THAILAND

Thailand for me was such a beautiful , eye opening , majestic experience. I took over 4,000 photos in an effort to preserve the memories as much as possible for when I got back home. Its something I want to re-live over and over .

Here is my visual diary.

 

 

 

BAAN HOM SAMUNPHRAI

My own porch 

My own porch 

The view from my room every morning 

The view from my room every morning 

The Sala Samathi. Thai in origin and it means a special building for shelter. Beautiful space to meditate 

The Sala Samathi. Thai in origin and it means a special building for shelter. Beautiful space to meditate 

I was lucky enough to see Christopher's office. I like seeing someones creative space.

I was lucky enough to see Christopher's office. I like seeing someones creative space.

The building to the right with the vines growing on it is the herbal steam bath. Such a treat everyday when you are training so vigorously. A basket of fresh herbs is placed over the steam that comes out of the floor. Homprang grows everything in her gardens. In front is another massage room that sits over a little cooling off pool. Christopher designed this building to be over water so bugs and other creatures don't make their homes inside the insulated walls . It the only building that is air conditioned so it has insulation. All the other buildings are concrete or teak planks .

The building to the right with the vines growing on it is the herbal steam bath. Such a treat everyday when you are training so vigorously. A basket of fresh herbs is placed over the steam that comes out of the floor. Homprang grows everything in her gardens. In front is another massage room that sits over a little cooling off pool. Christopher designed this building to be over water so bugs and other creatures don't make their homes inside the insulated walls . It the only building that is air conditioned so it has insulation. All the other buildings are concrete or teak planks .

A wood carving by Christopher

A wood carving by Christopher

 Homprang's mother escaping the camera 

 Homprang's mother escaping the camera 

Being vegan I was worried I would have to just eat rice and mango the whole time I was in Thailand . They went above and beyond. I dream about these steamed veggies. The little green round things are mini eggplant . There's okra , some wild edible medicinal weeds and the white/yellowish stuff on top is banana flower.

Being vegan I was worried I would have to just eat rice and mango the whole time I was in Thailand . They went above and beyond. I dream about these steamed veggies. The little green round things are mini eggplant . There's okra , some wild edible medicinal weeds and the white/yellowish stuff on top is banana flower.

Poison bulb . This is used medicinally in the womb lifting clay pot thats in the hot herbal compress.

Poison bulb . This is used medicinally in the womb lifting clay pot thats in the hot herbal compress.

Christopher showing us a picture of his brother. He was a professional racer.

Christopher showing us a picture of his brother. He was a professional racer.

Me, Homprang , Amanda and Teune

Me, Homprang , Amanda and Teune

Spirit house at Baan Hom. The spirit house is a house for the spirits to live in. In Christopher's words "Thais are afraid of having the wrong relationship with the spirits. The spirits are everywhere and providing a house for the spirits who already live on the land where you live is a priority, more important even than building your own house.You must be able to say to the spirits, “Look, here’s an even more beautiful house for you. Here’s a beautiful palace complete with these gifts, and in exchange please allow us to share this space with you for the time being.” What a beautiful and considerate  concept. I love Thailand for that. I loved seeing them all over Thailand. They are so beautiful. They are outside of houses , businesses, shrines and  temples. They are maintained just as an alter would be maintained. Water ,food, incense (and sometimes a Red Bull) are offered everyday to the spirit houses.

Spirit house at Baan Hom. The spirit house is a house for the spirits to live in. In Christopher's words "Thais are afraid of having the wrong relationship with the spirits. The spirits are everywhere and providing a house for the spirits who already live on the land where you live is a priority, more important even than building your own house.You must be able to say to the spirits, “Look, here’s an even more beautiful house for you. Here’s a beautiful palace complete with these gifts, and in exchange please allow us to share this space with you for the time being.” What a beautiful and considerate  concept. I love Thailand for that. I loved seeing them all over Thailand. They are so beautiful. They are outside of houses , businesses, shrines and  temples. They are maintained just as an alter would be maintained. Water ,food, incense (and sometimes a Red Bull) are offered everyday to the spirit houses.

Dinner time. Conversation and food where equally amazing.

Dinner time. Conversation and food where equally amazing.

The Americans 

The Americans 

So many stories in one corner at Homprang and Christopher's house

So many stories in one corner at Homprang and Christopher's house

One of the rooms that over look the pond

One of the rooms that over look the pond

Luisa and Deniz

Luisa and Deniz

Most of the buildings on the property are made from hundred year old teak rice barns that have been deconstructed from one location and brought to be built on their property. Saman , Homprang's brother , is the main builder along with his wife Nit. I was lucky enough to be at Baan Hom to see the process as they are adding one more building to their property. They are beautiful and have so much character. So many stories in those teak planks.

Most of the buildings on the property are made from hundred year old teak rice barns that have been deconstructed from one location and brought to be built on their property. Saman , Homprang's brother , is the main builder along with his wife Nit. I was lucky enough to be at Baan Hom to see the process as they are adding one more building to their property. They are beautiful and have so much character. So many stories in those teak planks.

The alter in the main massage room. Beautiful Buddha and Shivaga (to the lower right) hand carved out of a jackfruit tree buy a local guy in the village.

The alter in the main massage room. Beautiful Buddha and Shivaga (to the lower right) hand carved out of a jackfruit tree buy a local guy in the village.

Dipley always interrupting class . She's so sweet

Dipley always interrupting class . She's so sweet

Camille from Mauritius

Camille from Mauritius

Teune from Belgium and nam tang 

Teune from Belgium and nam tang 

Look how beautiful this lil guy is. He lived in this tree in front of my room. Click on the photos to see them better.

 

DOI INTHANON

Highest mountain in Thailand and the start of the Himalayas. It was a long scary drive up this mountain in the foggiest conditions ever. But we made it to the top and it was worth it.

Ancient shrine in the middle of the forrest 

Ancient shrine in the middle of the forrest 

offerings

offerings

Everything that is connected to the shrine is sacred. So offerings are made to every part of it .

Everything that is connected to the shrine is sacred. So offerings are made to every part of it .

people place statues as gifts for the spirits of the shrine

people place statues as gifts for the spirits of the shrine

sacred geometry 

sacred geometry 

I was really waiting for a hobbit to come jumping out haha

I was really waiting for a hobbit to come jumping out haha

Hill tribe market on Doi Inthanon. These people have been living on the mountain for generations. They use to make money by growing opium but the king has created a program where they were taught how to grow vegetables and wiped out all the opium. They sell what they grow and make at these markets.

Hill tribe market on Doi Inthanon. These people have been living on the mountain for generations. They use to make money by growing opium but the king has created a program where they were taught how to grow vegetables and wiped out all the opium. They sell what they grow and make at these markets.

I bought sun dried strawberries from her and I asked if i could take her picture.I was waiting for a smile but this was all I got :)

I bought sun dried strawberries from her and I asked if i could take her picture.I was waiting for a smile but this was all I got :)

There are also a lot of waterfalls on the mountain. This was one of them

There are also a lot of waterfalls on the mountain. This was one of them

Now the main reason I wanted to go to this mountain was to see this garden with two stupas that were built for the king and queen of Thailand. It was a really overcast day and plus we were literally in the clouds. Even though we couldn't get the ideal experience I thought it was still beautiful. I also know I'll be back someday.

Now the main reason I wanted to go to this mountain was to see this garden with two stupas that were built for the king and queen of Thailand. It was a really overcast day and plus we were literally in the clouds. Even though we couldn't get the ideal experience I thought it was still beautiful. I also know I'll be back someday.

I mean....... obviously this is what I wanted to see...big bummer. Also when I was doing research on northern Thailand this is the first image I came across and I couldn't even believe this was a real life place! This is the start of the Himalayas people ! 

I mean....... obviously this is what I wanted to see...big bummer. Also when I was doing research on northern Thailand this is the first image I came across and I couldn't even believe this was a real life place! This is the start of the Himalayas people ! 

Looking out from inside one of the stupas.... you're supposed to see the other stupa and the mountains ...haha!

Looking out from inside one of the stupas.... you're supposed to see the other stupa and the mountains ...haha!

inside the purple stupa

inside the purple stupa

inside the gold stupa

inside the gold stupa

 

DOI SUTEP

Another beautiful sacred mountain in northern Thailand. Doi Sutep has a beautiful famous temple on it called Wat Phra That. People from all over the world come to see it and do a vipassana(silent meditation retreat). Also theres the Hmong hill tribe village and another Wat called Wat Pha Lat which we hiked to one day. The king has a palace on top of the mountain. The people of Thailand love the king so this mountain is extra special to them for that. There are also waterfalls and a national park. But I didn't get to them. Next time :) 

(Wat=temple and Doi=mountain)

steps leading up to the temple of Wat Phra That

steps leading up to the temple of Wat Phra That

People come from all over to do a parikrama around the golden stupa

People come from all over to do a parikrama around the golden stupa

Chiang Mai down below

Chiang Mai down below

 

HMONG HILLTRIBE VILLAGE

Wat Pha Lat

Another temple on Doi Sutep thats a beautiful ,tucked away ,quiet little discovery. After about an hour hike up the trail we made it to find a beautiful view and no one else there. It was so peaceful. 

Thais believe every tree has a spirit. The orange cloth is acknowledging this spirit and marking the tree as a part of the persons spiritual journey.

Thais believe every tree has a spirit. The orange cloth is acknowledging this spirit and marking the tree as a part of the persons spiritual journey.

3ft tall termite mud mound on the trail. Christopher said the last time he was on this trail there was a little Buddha statue at the top that was partially covered. The Buddha is now completely covered. This is considered sacred and would never be touched or removed.

3ft tall termite mud mound on the trail. Christopher said the last time he was on this trail there was a little Buddha statue at the top that was partially covered. The Buddha is now completely covered. This is considered sacred and would never be touched or removed.

Standing in the middle of what would be a raging river in the rainy season. This view is not always this clear. We went on a good day.

Standing in the middle of what would be a raging river in the rainy season. This view is not always this clear. We went on a good day.

A dry river and Teune

A dry river and Teune

This stupa is hundreds of years old

This stupa is hundreds of years old

Wat Pha Lat

Wat Pha Lat

500 year old well

500 year old well