Well had a very rough night’s sleep, the wind was howling. To sleep in these basic conditions, one has to be a hardened camper!! Really not sure how Sangeet did it. She was having the cold shower at 3am when the outside temperature drops to it lowest, I was frozen!
Once I did manage to get up, still feeling like I needed a lot more sleep. I tried out the showers, apparently if you stay in the showers long enough the water is supposed to get warm……this is so untrue, I had my arm under the shower for at least 15 minutes the water remained cold, very cold!! Okay now we have an issue I need at least one warm/hot shower a day, preferably as soon as I awake…I washed my main parts (I will let you figure that out!). Headed over to the main shelter.
Breakfast was being served.
There is a solstice diet, which was designed by Yogi Bhajan (except for lunch).
Mung Beans and Rice
Beets and Carrots
Solstice Hot Sauce
Naturally, the lines for the portable restrooms move along quickly!
Golden Milk is milk with turmeric paste dissolved in it, and it is served at night after White Tantric to ease muscles sore from long hours spent in meditation. This is what Yogi Bhajan had to say about turmeric: “There is nothing more effective than turmeric to clean your body and purify it. There is nothing more precious on this earth but turmeric. Turmeric, it solves every problem which cannot be solved.
After breakfast we had the karma sewa meeting. On registration the participants can choose what karma sewa they would like to do.
What is Karma Yoga?
Karma Yoga (also called Seva) is a necessary aspect of Kundalini Yoga. It is based on the law of Karma: “Everything you do, comes back to you tenfold”. This is true for all your negative actions, but also for whatever you do positive and selflessly. Without Karma Yoga, there is a risk that doing yoga just for yourself, instead of slowly dissolving the ego, hardens it and leads to narcissism. Karma Yoga supports the creation of community and leads to friendship, love and group consciousness.
My karma yoga was security, we had to monitor traffic coming in and out of the solstice site, also have a walk around the area making sure people are parking where they should…
At the beginning of the meeting we did the global sardhana meditation.
What is the Spirit Voyage 40 Day Global Sadhanas?
The Spirit Voyage 40 Day Global Sadhanas is an opportunity for you to come together with a global sangat (spiritual community) representing over 75 countries and numbering over 20,000 participants. For 40 days, led by Spirit Voyage, a community comes together to all practice the same Kundalini yoga meditation, mantra or kriya. Participation is free. The Spirit Voyage 40 Day Global Sadhanas are a place for you to come home to yourself, to feel connected to a community no matter where in the world you are, to get the inspiration to stick to practices that you might not otherwise try, and to experience the incredible power of Kundalini yoga for yourself. They are gifts to you from you, and each has its own special gift to unwrap. During the Spirit Voyage 40 Day Global Sadhanas, people from different nationalities, races, faiths, genders, sexual orientations, and walks of life lay all their differences aside and celebrate their similarities as beings of light and as people of love.
The above play botton should start the Humee Hum track, if you are having issues please do comment with the operating system and which explorer you are using. Thanks in advance for your help.
The theme of this years summer solstice was ‘Recognize the Other Person is You’
For your information here is the information on the meditation
Ram Das Puri
After the meeting we went to Dr Sham Rang Singh Khalsa’slecture on the kara. We first met the Dr in Nevada City. The lecture was very good.
Due to stomach issues I am unable to eat the solstice food, luckily there was freshly cut watermelon, in this heat it was great to eat that. Temperature during the solstice event was between 90 to 100 degrees F.
Now time for my security sewa, I was given a radio, which was probably a big mistake. I kept trying to order pizza. Also kept saying there is a taxi waiting for Jesus. As you can tell my security sewa did not last long! Time to find another sewa group!
In the evening there was an international party, this is held by one of the sangat members, they cooked a fantastic dinner, also hosted the party at their home where around 300 solstice members attended. This year we were also blessed by 25 yogis from China and 25 from Taiwan. One of the Chinese ladies gave a demonstration of Kung Fu and Thai Chi.
The party was fantastic. Great music and amazing food.
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.
Afterwards we popped to
3/2-1 Sri Phum Road (at /btwn Ratchaphakhinai Rd and Muang Mong Rd)
T: +66 801317718
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
Afterwards, Sangeet went to see the buddhist temples of the old city whilst I went back to the hotel and relaxed.
This is a waxwork
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
Chiang Mai 50000,
T:+ 66 8-0627-9219
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
Chiang Mai 50200
T: +66 53 327 000
F: +66 53 327 096
for hot chocolate which was rather more expensive than the prices we are now used to paying though very tasty.
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.
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.
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:
Khampang Muang Cafe and Art Gallery
119 Khampangdin Road
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:
Tha Pae Soi 1, Loi khor Rd
T: +66 85-6248769
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.
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.
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.
Waiting for the bus
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)
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!)
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.
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.
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!
The Buddhist monks left their shoes outside the Gurdwara
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.
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.
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)
T: +66 53-208-803
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.
Hi, thanks for visiting my blog, feel free and have a look around.Here is a bit about me, as you may or may not have guessed my name is Mandeep,I work to travel as opposed to work to pay bills and die!Every trip for me is an adventure, I have been very fortunate to stumble across amazing places and meet awesome people along the way.
Why gaygoat? When I first started this blog I was a vegetarian, so gaygoat – happy goat! Also you have to admit it is catchy and a URL you will not forget!