This morning, I was packing my hammock when three guys walked towards me to ask some questions. I realised only few minutes later that they were cyclists too. In fact yesterday night when I came back on the beach, I’ve seen bicycles loaded with bags but I thought it was those guys who live here. It was dark so I could not see clearly. Straight away they invited me to follow them around. I’ve met one of their Singaporean friend called Hong. Lot’s of surprises today!
This is Arjan, a monk’s teacher who has been travelling since 35 years! He used to walk everywhere and since 3 years he uses a bicycle. Basically he makes everything by himself, his clothes, his panier for the bicycle and even his coconut helmet! That’s is interesting :-) On his way between Singapore and Thailand where is spends most of his time travelling each year, he teaches people how to build “Adobe” (mud house).
Arjan is now travelling with Kate who joined him 4 years ago. She wants to learn everything from Adjan and has done some bicycle trip by herself too. She is wearing the same “patchwork” clothes and coconut helmet.
Pee ta is the last Arjan’s student. From what I’ve heard until now, Arjan came to Pee Ta one day and kept meeting her for the last 3 years until one day he persuaded her to quit her job. Monk in Thailand are apparently highly respected and people listen carefully to their advices. So Pee Ta decided to become a cyclist too. She flew to Singapore with her bicycle and will travel with Kate and Arjan as far as she can up to Thailand.
From left to right: Pee Ta, Kate, (myself), and Arjan. We are now following the bicycle path of the east coast park towards the city with Hong (who is taking that picture).
For breakfast, Hong brought us in a Thai temple where they serve food for free.
Unfortunately I cannot take any more picture of this place so I will try to describe. Basically the inside of the temple is like a big garage with white walls composed with two big rooms. There is no fans so it’s a bit hot in there. There is few dozen of people here hanging around and eating. On the left corner at the back, there is a Buddha statue where people come to pray. On the front of the main room there is a self service: a table and huge mufflers like 80 cm of diameter. On the right hand side there is the second room another dozen of women sitting around a long and large table. They peel, chop, cut veggies and fruits. There is shelves with plastic cups, plates and chopsticks. The “menu” is composed with noodle soup, fried noodles and some other food. It’s all vegetarian and unlimited quantity. Kate and Arjan eat only one meal per day so they eat a lot! They have started with one big plate, finished it and served themselves a second one, finished it and filled a third one. Then they ate some fresh fruits and that was it. Wow! I’ve never seen people eating that much food in one meal! Once finished, we all got back on our bicycle and headed towards Chinatown.
From left to right: Kate, Arjan, Pee Ta and Hong (their friend). We are now at the same place where I’ve been to the library before. Hong offered a drink to everyone. He knows Arjan and Kate since 3 years as they have done the same trip each year. Kate used to live in Bangkok and used to love shopping, makeup or coloring her hair until she met Arjan and changed her lifestyle drastically. She is also a teacher. On her way she teaches people how to cook Macrobiotic food.
Ta is a teacher at school and assist students on how to use computers. Apparently, all the teenagers use smartphone today but not really computers or laptops.
After that drink we cycled to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple. The design needed lots of research. The society who managed the construction of this temple search in China to look for architects for traditional chinese temple. They finally agree on a Northern chinese style.
Very fine design.
VERY NICE design :-)
This video is coming from the official website.
The walls are covered with Buddha.
There is some tiny ones that covers walls as well.
There is not much explications about this so I don’t know what to think.
Coming back to the main room.
I realised that each of the Buddha has a different hand position which means a different thing. I might be wrong but this one look like it means “banishing and expelling negativity”.
This position means “Greeting and adoration”.
This one means “teaching”.
I could not find the meaning of this one.
Neither this one… and there is more!
I could not find any information about this “blue dragon” unfortunately.
Let’s go visit chinatown :-)
Lots of useless tourist thing around here.
Arjan is as colourful as the surrounding haha :-)
Then Hong brought us at the Maxwell food centre, the same place where I’ve met the sailors (Jose, Nicole and Jean-Louis).
Hong offered us a nice fresh juice :-)
Finally we are cycling back to the beach.
Back to the beach. Kate and Arjan know lots of people here. As I said, since three years they have been visited the same places. Everyone wants to offer us lunch or dinner.
I showed to Arjan what I’ve done on my tires. I’ve explained that I’ve done nearly 5000km with a broken tire, trying to fix it using different solutions. My last stitches are going to break quite soon. Arjan offered me to fix it again. He uses a special needles, the same one he uses to sew his clothes. The thread he is using is also much thicker than mine which would last a while longer. This is good to meet some people who knows how to fix thing. Interesting day :-)