Feb 29, 2016
Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday
Location: Thai Plum Village
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong (district), Nakhon Ratchasima (province), Thailand
All the days in the week have a specific set of activities except Monday - it's called Lazy Monday. I thought of hitching a ride to Pak Chong to do my laundry bit, but before I could prepare for it, I was invited to join the monastics up the hill for a picnic. Woo-hoo!
Vietnamese from the North
It turns out that the picnic group wasn't just a random group of monks who wanted to do a picnic. They were all from the north of Vietnam - Hanoi and surrounding provinces. Other regional groups had their own thing as well. In Vietnam, when you say 'from the North', it conjures a whole new image - of being aggressive, fierce, tough and resilient - after all, they prevailed against the might of the USA and unified Vietnam. That is not what I have experienced here (nor in Hanoi and Hai Phong when I visited last year) - they were warm and accommodating with a placid demeanor about them. There were random acts of kindness to me, being the only non-Vietnamese in the group. One of them asked me to sit beside him so he could translate what was being talked about. Another nun shared with me her special rice tea which was of limited-supply. The same nun opened up a box of See's Candies, one of those highly coveted made-in-USA chocolate goodies. In Southeast Asia, it's hard to come by these things. She passed them around without even taking one herself! I don't know if I have that kind of control. They saw to it that my plate was full of whatever was being served. I felt looked-after...a very nice feeling when in the company of complete strangers.
Food from the North
The North of Vietnam is known all over the country as having that special gift for food. They have a keen palate that can discern the minute subtleties in taste. The world-famous Vietnamese noodle soup, Phoa, had its beginning in Hanoi. And guess what? The monastics in the kitchen are all from the North - they were the ones at the picnic! No wonder the food tastes superb.
Thought for the Day
One good thing has led to another. Im on my 4th day, and it just keeps getting better. I really feel privileged to be in such company. Thank you Bros and Sis from the North!
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
Next stop: Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag
Thai Plum Village International Practice Centrewith direction coming from Bangkok
GPS waypoint: 14°33'25.4"N 101°31'45.0"E
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand
Thai Plum Village International Practice CentreLocation: 174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand
Blogs on Thai Plum Village
- Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
- Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
- Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
- Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
- Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
- First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
- Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
- Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
- Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
- Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
- Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
- Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016
How to Get to Plum Village from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi AirportYou are encouraged to arrive at the Center Friday afternoon between 2-4 pm
- Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal - Plum Village by VAN
the trip all the way to Plum Village, Pak Chong costs Baht 500 and takes 3.5 to 4 hours. Take the 11am or 12 noon van to ensure you arrive at the center before 4pm.
How to Get to Pak Chong (Proper) from Bangkok by trainignore this if you plan to go to Plum Village. Take the direction above instead
- If you are arriving Bangkok and would like to proceed directly to Pak Chong without spending a night in Bangkok, best to take a plane that will land in Don Mueang Airport in time for the #71 Train (Bangkok to Si Sa Ket) to stop at the MRT Train Station, Bang Sue, which is only a short walk from the airport. Train schedule at Bang Sue Station: Fri 10:27am, arriving Pak Chong 1:30pm. Express aircon car (Baht 289), non aircon (Baht 198). Duration is 3 hours, stopping right in the heart of Pak Chong. From Pak Chong.
You can also take the train from the main terminal near the center of Bangkok at the MRT Station, Hua Lampong Railway Station. Departure, Friday 10:00am.
Plum Village Cost Index(US$1 = Thailand Baht 35.77 = Php 47.52 as of Feb 28, 2016)
- Baht 500 van from Victory Monument to Plum Village
- Baht 289 Express train from Bang Sue MRT Station (Bangkok) to Pak Chong Train Station, aircon (non aircon, Baht 189)
- Baht 500 taxi from Pak Chong to Plum Village (call this taxi number, Mr. Khun Paisan: 085 772.4519 for the trip to Plum Village)
Things to bring if staying overnight
- mosquito repellent
- not a requirement, but it helps if you bring clothing in the dark brown color in order to blend-in
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