Gurdwara…..

Gurdwara…..

Today I popped to the Gurdwara in Bangkok.

Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha
565, Chakraphet Road,
Pra Nakhorn,
Bangkok
10200,
Thailand
T: +66 0 2221 1011
F + 66 0 2224 8095
E: info@thaisikh.org
Master Pimu had arranged for First Gear to take me. Whilst i attended the Gurdwara service, First Gear waited for me near the Gurdwara.
The Darbar Sahib:
View from the public car park
 
It was great to be back with a sangat, I am very home sick and this has helped me. The only problem is that last time we were here it was with Sangeet. I keep hoping I can look over and she will be sitting there.
After the programme and whilst eating lungar, I met a guy called Inderjit Singh, a third generation Thai Sikh. It was great to meet him and we have exchanged numbers. Hoping he can help/guide me around Bangkok.
Around 2pm I met First Gear the journey back to WPT took 1.5 hours! Just so crazy how much traffic exists here, even on a Sunday!
The afternoon and evening I was very depressed. I am very home sick and missing my wife Sangeet.
I am not sure i can last the three months…..

 

Taiwan…..

Taiwan…..

On a Sunday at 11:0 am the Gurdwara has children’s punjabi classes. The Gianiji has done a fantastic job at setting these up. Whilst Sangeet was helping the teachers, I was sat with the Gianiji and having tea. The class is a mixture of Sikh, Namdhari and Hindu students. The focus is on conversational basic Punjabi (few children in Chiang Mai speak Punjabi or English, their main language is Thai due to schooling) and also Sikhi including reciting Gurbani.

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Afterwards we popped to

Taiwan Restaurant
3/2-1 Sri Phum Road (at /btwn Ratchaphakhinai Rd and Muang Mong Rd)
Chiang Mai
Thailand
T: +66 801317718

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A vegan restaurant which does good food and at great prices. There was a Thai wedding happening over the road from the restaurant.

Stall making pancakes
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Afterwards, Sangeet went to see the buddhist temples of the old city whilst I went back to the hotel and relaxed.

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This is a waxwork
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Later as I had a wander down Charoenrat Road I bumped into Sangeet as she was returning to the hotel. We decided to pop into
The Meeting Room Art Cafe
89 Charoen Raj Rd
Wat Kate,
Chiang Mai 50000,
Thailand
T:+ 66 8-0627-9219

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Jan 13, 2013 6:51 PM

where we both had strawberry smoothies and tried to avoid looking at some rather erotic art! Then on to the Sunday Night Walking Street Market where I had Durian Ice Cream! Then a final stop at

U Chiang Mai
70 Ratchadamnoen Road, Sri-Poom
Muang District,
Chiang Mai 50200
Thailand
T: +66 53 327 000
F: +66 53 327 096

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for hot chocolate which was rather more expensive than the prices we are now used to paying though very tasty.

Jan 13, 2013 10:37 PM

Gurdwara…..

Gurdwara…..

Here in Chiang Mae, they have the Gurdwara programme at 7:30am until 8:30am on a Saturday morning. Giani Charanjit Singh did Asa Di Vaar then kirtan, then Anand Sahib , Ardas and Guru ji’s hukam. Guru Ka Lungar consisted of Kadi with pakoras, Bhoga (spicy vegetables!), rice, mithay chawl and gulab jamun. Sangeet had so been yearning for some good Indian food, for me some of it was very chilli, I should have stuck to the non spicy dishes of which there were plenty! The president approached me and said there are some good Indian restaurants here, perhaps the Gianiji can take you! I was expecting him to say you should come over for dinner! Apart from the Gianiji the Sikhs here have not been very friendly.

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For email subscribers:
Chiang Mai Gurdwara

We stayed back after langar and chatted to Giani ji for a while, he spoke quite frankly about his feelings re living in Chiang Mai, his passion for kirtan and how he got to be where he is. Gianiji then met up wth a friend, Sangeet and I had a walk down Charoenrat Road in search of an ATM. After picking up some cash and a few snacks we returned to Baan Chonpakorn where Sangeet relaxed for a while and I popped out for another walk and to see if I could find a laundry. Later, we both had a wander to see if we could find any of these highly rated vegan / veggie restaurants of Chiang Mai!

As we left, the Hotel owners girlfriend who manages this place asked us what we can eat…she has been so helpful.

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We looked for a vegan restaurant called GIVA but instead ended up at a fantastic cafe and art gallery called Khampang Muang with a great vibe and choice of music. The cafe is next to a vegan cafe, TianZi Tea House and Garden which was closed. At the cafe I had a coffee and Sangeet had a watermelon juice. I even got the owner who was chilling out there to check out my blog:

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Khampang Muang Cafe and Art Gallery
119 Khampangdin Road
Changklam
Chiang Mai

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For email subscribers:
Khampang Muang Cafe & Art Gallery

We Skyped mum and dad and chatted for a while. Later, we then popped back next door to see if TiaZi was now open but it was still closed, apparently it has closed down. We decided to walk down to Chiang Mai Gate where there is supposed to be a vegan restaurant. After a twenty minute walk we found the place but they cooked with eggs. Very cheap at 25 baht (about 50p) a dish but not for us. The mock meats there looked very real – A bit too real! We left with some Mango and Sticky Rice from another stall nearby and then dashed back towards the hotel as the laundry was due to close at 8pm. We passed GIVA, the raw and vegan cafe we were looking for earlier:

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GIVA
Tha Pae Soi 1, Loi khor Rd
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50100
T: +66 85-6248769

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I suggested I meet Sangeet back there in a few minutes as the laundry was not far. While waiting, Sangeet chatted to the owner. When I returned, Sangeet was noting down recipes from the owner and then ordered an Aloe Super Mousse and an Eggplant lasagne. The owner who is also the chef puts a lot of time into preparing the dishes and happily shared the recipes. He was very pleased with the positive feedback. GIVA is a tiny place, but immaculate and very well managed. I decided not to eat as my stomach was playing up. It’s at times like this that I think I should have the surgery…….

After GIVA we wandered through the Night Bazaar which looked completely different to the other day. It looked like a different section, there was some very good quality merchandise. Afterwards I was almost tempted by Pizza Hut, then we made our way back to Baan Chonpakorn where we sat outside and watched crazy motorbikers rocket down Charoenrat Road, then some blogging before bed.

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Pai…..

Pai…..

This morning we enjoyed the resort especially the amazing views, it will be very sad to say goodbye to this place! We prefer locations like this as opposed to beaches.
Once we checked out we stayed a while around the pool where we managed to get a lot done, booked UK flights to get us to Leeds / Bfd, decided on exactly which Andaman Islands to stay on and booked the accommodation. Did some research on boat transfers and flights to Krabi. Then, with a heavy heart we headed to town on our scooter in good time for our bus departing for Chiang Mai at 4pm. We had time for one last visit to Chew Xin Jai, also saw a couple of lovely temples. We wandered around some shops and I bought mango and sticky sweet rice from a stall – it’s too good to just walk by!

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Returning the scooter

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Then on to our bus where we felt the twists and turns a more today. The driver was on a mission and played Thai music non stop all the way! We arrived at Chiang Mae bus station about 19:15 and were approached by a Songthaw driver….I think he ripped us off by 100 baht for a ride to our hotel but we were too tired to care, the journey from Pai had taken it out of us a bit…or maybe it was just the thought of leaving wonderful Pai!

We arrived just in time to catch Gianiji leaving the Gurdwara for a little outing so we collected our bags from the Gurdwara and popped to Baan Chonpakorn next door to drop them off. I then went off in search of more lemon Ritz biscuits, yes i am addicted to them! I returned a short while later at which point we popped downstairs to negotiate a discount on our room on the basis that we were planning to stay 3 extra nights. We managed to get our rate down to just over £17 (usual rate £20). Then we wandered down Charoenrat Road in search of a nice coffee shop. After popping into Chez which had a very cute puppy, we ended up at Cafe Regina which is an unusual place, full of bric and brac and cats of all shapes and sizes! The owner has ten in all, 5 of which are very young kittens. I enjoyed playing with them but something seemed to scare them off! After a peppermint tea for Sangeet and a coffee for me, we had a stroll back to the hotel then sent some emails and did some research before bed. Gurdwara programme at 7.30am tomorrow…..

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My thoughts on Malaysia…..

We would like to thank Kulvinder veerji and family for allowing us to stay in their beautiful house.

Malaysia is a country I was not looking forward to visiting. Nothing apart from seeing the Petronas Towers was attracting me to the country.

We visited the Gurdwara in KL and were amazed at the kindness and warmth from the sangat. This had been a pleasant surprise as the sangat everywhere else has not been warm. Even back home the sangat are not this warm, it takes time to build….here it was instantly!

We were very fortunate to attend the samelan in Cameron Highlands and again were blessed with amazing sangat. This was the same in Penang. The Sikh community took time out to take us out and treat us to fantastic food. We have been invited back, an offer we will definitely take up.

We particularly like to thank Melvin Singh aka Kashera Singh Khalsa who has taken out so much time to spend with us.

Malaysia we will be back!!!!

Charoenrat Road…..

Charoenrat Road…..

After a modest breakfast at hotel, and watching the dog Charlie be sick (after someone overfed him – wonder who that could be!!) we headed to the city in search of

Sri Singh Sabha Gurdwara.
134 Chareonrat Road.
Chiang Mai
Thailand

Waiting for the bus
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Pai dropped us off at Bosang Village where we caught a white bus (looks like a jeep) which dropped us to the east of the old city, about 13km from our accommodation. It’s amazing how many people you can get into one if those things! There were 15 plus in there at one point! The bus charges 20baht per person (40 pence)
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From there we walked through the hustle and bustle of some local markets, before heading across the bridge to begin walking up from where Charoenrat Road started (or where the map told us it started!)
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An hour later we had reached the top of the road, not a Gurdwara or any Sikhs to be seen….so we began the journey back down the road deciding it must have been earlier on, where the street name changed to Charoenrajd, again as the map told us!

An hour (and a visit to Tesco Lotus and Zit Around cafe – due to the intense heat!) later, we found the Gurdwara.
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It was around 1pm by this time. There is no diwan on a Sunday but the Giani was present and welcomed us to the Gurdwara. We talked for quite some time and were later joined by other members of the sangat. It was good to speak to Sikhs that live in Thailand, gave us a different perspective of the city.
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For email subscribers
Gurdwara Siri Singh Sahib, Chiang Mae

After several hours, we parted company. Some Buddhist monks and other locals had requested a tour of the Gurdwara and information about Sikhi so the Giani and sangat showed them around. The monks seemed very excited and fascinated!
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The Buddhist monks left their shoes outside the Gurdwara
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After, we popped into a guesthouse next door to the Gurdwara. The rooms were clean and the location perfect so we booked in some nights for next week when we planned to be closer to the city.
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We then carried on walking down Charoenrajd Road – nice road running alongside the Mae Ping river. it, along with the Nan River, is one of the two main contributaries of Chao Phraya River. It originates at Doi Tuay, Daen Lao Range, in Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai Province. After passing Chiang Mai town, it flows though the provinces Lamphun, Tak, and Kamphaeng Phet. At the confluence with the Nan River at Nakhon Sawan (also named Paknam Pho in Thai) it forms the Chao Phraya River) with lots of nice looking cafes and restaurants.

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We then crossed Narawat Bridge, heading down Tha Pae Road in search of dinner. We ate at a vegetarian restaurant
Taste Like Heaven
237-239 Tha Pae Road,
Chang Klan (at Muang, opposite Krung Thai Bank)
Chiang Mai
Thailand 50100
T: +66 53-208-803
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Some items contain eggs but the menu is marked very clearly with vegan dishes. Roy runs the place and has done a great job. The food and atmosphere were excellent. I got chatting to Roy as I went over to pay the bill, he asked me if I am vegan, I explained that I am a veggie but that Sangeet is vegan. Roy said that’s why she is so beautiful. I accepted the compliment – after all she is my wife!! Sangeet joined us and we chatted for a while about veganism, Elephants, life…!! Roy also told me that other Sikhs in Chiang Mae have told him that vegetarian Sikhs wear white turbans. He looked at my turban and said your turban is black? I explained that the colour of the turban has no bearing to being vegetarian. After exchanging details, Sangeet and I set off for a wander around the Sunday Night market on Walking Street.

On the way we popped into a coffee shop which also sold clothes. Sangeet had a browse while the Sikh owner presented me with tea and gulab jamun, no complaints from me! Then on to the Sunday Night Market which was enjoyable. It goes on and on and on, lots of live music, food, interesting crafts. The people of Chiang Mai are friendly and laid back. At 9pm we headed to the bus stop. We ended up getting a taxi (red jeep) to Bosang Village, where Peter then came to pick us up. A great jam packed day.

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Boy on the phone whilst doing the hula hoop!
Jan 6, 2013 8:58 PM

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