Beaches, temples and a fellow traveller

Cycling in the South of Thailand was great! I followed the coast line and was extremly surprised that there were no tourists at all. I was a bit worried that there would be one resort after another and touristic infrastructure everywhere. But nothing… They seem to be on the islands!

On my way South I enjoyed the friendlyness and welcoming atmosphere of the Thai people. Once I was on a remote street along palmoil and rubber plantages when an old man on a scooter overtook and stopped me. He bought a Thai ice cream for me and left. While I slowly ate it I observed the women preparing many more ice creams. For that she put a block of frozen water into a mill. The crunched ice she pressed into a bowl with colourful jelly. On top of that she put sweetened milk and strawberry sirup.
When I almost finished my ice a bicycle traveller passed by. It was Theo from Holland and of course he stopped for a chat. Immediatly we liked each other and so we decided to cycle together for a while. With him I made a new experiance: Staying over night in buddhistic temples!

In the evening we approached to a Wat and just asked for a place to sleep. Either they offer a room or let you sleep directly inside the temple. The atmosphere is extreamly peaceful!
In the morning I wake up by the gong and later breakfast is offered which the monks collected from the people in the streets at sunset. A great start into a new day!

Also we came to the sea several times and I always have to enter the water. It is so hot and humid at the moment! Every day far beyond 40°C up to 46°C. Theo and I suffered a bit.
But we had a great time together!

Close to the Malaysian border we seperated and I am heading to the East coast now. I am exited to enter a new country after I stayed in Thailand since August 2013. I am curious of the people, the food, the culture, the language…

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At the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Chumphon

Sometimes in life happen really crazy coincidences!

One day I started to cycle before 6am because I camped in a place where I prefered to leave early. So I did already more than 60km until noon and rested on a beautiful beach at lunchtime. Just that moment a car appeared and one of the men asked “around the world?”. He spoke the best English I ever heard from Thai people. The other man spoke in fluent German to me. Big surprise!

But that was only the beginning of a astonishing story. The German speaking man turned out to be the head of the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Chumphon. Without knowing it I had my lunch break on their land. The English speaking man is Senator in Bangkok and the son of a former prime minister of Thailand. The other persons where his family and they were on their way back to Bangkok in that moment.  The family changed the plan spontaneously and invited me for lunch. We had a quite interesting conversation and very delicious food in a beautiful restaurant at the beach. A very nice afternoon!

When the senators family left, the director of the university brought me to the campus and offered me a place to sleep. The moment I finished to put my bags in the room a college appeared and we went for dinner to another restaurant. (I was still full from lunch…) During the dinner another professor appeared.

She did her dissertation at the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Vienna! Just a year before I started to study there!!! For two years I did not think about pharmacy at all. But suddenly I sit at the beach and discuss with a Thai woman about the professors and facilities at the University of Vienna!

We both could not believe it..

I stayed at the campus for a few days in the end. They explained a lot about their projects to me and I met many interesting persons. I was shown the reef at Koh Khai, the nearby island, as we dicussed about the Marine Department and scuba diving. Also a two weeks training for 200 students from Bangkok started and I joined them for their first day. In the end we even spoke about possible projects I could attend in the remote future.
A very inspiring time!

Things come back in life again and again. I never expected to have anything to do with pharmacy on my journey. I did not even want to. But now I feel approved that every experiance in life is part of the person you are now. You carry all your history with you all the time. Everything is connected…

What do you think about that?

Songkran

Happy new year to everybody!!! Thailand celebrated New Year in the last few days.
Every day I was soaking wet and full of powder!
Songkran is a festival full of joy and nobody is safe of the water. Teenagers block the road and wait with full buckets for cars and motorbikes. Pick-ups full of Thais pass by and everybody has a waterpistol ready to shoot. Improvised street kitchens, loud music and dancing people everywhere. Amazing atmosphere!
As there are almost no farangs (foreigners) in the region I was a big sensation for them when I came along on my bicycle. “Stop, stop!!!” they shouted and prepared baby powder mixed with water to put it into my face. Looks funny, even more on their faces as they have much darker skin. Soon the next Pick-up pass by to splashed me all over with water and I was almost clean again…

Back in crazy Bangkok

On my first day in Bangkok, my friend Marina took me on the motorbike to the Immigration Police, the bike shop and many other places. After 6 month on a remote and peaceful island Bangkok seemed to be other space! The highways, shopping malls and traffic like crazy paralysed me!

I stayed at Marinas and Danis home for one week. They live in a beautiful appartment in a residental neighbourhood.  In the courtyard there is a 100m long pool, a gym, sauna and steambath. First time since long that I enjoyed the luxury of a warm shower and a washing machine. I felt like in a five star resort! Thank you for your hospitality, my friends!!!

Marina and Dani live in Bangkok for a few months since Dani joined the Ayutthaya FC as a professional soccer player. When Dani and his team played a match I had the chance to be in a football stadium for the first time of my life! Exiting atmosphere!
 
After my first shock about beeing in Bangkok was over I took my bicyle and enjoyed to be in the middle of the chaos. Bangkok is a great city for cyclists! Just follow the motorbikes when they squezze their way through the taffic jam, ignore any signs and understand red traffic lights maximum as recommendations!

Bangkok is pure chaos and a gigantic mixture of pomposity, traffic and quiet corners. Irrespective of the area you can buy food everywhere and at any time on the streets.

After my time together with Dani and Marina I moved back to the very centre of Bangkok to spend some days together with Gerd. So I am back in room number 9 of FF Guesthouse like half a year ago before I left to Koh Kood. But even though I like Bangkok I wont have nostalgic feelings when I will leave the city in tomorrow. Cities never make the same deep impression to me as natural evironments. Therefore I am keen on being on the road again! Let the adventure beginn!