By Samir

We found a zip-line place that offered a couple day packages, so we went with “Jungle Flight”. They picked us up in the morning and drove us deep into the jungle. On the ride over, there was another couple that we got to know – Parool & Neil (Canadians by way of Bermuda) – also on an extended trip around the world.

Their blog: http://zenfuljourney.com/

The zip-line tour started with red hair nets, yellow helmets and a safety harness.

Ready

We proceeded into the jungle, had a safety instruction by a couple of wise-cracking employees, and then it began.

Safety Instruction

Get attached to the line, sit down, and get pushed off. What an exhilarating experience. We went through 20+ zip-lines, including some that were vertical – called abseils. Pictures:

 

Abseil

At the finish line

Later in the evening, we met up with our friends Shelly & Nitin (from New York) – also on an extended trip around the world.

Their blog: http://chandrahoneymoon.wordpress.com/

We had several drinks, shots, jager-bombs – and spent some time at John’s Place again. The mango & sticky rice dessert was amazing when buzzed/drunk.

The next day, we decided to be a bit more tame. After lunch, we went to Wat Chedi Luang and engaged in a monk chat. They have this program in several temples all over town – young monks are available, in a designated area, to talk with tourists. Ours was 20 years old. The most surprising thing he said was that he was going through his “monk period” – he did not get a calling to serve – he just decided to join because of the better opportunities it afforded him – and that he could leave anytime he wanted to. He was already planning to leave after finishing grad school, so he could become an English teacher on the outside. He said of every 100 young men that entered into a temple, only 5 stayed on to become full-time monks. The temple provided reduced cost admission into good universities and free secondary-school education if you needed it. But, you had to live by their rules – wake up at 4am, beg for food, no meals after lunch, study Buddha’s teachings, dont kill, dont lie, dont wear makeup (yes, it’s a rule for males), no cell phones/computers, etc. To me, it sounded essentially like church-run welfare for the larger society – but it also trained these young men with good morals and values that they would theoretically retain once they re-entered society. He also said they had temples where young females could become nuns, but they were few and far between.

Later that afternoon, we met up with Amee & Sonia – on vacation from Chicago. Together, we walked the night bazaar, had dinner and then proceeded to see a cabaret show. Worst experience of the trip for me. All male performers, in drag. Ladyboys. Someone said that Asian males have less-pronounced Adam’s apples, so it’s harder to tell sometimes. Thanks. Thanks for nothing. Some of the performances were good, the costumes were extravagant, the songs were mostly recognizable, but it was men. I dont want to see men dressed as women dancing in front of me. I’m sure the three of them (Rachel, Amee & Sonia) got a kick out of it.

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