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Reisverslag monk talking and diving in Thailand
22 februari 2016
monk talking and diving in Thailand
I am trying to keep up informing you about my travels, but still some countries behind. Fortunately my stay in Thailand after leaving Cambodia wasn’t that long so I should be finished faster this time.
I was told that at the border between Cambodia and Thailand it’s common that you’ll be ripped off. Fortunately this wasn’t our case, so I had a smooth entry into Thailand. Directly after getting back to Bangkok I made my way up to Ayutthaya. For those with a good memory, you remember that I had been there already and met a Dutch monk there. So I went to his monastery in Ayutthaya hoping that he’d be there, because I didn’t have any contact details to inform him I was coming. Fortunately he was at home and was very happy to talk with me about his life as a Buddhist monk, his stay in Thailand, his life path as a monk, Buddhist philosophy and many other things. I spent 1,5 day just sitting in front of his little cottage and talking. Maybe I don’t agree with all the principles of Buddhism, but at least it comes closest to my own ideas compared to the other religions (although Buddhism shouldn’t be considered as a religion but as a way of life).
With my head full of thoughts about all the subjects we discussed, I made my way to the south of Thailand in a bus full of young people on their way to the party islands in the south. I instead went to Koh Tao, also called the diving island because the only real thing you can do there is taking a cheap diving course. I found a nice Dutch diving school so I spend the next 3 days learning the theory about diving in a little ‘classroom’, but especially under the water practicing all the different skills. In contrary to most diving school, we didn’t practice in a swimming pool but right in the sea, surrounded by beautiful corals and cute fish. We were not allowed to take photos during the course and besides that, I don’t have a waterproof camera, so I can’t show you pictures. If you haven’t been diving yourself yet, I recommend you give it a try. It’s a complete new world, very quiet, beautiful and relaxing.
I past the open water diving course without any problems and was actually a bit disappointed by the level of the theoretical exam we had to make. We were allowed to discuss with each other about the right answer and also the instructor helped a lot getting the right answer. I understand that diving schools want their students to obtain the diving certificate, but I doubt if most of than are really able to go diving by themselves after finishing the course.
When I told the diving school that I wanted to go diving in Australia and Indonesia afterward, they recommended me to do an advanced course, because it’s more difficult to dive there and only the open water certificate wouldn’t be enough in these places. As I finished the first course quicker than planned, I decided to do the advanced course immediately in the same diving school. So I spent another 3 days on and under the water, diving around a ship, navigating in a diving area and looking for ‘lost objects’ on the bottom of the sea. Again I had to read some theory behind these diving activities, skills and dangers, but instead of getting an exam, I only had to answer the questions at the end of each chapter, while most answers could be literally found in the text. My instructor hardly checked the answers, maybe because in some of the subjects my knowledge was better than his.
Anyway, after 7 days staying in the same village on the island (and the diving spots around it) I took a night ferry back to the mainland. Imagine sleeping with about 200 people in a big dorm room on a boat! Luckily, I had a good night sleep (though a bit short) so ready to travel on to Malaysia.
22 februari 2016 18:38 | Door: Hanneke
Wauw Bram, keer op keer heerlijk om je verhalen en belevenissen te lezen :)
18 mei 2016 21:58 | Door: Onno
Ik had deze nog niet gelezen. Ik heb wel wat meer moeite moeten doen om mijn brevet te halen, in de murky Dutch waters :-)
Hoe dan ook, leuk dat je daar in ieder geval de basic onder de knie hebt gekregen. maar het kan misschien geen kwaad om straks in NL toch een cursusje erbij te doen, voor de zekerheid. Ik weet nog wel een leuke duikschool, namelijk één hier in renkum/Oosterbeek, waar ik ook duik.
Groeten en duik ze nog......