|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!!!