a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday 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

Lazy Monday
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.

Plum Village Monastery

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!

--- TheLoneRider
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Next stop: Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

with 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 Centre

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Location: 174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand
Tel: +66(0)2-885-5980

Blogs on Thai Plum Village

  1. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  2. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  3. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  4. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  5. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  6. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  7. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  8. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  9. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  10. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  11. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  12. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

How to Get to Plum Village from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport

You are encouraged to arrive at the Center Friday afternoon between 2-4 pm
  1. Suvarnabhumi Airport to Bangkok proper (Phaya Thai Station)
    there is already a direct train from the airport that goes all the way to Bangkok with a final stop at Phaya Thai. Upon airport arrival, go down to Basement and take the Airport Link train to Phaya Thai Station 35 mins | Baht 45. Get off at Phaya Thai Station (the last stop) and walk (.8km) to the Phaya Thai BTS Station.
  2. Phaya Thai Station (N2) - Mo Chit Station (N8) by BTS TRAIN
    board the BTS train heading to Mo Chit and get off there.
  3. Mo Chit BTS Station (N8) - Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal
    Walk to Mo Chit North & North Eastern Bus Terminal (pls note, this is a 2km might like to take a cab or tuktuk).
  4. Mo Chit North Eastern Bus Terminal - Platform 6, public van at #78
    this is a short walk. Go to Platform 6 and get on the public van at #78 offering Jamnong Tour.
    IMPORTANT ! - make sure you make it clear to the driver that HIS van drops you off at Plum Village. Otherwise, they might finish the tour in Pak Chong proper. If this happens, you're still 45 minutes away from Plum Village which costs 500 Baht by cab! Best to copy/print/take a picture of the image below to show to the driver:

    instruction to driver
    For the latest info, check out their website.
  5. 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 train

ignore this if you plan to go to Plum Village. Take the direction above instead

Plum Village Cost Index

(US$1 = Thailand Baht 35.77 = Php 47.52 as of Feb 28, 2016)

Things to bring if staying overnight

  1. mosquito repellent
  2. hat/umbrella
  3. flashlight
  4. not a requirement, but it helps if you bring clothing in the dark brown color in order to blend-in
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