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Pantrix yoga retreat in Nong Khai.....Exploring and Paradise in Krabi and Railay....

all seasons in one day

Between Egypt and Bangkok we had an uneventful 1 night stopover in Bahrain, and the taxi driver short changed us a beauty. Aw well he and his family ate well that night. Flying due east you fast forward time. We turned up to Bangkok dog tired, caught the AE2 bus to the Khao San Rd, and grabbed the first available bed (peak season) we could find. Sweet, sweaty sleep. We woke to the buzzing sound of Bangkok at dusk and Khao San Rd was gearing up into full swing. Turns out we had scored a room right above a blaring nightclub - joy, but we weren't in the party mood.
Khao San Rd and surrounding streets is the tourist/backpacker area, a 24/7 party scene and street market including travel agents, guesthouses and hotels, cafes, and cheap street venders with pad thai for less than a buck. Australians seem to rule the roost here, immersed in their element - booze guzzling. There’s also a European crowd and plenty of locals who like to drink and sell what they can in the area, including the pretty convincing lady boys. Sleeping next to a night club didn’t quiet work out and we found a room minus the disco for 200 THB at The Donna Guest house a block away from Khao San. We organised transport to Nong Khai and scoped out the best dentist to visit on our return, then we bailed.
An overnight rickety semi comfortable sleeper train took us to Nong Khai in the North East corner of Thailand where the Mekong River borders with Laos. Here in Nong Khai we participated in the best thing we have done on the whole trip, a 1 week intensive yoga course. We found and booked the course online at http://www.pantrix.net/. The yoga course is run by Pancho and Beatrix, the founders of the Nong Khai Alternative Centre. The Centre also runs courses on Reiki and Astrology. On site is the Mut Mee guest house where we scored a clean rustic room for the week, 2 restaurants to eat from, a personal trainer to fill in time between the yoga, and a floating bar on the Mekong with live music. One night we threw in and listened to a local jam out for a fund raiser for the Haiti disaster. An amazing sculpture park, Sala Kaew Ku, exists just outside of town too.
OK, we thought we were coming to do a few stretches for a week, WOW were we in for a treat. Our weeks tuition provided us with a thorough theoretical understanding of the basic principles of yoga as well as practical instructions in Asana, Dharana and Dhyana, and Pranayama. That is - yoga postures, meditation and breathing exercises. Pancho and Beatrix are wonderfully inspiring to say the least. Excellent teachers equipped with a wealth of knowledge and experience. Quite funny and entertaining too. We’ve said don’t miss this and don’t miss that over the last 12 months of blogging but here it is guys - if you have a holiday booked for Thailand and have an interest in yoga, spirituality, and self development then this is the gear! Get yourself to Nong Khai. And while your in Thailand you can also get cheap dental work, silver and wedding dresses…. Ha, no seriously, this was our best experience in the past 12 months. To Pancho and Beatrix, thanks again, and again, and again. The Yogic lifestyle:)
It was weird leaving Nong Khai. We had a stronger urge than ever to stay for longer. To learn more from Pancho and Beatrix (which is on the cards by the way). But we left and headed south past Bangkok to the province of Krabi. We had little time left in our 12 month around the world extravaganza so instead of trains or buses we flew, twice, and made it from Nong Khai to Railay before sunset…
In Railay East all the cheapies were booked out but it was meant to be I guess. We stayed in a spacious mid range room ($40 bucks) which easily allowed us to continue our morning and evening Asana, Dharana and Dhyana, and Pranayama. During the day we explored Railay east, Railay west, and the surrounding area. This included caves, swimming from beach to beach around limestone cliffs, and forest trekking up and down the same cliffs. Railay, albeit a bit touristy especially coming straight from Nong Khai, is a beautiful, scenic place.
Swimming was fun
OW yeah lazor baking....
Back to Krabi by long tail boat where we checked out the night market. On the next day we hired a scooter and explored the nearby Khao Phanom Bencha National Park covered in virgin rainforest. WOOOHOOOO it was a neat day hike.
Our last swim in Thailand...
We then flew back to Bangkok for a couple of days of shopping and fillings at the dentist before flying home via an overnight sleep in Hong Kong airport and the next night another sleep in Perth Domestic airport……….
And thats that. All our bags arrived. No reaming by customs. Dad picked us up in Sydney and we told stories and drank tooheys on the way back to Redhead where we were greated by an excited Jacobs family. Cuppas were poored all round and the stories continued into the evening....

So, Werrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre Baaack! Its YOUR shout! We hope you have enjoyed the blogs. Here's a little before and after...
Sydney airport depart Feb 09
Sydney airport arrive Feb 10

Posted by jessnsteve 03:15 Archived in Thailand Tagged food

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