai King ordered instructions in pain relieving Thai massage to be posted where he knew the people would see them… at the temple.