Tuesday, September 19, 2017

10-Day Silent Meditation Retreat at Suan Mokkh - Part 2

I managed to sleep for 5.5 hours but couldn't straighten my body well even with the two-seat joined together. The train was reaching late at Chaiya train station. It was supposed to reach at 6.15am but only arrived about two hours later ^^"

Train journey to Chaiya - Southern of Thailand

Chaiya is about 6 km northeast of Wat Suan Mokkh. Once got out from the station, many people offered their service in form of motorcycle and taxi. In the website, it's said I could take songthaew (share pick up truck) to reach the monastery and pay only 20 Baht. However, I didn't know how the songthaew looked like and didn't see it nearby either.

Being clueless, I stopped a Thai young lady who passed by in front of me and asked her where I could get the songthaew. She couldn't understand English much but from the body language, I guessed she was asking me where I was heading. I told her Wat Suan Mokkh. She seemed to understand.

She asked me to wait. She walked to a private pick up truck and talked with a driver, a middle age man. Shortly she told me to get in the vehicle saying that the man would send me there. I asked her how much should I pay and she said, "Just get in. No need to pay."

How miracle happens!!! :)

Wow!!! I was amazed!!! Just nice there was one empty seat available and space to locate my luggage.  On the way the guy even offered me a bottle of cold mineral water. Just what I needed!!!

Three of us went together. Soon I reached the front part of the monastery. I thanked both of them for their kind help and silently wished them be healthy and happy in their life. Thank you SB for sending them down so that I could reach the place safely and sound :)

Main gate of Wat Suan Mokkh

The monastery area was so huge. I went to toilet first then went to a place where there were people having their breakfast and all  was wearing white clothes. They were Buddhist practitioners who stayed there.

I asked a lady who couldn't speak English and she led me to Brenda, a foreigner lady in her 60s, who stayed there for so many years. She was very familiar with the meditation retreat and the monastery area. She gave me all the info I required and even offered a briefing session in the evening together with other ladies.

Wheel of Becoming at Dhamma Hall

I headed to the Information center and registered myself there. I collected a dorm key as I intended to stay there for a night before heading to the mediation retreat place the day after. Fyi, the meditation retreat was held every month from 1st to 10th. Registration would be done one day before and it was completely over one day after. You could reach there early but have to stay at the monastery's dorm.

Woman's dormitory at Wat Suan Mokkh Monastery

There, I met Leah. She too, would sleep a night at the monastery. I was very happy to find accompany :) We walked to the dorm together and found our room. The room was as I expected, similar with the ones at the meditation retreat place. The bed was made of hard cement topped with a straw mat and wooden pillow. We collected our blanket and set the mosquitoes net above our bed. We took a bath before going outside to find something to eat.

Many isolated monk quarter in the forest :)

There we knew a German guy, Rafael. We had our lunch together and had a chit chat. Afterwards we browsed around the monastery area then went back to room to take a nap.

Wat Suan Mokkh Founder - Ajahn Buddhadasa

When I woke up, the sky turned dark. I saw more people coming and some stayed at the dorm. I attended the briefing given by Brenda, and she's very informative. We would have a clearer picture about what we would face during the retreat. She treated us with local snacks and fruits too. At 8pm we were done and went back to our room to sleep :) Another day passed by. It's good to experience a quiet and dark night, and let our body rest, get ready for the registration day!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

10-Day Silent Meditation Retreat at Suan Mokkh - Part 1

"Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert and "Around India in 80 Trains" by Monisha Rajesh had both inspired me to search the happiness from inside - spiritually - while travelling. Been wanting to experience living in Ashram or undergo the silence meditation retreat, being away from outer world (no phone, email, Facebook, selfie, etc.) over certain period of time, at least once in my lifetime. At the same time I was in midst of confusion state in searching which Buddhism way to follow (Tibetan, Mahayana, Theravada??) and what type of meditation should I practice in my life.

"Do not look outside, seek inside" - Rumi

I learned my first meditation by joining a week meditation retreat in Vipassana Graha temple in Bandung, Indonesia in 1990s. I was still very young and meditation was mainly practised for getting peace and relaxation. As I grew up I was wondering if there was any other kind of benefits I could get.

So one day when I browsed online, I read the 12 best meditation retreats in Thailand article. And after comparing it, I felt that Wat Suan Mokkh silence mediation retreat would be the best option for me - low budget option (cost Thb 2,000 for the whole 10 days), 2 vegetarian meals provided daily, being silence entire time (shouldn't be a problem for a quiet me), basic sleeping condition (hard surface with straw mat, wooden pillow, blanket, and mosquitoes net), daily yoga, hot spring (natural hot spring, mind you! Omg!!!), and surrounded by lush nature (this what drawn me most as nature-lover).

Suan Mokkh - A place definitely for a nature-lover :)

They had own website and I could find all information I needed (clearly and in English). Ooh... btw, I chose Thailand because I had been wanted to go there again after my first and last visit back in year 2007. I planned combining the meditation retreat together with a holiday break to Bangkok, and later on to Chiang Mai.

Just nice I found accompany (a close ex-schoolmate) for the trip at both places. However, she wasn't interested to join the silence meditation retreat. Therefore, despite being alone, it didn't stop me to go ahead with this program :) I assured myself that I would not be the only one who attended the program alone. There must be many people out there from all around the world who would like to find the happiness inside, live a silence life, and head to this place, just like me :)

Since I had been jobless for more than a year, I had to plan this trip as economy as possible. I took a budget ait to Bangkok on 29th Aug, landed at Don Mueang Airport, and took a train from there to Hua Lamphong train station. The train ticket only cost me 20 Baht. It took me more than an hour to reach.

Train from Don Mueang Airport to Hua Lamphong

To be frank, I was a bit nervous about this trip as I traveled alone. And on my previous visit (10 years ago), I never took other public transport except for Taxi ^^" But now, since I had only limited budget in hand, I had to find cheap transport wherever I go. And watching SPL II: A Time for Consequences before the trip, increased my worry as well (fear of being kidnapped and sold my organs). Lol!!! 

That's why I arranged meeting up with Bhutanese friend for dinner before continuing my train journey at night. This way I'd have something positive to look forward and I wouldn't be afraid of being alone :) Thank you Tenzin for willingly accepting my request and treating me dinner as well! Your accompany made me feeling much braver and adjusting the situation faster. Thank you, thank you, and thank you! :)

Thank you 3 of you for coming all the way to meet me :)

After dinner over, 3 of them had to go back to their hostel. I spent the rest of the time inside the train station; went to toilet for freshen up and sat at the huge air-con room until the train came. Luckily it was not that crowded. I took train no. 39, second class seat with air-con, departed at 10.50pm. Only few people in 1 carriage. We were given blanket, bread and juice. Soon I fell asleep and the train kept going. Tut tut tuttt..... jess jess jess....

Hua Lamphong Railway Station - Bangkok, Thailand

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

"National Day" Celebration with dear Besties ;)

Well, not really National Day though. Just happened we celebrated it on National Day's eve :P It'd been a while since three of us having a get-together kind of thing. Ms. Busy had always been busy with her work. Ms. Free flew aeroplane sometimes when she had too much fun during her free time :P And myself had been busy traveling too - on and off.

Friendship celebration night - 0808 :D

Let's count this as "Friendship celebration night" ba, at the auspicious date- 0808 :) (Think about it, suddenly I'm thinking of buying 4D. Who knows it will open tonight! Then we can realize our dreams to travel together.  Hahaha... Huat ahhh!!!).

Cheers for our friendship... :)

Three of us grew up and came from three different countries in Southeast Asia - but none of us was from Singapore :D Wasn't it such a beautiful fate and good karma that we could meet here in this country?? It's just like mixing 3 different ingredients into the wok that blended nicely and created a delicious dish!!!

Ms. Busy and I - Knew each other since year 2004

We managed to know each other from the same working place but weren't working together at the same time. It's more like I knew Ms. Busy first, then later on, after I went back to the same company for the second time, that's when I knew Ms. Free.

Ms. Free and I - Toast the spirit on Octoberfest 2009 :D

I was good with both and there was a time when I met them both together. They ended up click being together and that's how three of us started the friendship journey together :) (I think I'm good at bridging people together. Consider that as my strength ba! ^^).

Celebrated Christmas at my house - year 2013

We went through many events together, from cycling event, walk event, Christmas celebrations, Birthday celebrations, etc. After leaving the company we have changed jobs at many different working places and never once met again as colleagues.

Ms. Free Birthday celebration - Our first night over in 2014

The above was our first time night over at Ms. Free house together. We bought ingredients and had steamboat. Drank and slept there. I think the next day we went for walk event early in the morning. And last night it was a second time we gathered and slept over night, but this time it was held at my home. Ms Busy bought KFC and the rest prepared the beverages.

Time is the greatest gift quote (Pic source: Google.com)

It wasn't easy to maintain friendship. Everyone had their own lives and lived in their own world most of the time. Yet, we still spared our precious time to be spent with together. There were highs and lows throughout our lives and usually we could only share it with people we trusted the most.

Friendship quote (Pic source: Google.com)

And for women, as we grew older, our problems varied a lot - from family matters, working life, boyfriend/ girlfriend matters, health matters, money matters, and so on. However, we readily offered our ears, lent our hands, and shoulders to lean on at anytime, and kept the secret safely just between us. Having each other presence and support was the greatest gift that bestie could offer too!!! :)

 That's what friends are for! :) (Pic source: Google.com)

It wasn't always sweet either. Sometimes we were angry with each other but after some time we managed to click again. There would never be grudge. Just momentary unhappiness, which was soon be forgotten.

To all my friends: I'm grateful for you :) (Pic source: Google.com)

I'm very grateful having both of them in my life. Really really grateful. We learned from each other about many different things in life. Thank you gals for trusting me to be your best friend all this while. I know for sure that we shall treasure our friendship together, if possible, 'til the end of our lives. 'Til our hair turned gray, skin wrinkled, teeth gone, et cetera ^^ Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! :)

Sunday, August 06, 2017

One year since I last worked

Be positive, be happy :) (Pic source: Google.com)

Yalama!!! Time flies mo? It's been a year since I was last being employed. Then onwards, I had gone through many places all over the world, be it meeting my siblings in Australia, Hong Kong, and Jakarta, and accompanying my dear parents for checking up at Malaysia. Went for holidays with dear Baobei also to Hong Kong and Jakarta.

I guess, that's all for now. I really want to travel on my own enjoyment to Bangkok right now or celebrate the upcoming Birthday somewhere with my dear friend, who understand me as a person, and willing to accompany me drinking as the clock ticks away.

Life is in your hands (Pic source: Google.com)

A year without working. It all seemed like a dream. No income obviously, but I've been living my life to the fullest. Even if I stayed at home, I'd spend my time doing things I loved doing, like cooking, meeting friends, reading, watching movies, and so on. The privileges that working people couldn't get. The free time. Monday to Sunday.

I've enjoyed all my time to the fullest. And I guess, it will soon be over. Need to get to workplace again, gain salary, saving parts of it for the necessities and next holiday plans, and so on. Nevertheless, I've been felling grateful for what life has brought me this far. I'm truly and indeed grateful. Thank you, thank you, and thank you.

Whatever will be, will be (Pic source: Google.com)

Perhaps I'll spare another month? Let's see where my fate brings me into. This will be one of those posts I wrote about my feelings instead of what I usually wrote. No one knows what future will be. Many goes to fortune teller to give them clues what their lives would be in this year or next year to come. I choose to resign my fate to nature, let the fate brings me where I should go. Everyone's fate is different. This is for sure.

Cheers....!!! :)

No matter what, I choose to be positive all throughout my life journey. May Buddha bless everyone, every sentient beings, who are struggling in this Samsaric worlds. With this post, I wish everyone is blessed with good health, be happy, free from suffering, life full of peace and joy. Whatever will come, I'll have to face them bravely. Wish me luck!!! ;)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Traveling with parents tale - Time zone difference

Time zone difference

Previously we stayed at the room with no window. Therefore, we wouldn't know if the weather was hot, raining, or whether it's morning or night. In addition, my parents came from Jakarta, where the time there was one hour earlier than here, in Malaysia. E.g. If here was 7 am, Jakarta would be 6 am.

Despite they both were wearing watch on their wrists, they did not adjust the timing on it. They thought it was only one hour difference, therefore, not necessary to adjust. But they forgot that they too, could be forgetful about the time difference.

Well readied Mom (Pic source: Google.com)

In one occasion, I was awoken by a strong perfume smell. I found Mom doing her make-up and had already changed her clothes, ready to go out. I turned on my mobile phone and looked at the time. I immediately asked her, "Mom, where do you want to go so early like this?"

"Early? It's already 7 plus no??" she replied without stopping her activity.

"Ma, are you dreaming??? It's only 6 plus now. Please go back to sleep," I said.

"Haa??? Only 6 plus?? Not 7 plus ya?? I thought I woke up at 7 am just now," she replied me in shock.

After finishing her make-up, she sat down on the bed and started checking her mobile phone. I couldn't sleep anymore after that, because very soon, I was disturbed by a very loud Chinese old songs (with a maximum volume), or the sound and/ or with song that came from Chinese-made videos (those mostly showing unfilial son/ daughter together with their son/ daughter-in-law) sent by only God knew who they were.

And soon after, my mobile would vibrate and when I checked, it was the video that she just watched earlier and sent to our family What's App group ^^"

Another occasion was our first night after reaching Malaysia. Since we had nothing to do, we slept early (I remembered turning off the light at 10 pm at night since I couldn't stand the TV volume, and Dad immediately turned his TV off).

While sleeping, suddenly I heard familiar voice from a couple. I thought I heard it in my dream though.

(Pic source: Google.com)

Man: "Damn!!! It's only 4.30 am!!!"
Woman: "What time?" - with disbelief tone.
Man: "4.30 only. No choice la. We slept too early last night."
Woman: "Haa??? Only 4.30??? Feel like already long."

Ugghhh... I wanted to pee. I had no choice but to get up. I turned my phone charger off and headed to toilet with the phone. I turned it on and checked the time. It's 5.30 am.

When finished, I returned to my bed. I giggled and continued sleeping. I made it so quiet so I could sleep longer. And soon, I heard him snoring. Zzz..... Zzz..... 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Travelling with parents tale - Ghost in the room

The missing glasses case

As minimalist during travel, I only brought what I needed. So when I got up and found my glasses case missing from the side table I shared with Mom, I questioned my Mom who got up earlier than me and was applying make-up in front of the mirror at the corner of the room. "Ma, did you see my glasses case?" 

She turned her back and looked at me. "I saw it on the side table this morning. Don't have meh?"

"It's not there. If it's there, I wouldn't have asked you," replied me.

She stopped her make-up and walked to the side table direction, just next to me. "I saw it this morning right here," while pointing into the table. "How come it's not there now? Got ghost in this room meh? Which ghost took the glasses case???" Her voice became louder as she was curious who would take that worthless item from me and even angry on my behalf.

Suddenly my eyes saw something, just on top of the side table, a black underwear - which apparently belonged to Mom - beneath my glasses case.

Where the mysterious glasses case had gone ^^"

"Yes, I found the ghost. The ghost is spraying perfume right in front of me now," and I bursted of laughing out loud. Yes, very loud laughter in such early morning.

She turned her back again and she too laughed out loud when seeing what I pointed to her. We both laughed like crazy and let our dad wondered from inside the toilet, what's going on with this mother and daughter... ^^"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Travelling with parents tale - Eat and food

Malaysia food (Pic source: Google.com)

Just like Singapore, Malaysia a multicultural country. Majority ethnic group here was Malay (59%), followed by Chinese (32%), and Indian (9%). Their national language was Malay language, but English was widely spoken. So when coming to Malaysia, you'd expect many different food available across every corner of the street.

My parents though, especially Mom, had a choosy tongue when it came to food. Despite having traveled to various countries around the world, Chinese food was still their number one preference followed by Indonesian and lastly Western food. Indian food was no no for Mom. She felt that certain taste of the curry was too strong.The most she could take was Roti Prata as she tasted it before in Singapore.   Therefore, I found it such a waste to have famous Indian restaurant located just next to our hotel, but they both didn't fancy the food.

On our previous visit, we stayed for a week at the same hotel. We had eaten at the same coffee shops nearby, over and over again; mainly choosing the local Chinese food. So after some time we were pretty bored with it. We could imagine the taste of it even inside our dream.

One evening, dad was attracted by the mutton soup smell from the next door Indian restaurant. He loved mutton soup very much, but in Indonesians style. Apparently Indian style used different types of spices. But he was still willing to try. But we ordered at the wrong place. We should have ordered it directly from the waiter who keyed in our order in a small palm device. Instead, we went to the display counter where they sold white and Briyani rice with various cooked chicken, beef, and mutton dishes with vegetables.

As I had endured days without tasting Indian food, I was very happy that finally I could order my favourite Briyani rice with fried chicken, plus cucumber onion pickles mixed with yoghurt. For dad, he ordered white rice with chicken curry and the same pickles. And mom? She was having no mood to eat Indian food. At first she refused to order. But after trying my fried chicken, she walked to the counter herself and ordered a plate of white rice with fried chicken. That's it.

Gained weight (Photo source: Google.com)

She was the reason why I gained so much weight from my last visit too. Everytime she did not like the food or could not finish her portion, Dad and I had to finish it as we both tried our best not to waste food. For her, she didn't care much.

Many times Dad and I had to exchange look over the food she could not finish. Especially those she ordered unnecessarily. E.g. Dad suggested her to share a portion with him. She would say she did not want to eat this but something else. At the end her food portion was big and she did not like it. She would just eat few bites and leave the rest untouched. Or morning time she ordered something. She would say she could not eat much early in the morning. But she did not make any effort to ask the seller to give less portion either. Haizzz...... 

This time we visited Malaysia again and stayed at the very same hotel. We reached the hotel quite late from the airport. We were all famished. As we walked towards the hotel's entrance door, many people had already seated outdoor. On their tables, many plates of satay (meat skewers) were seen. The fragrant smell of the satay being fanned on top of the charcoal had attracted Mom to immediately visit the restaurant once we checked in our room and put our luggage.

Delicious Indian food :D

Dad ordered 1 bowl of mutton bone soup (Sup Tulang) and 1 bowl of normal mutton soup. Mom ordered 10 pieces of Beef Satay. And me, I ordered my favourite Briyani rice with chicken curry, cucumber onion pickles with yoghurt, and fried bitter gourd.

My favourite dish ;)

I started eating first as my food was readily available. Their food came later as the satay needed to be grilled. Maybe Mom was too hungry. She said she wanted to try my chicken curry. Not only that. She also tasted both veg that I chose on my plate. Quite surprising for me. She said, "It's nice. This curry, I can eat. Sometimes other curry, I can't take it. Too strong." She smirked, as usual, her pattern in giving excuses, and continued, "Tomorrow morning we can eat here again. We can eat Prata." 

I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. Laugh because finally she could accept how delicious Indian food could be and cry because she should find out about it earlier so that we could have eaten it more often before. I still remembered vividly her desperation when she rejected to eat anything that night.

The quote (Pic source: Google.com)

So I replied her, "When people is hungry, I think everything will taste good." She was just smiling wide. Even this evening when I asked what should we have for dinner, she suggested the next door Indian restaurant almost immediately ^^"

Travelling with parents tales - Sleeping together

Me traveling with parents :D (Photo source: Google.com)

In our families I was the fifth and the youngest among my siblings. All of us were staying separately in many different countries, except my brother and I. My eldest sister stayed in Indonesia, same city with where my parents lived. However, I was the one who travelled the most - all over the world - together with my parents. If we joined the tour, we would usually stay at the same room (1 king or double bed for both of them with 1 single or extra bed for me). In certain countries I couldn't help but to endure the uncomfortable folded extra bed :"D

So sometimes I felt that I was very lucky to have good karma and fate to spend so much time with them although we stayed at different country and even at this age where I myself already had one teenager boy. Or maybe that's also the reason why I often felt as if I was still that single and young little girl who stayed under the wings of my parents (a.k.a no freedom), lol.... :D No matter what, I felt very grateful for all the chances and opportunities given by my parents to see the world around us :) Since 10 years ago we had travelled at least once a year together. Weren't I the fortunate one?

As I wrote this, I could also share with my siblings what they could not experience with my parents in their lives :) For this post, I just felt I wanted to share about our recent trips in Malaysia, where we spent at least a week under the same room and number of days at the country. 

Wake up!!! (Photo source: Google.com)

My alarm clock
First of all, as we had to stay together in harmony, we had to recognise and accept the different life styles that we all had. So, they both were early risers. At home they usually got up at 5 to 6 am everyday, while me, I slept quite late and got up late too. So I definitely did not need to turn my alarm on. They were my alarm clock. Especially my dad. He had a hobby and habit of watching TV with a loud sound and turned it on once he got up ^^" Anytime too. As long he's inside the room. 

Watching TV habit (Photo source: Google.com)

Watching TV
I had to give in for this. Personally I loved to be alone and stay inside quiet environment. A little music was fine. But I knew this was something he couldn't live without. Moreover while watching it, he often forced us to watch it together with him by commenting what he saw on TV. Even though I ignored him, he would still keep commenting as if we were interested. When it's too unbearable, sometimes I really had to put on my ear piece and looked at my phone so that it's clear that I wasn't interested on the TV show that he watched.

This reminded me of my childhood time when I was in primary 1. He forced me to sit down next to him watching the news while my four siblings were having chit chat time about their lives together with Mom inside the room. Oh I envied them so much listening to their laughter from living room. To end the misery, I had to feign sleepy so that he'd ask me to go to my room to sleep immediately. Lol!!! :P

Toilet (Photo source: Google.com)

Toilet usage
For toilet sharing, we were quite agreeable on this. Usually after breakfast, dad would do his big business. So he would have breakfast once the restaurant opened, finished fast, and hurriedly went back to room to use the toilet. 

And in evening once we reached hotel, dad and mom would take bath first (they were pretty fast in this) and I'd always be the last one because I used toilet for some time as I had to wash my underwear and clothes almost everyday :) (Mom usually brought more clothes so she didn't have to wash it often while I preferred bringing less items while travelling).

Sleeping time (Photo source: Google.com)

Sleeping time
At night they slept early and dad often not happy if I slept too late or used phone in the dark. So, like now, I had to wait until I heard him snoring, then I'd use my phone secretly and covered myself with blanket :P There was one time when dad woke up for toilet and he came near to my bed to check if I'd fallen asleep or not as he might see the phone's light reflection from under my blanket. Lol!! It scared me to death and I had to act as if I was sleeping to avoid unnecessary comments. Hahaha... :D

Curfew? (Photo source: Google.com)

As we all grew up in a not-so-safe city, my parents had set up curfew at home. We could not return home so late. 10 pm would be the ideal although once in a while, 12 am midnight was still acceptable. But more than that or sleeping at other people's house was not acceptable at all. 

This fear had always remained whenever we went back home and parents were around, even when I was on holiday staying at the same room with them. Yes we knew, it's for our own good and safety. But as we grew up, we felt we were getting better in taking care of ourselves and when we saw our aunt had relaxed her curfew towards our much younger cousins, we felt the world was unfair. 

When my friend was only free after almost 10 pm to have supper with me, I had to inform them faster just minutes before I left the hotel so that there wouldn't be any room for rejection. At least they knew I was in a good hand (they met up with my friend before). But for returning back time, I still felt like Cinderella, whose shoes and carts would change after midnight. And the next morning when my dad asked me what time I came back, I told him the time slightly early than the real time I came. Hahaha... Naughty me :P

Well, there were more stories to tell but clock kept ticking away. So let me stop here and continue at the next post OK? And as I end this post, I'm still hiding in toilet as if it was just the usual short toilet break in between sleep. Lol... Hope you enjoy reading this and you may be reminded of your time spent sleeping with parents when you're young :) Adios! Good night!!! ^^

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Books read for the first half of the year 2017

Doraemon reads book, and so do I (Pic source: Google.com)

Below please find the list of the book I read for the first half of the year 2017:

January 2017

January 2017:
1 Singapore Love Stories - Verena Tay
2 Burial Rites - Hannah Kent
3 Kuan Yin: Accessing the Power of the Divine Feminine - Daniela Schenker
4 The Vanishing Year - Kate Moretti

February 2017

February 2017:
1 Management Tips - Harvard Business Review
2 Strange Weather in Tokyo - Hiromi Kawakami
3 Leadership Wisdom from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - Robin S. Sharma
4 Six Four - Hideo Yokoyama

March 2017

March 2017:
1 Paris for One - Jojo Moyes
2 The Best of Chinese Life Philosophies - Leman
3 Si Cacing dan Kotoran Kesayangannya - Ajahn Brahm
4 Talking to Ourselves - Neuman Andres
5 One Plus One - Jojo Moyes
6 O's Little Guide to Starting Over - O, The Oprah Magazine
7 The Spy - Paulo Coelho
8 The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World - Dalai Lama XIV
9 Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult

May 2017

May 2017:
1 Chronicle of a Love Foretold - Monu Tamang
2 The Morning Sun - Mon Tamang
3 The Fine Art of Living and Manifesting A Peaceful Death - Khenpo Phuntsok Tashi
4 Wisdom of the Buddha - Venerable Wu Ling

June 2017

June 2017:
1 Buddha Gotama: Riwayat Buddha Untuk Keluarga - Handaka Vijjananda
2 The Fifth Letter - Nicola Moriarty

Secret of Balance Life :D (Photo source: Google.com)

Not bad... 23 books for the first half of the year. If you notice, I did not read any single book in April. It was due to the traveling journey to Bhutan that took me for more than 3 weeks. In June I traveled again and did not leave me with much time to read. March seemed to be book and tea craze month hahaha.... And the books that I chose to read were more on Buddhism too lately. Doesn't mean that I will not read any more fictions. I definitely do. Well, let's see how many more books I can read until the end of this year. Time flies dude!!! Do what you love while you are still alive! ;)

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Journey to Merak and Sakteng: Day 5 - Sakteng to Mongar and Back to Bumthang :)

Beautiful Sakteng, Bhutan :)

The fifth day of our journey: Going back all the way to Mongar

We finally reached the end of our trekking journey. It's our fifth day since we left Bumthang. We got up at 4 am since we planned to leave Sakteng at 5 am. Just nice that the home-stay owner - Dikpa - planned to leave from Sakteng to Trashigang with his fellow friends. The night before he asked us to go together with them since they would arrange vehicle from the nearest vehicle road, and drive from there to Trashigang, which later on, they even drove all the way to Mongar.

The trace left from King's visit to Sakteng, Bhutan

It was such a beautiful morning. No sun and no rain. Perfect!! :) At least for me. K and I left the place first. From where we stayed, we walked to the right side, and went all the way up, passing by the small place housing few prayer wheels, until the view of the Sakteng slowly diminished. We had to bid goodbye to that lovely place and it would sure be missed.

Bid goodbye to Sakteng, Bhutan

For me, the terrain was really beautiful. I felt as if I was not in Bhutan. We passed by few more walls with prayer wheels where we could convey our prayers for the safe journey, and slowly entered to narrower pathway.

Beautiful nature path :)

Ohhh.... I loved this pathway so much. Although the road was not smooth (more like stones pathway), but you could see such beautiful scenery on your left and right, such as the red and white color Rhododendron, river streams, etc.

White Rhododendron :)
Beautiful morning mist :)

The morning mist added the already beautiful forest view :) The air was cool and fresh!!!

More prayer wheels on the way :)

We stopped sometimes and turned the prayer wheels when we saw it :)

Beautiful river streams :)

The river streams were so natural. Its sound was serene and peaceful. The view was just like what you often saw in magazine :)

Loved this walkway very much!!! Falling in love with it :)

I wished I could stay there so that I could go for morning walk like that whenever I wanted to. Oh my.... I fell in love with this place so much!!! :)

Many giant rocks on our way :)
They caught up with us so fast!!! :)

After a while Dikpa and his two friends managed to catch up with us. Hahaha... You could not compare my speed and their speed. They walked very fast as they were used to it :) We asked them to take over us as I took longer time since my both toes were paining from the strenuous hike days before.

Vehicle road in the process - Sakteng, Bhutan

There was road making process in the area too. In the future the vehicle would be able to pass through from Sakteng. That way, the trekking tour business would be greatly affected. Because otherwise, people usually needed one to two days to trek from Sakteng to Phongmey.

Our last stop after 2.5 hours walked from Sakteng, Bhutan

After 2.5 hours of walk, we finally reached the place where vehicle road was available. We waited there for some time until the Bolero arrived. We put our bags behind and sat inside. Many villagers took ride with no fee collected by the driver. How nice he was!!! :) 2.5 hours later, after passing by Joenkhar Teng, Phongmey, and Radi village, we were back to where we were from, Rangjung. It amazed us how we recalled back the day when we first started our journey, with no single clue on how to go to Merak.

Our way from Rangjung back to Trashigang, Bhutan

We stopped at Rangjung for a while before continuing our journey to Trashigang, and reached in about an hour time. Before having lunch break, the driver asked us if we wanted to continue our journey to Mongar since they changed their plan and headed to that direction. Since it would shorten our journey, we agreed and joined them back to Mongar. For that we paid a total of Nu 600 per pax.

Had our packed lunch plus desserts and tea at Trashigang town, Bhutan :)

Trashigang town reminded me of my visit with Luzee almost two years ago. I brought K to the place where we had dessert, just behind the big Mani Dungkhor in the center of the town. We ordered two cakes with two cups of milk tea and revealed our packed lunch there. We took a rest and visited toilet before continuing our journey. At 1.30 pm we left the Trashigang town.

Say 'Hi' to Mr Frog!!! :D

And as usual, we passed by the cute Mr Frog on our way back from Trashigang to Mongar :)

A beautiful soul at Mongar, Bhutan :)

We reached Mongar town at 5 pm. While K went around asking for hotel's fare, I contacted Luzee's adopted sister, Kezang, who was currently teaching in Mongar. On my previous stay in Mongar, we also stayed at her rented house, however, she was not around. She was going somewhere and left the empty house for us to stay. So finally this time, I met her in person. She was still so kind offering both of us to stay at her rented house. Not only that, she also prepared us a complete and delicious dinner and breakfast herself. Wow!!! I was so touched by her kindness. She was one beautiful soul that I would never forget. Thank you Kezang for your wonderful hospitality to us. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! May Buddha bless you always and shall we meet again one day!!! :)

End of journey celebration at Phuntsho Pizza, Bumthang. Yeahhhh!!! :)

So this would be the end of our journey. We went back to Bumthang the day after by bus. It took us a whole day to reach. Once we reached Bumthang, I dragged K to Phuntsho Pizza and we ordered large size of Spicy Mixed Pizza, only for two of us. Hahahaha... I definitely missed the taste of Pizza there. And as celebration, we also ordered my favorite Druk 11 for both of us. Cheersss K!!! Thank you very much for being my accompany for this wonderful journey. You're always the best!!! Thank you for everything you'd done for me. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!!! May Buddha bless you and your families always too!!! Love from Singapore :)
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