Thursday, February 24, 2005

Sukhothai Snail

Sukhothai, pronouced "Sook-hot-tie'", is the ancient Capital City of Thailand. I arrived yesterday afternoon with a couple from London; Alan and Debbie. Fortunately, they were my protectors til I got here. No one explained where I was staying or how I was getting there. They just pointed at these two and told me to follow them.

We travelled by air conditioned bus from Chiang Mai.

My mom says I've lost weight. I have. 171 lbs as of today Mom. (Talk about a tell-all blog). My goal by April 5th is 167.5 lbs. Okay, on with the story.

When we arrived at the 'Vitoon Guest House' they were given their room key and after I stood there for a while, a smiling Thai woman held up a piece of paper with my name on it and I was all set. By the way, I like to include signs with phone numbers and other information so that a posse can locate me later.

I often forget the important details. You usually are not supplied with toilet paper, drinking water, or a towel. This was the first Guest house that supplied all three. Oh, but there were no sheets on the bed. True. The pack you see is the same one I started out with and everything still fits inside it. I have three changes of clothing and the laundry service is 20 baht.

I really have no sense of direction, as a few of you may recall, so it was an exciting adventure for me to navigate ancient ruins in this strange new/old city. So I simply sat down at an open air cafe and had a coke. That has become my standard way to find the answers I need in Thailand. A few minutes later, Jerry from London England came wheeling in on his bicycle and I immediately invited him to join me. I told him I was looking for some direction and he gave me the ins and outs of exploring the ruins, since he had just finished doing it himself.

Then for the next couple of hours we talked about; what else?, nuclear reactors. Jerry is a Nuclear Engineer in Scotland and he told me he does the same job as Homer Simpson but with marginally better results.

I was the first one up in the Guest House; up at 6am, ready to start exploring. The Guest house was still locked so I had to go out the back way. At 7am there was finally someone around to rent a bicycle from (20 baht for the day) and off I went. Jerry had suggested I go to the far away sites while it was still cool. I went to 'Wat Si Chum' Temple first.

When I explore I like to go by intuition and feel the place out. What I felt here was a contradiction. Around the site itself, I felt very disturbed, as if it had been the scene of some great violence. But when I went into the Temple itself it was a wonderful sensation. Just as with the Golden Mount and several other Temples I have visited, I had the sensation of light-headednes and a sense of floating that originated from the Tisra-Til or third eye. The Crown Chakra also felt like it was being drawn up by the energy. I found that several of the ruins were constructed like this one, and in every case I had the same sensation. It felt like the structures were working like chimneys of Spirit; drawing up the coarse energies of the body, leaving the pure essence in it's place.

I wanted to show you some idea of the size of these statues. There was no one else around most of the time, which is what I wanted. Today I didn't want to be on any one's timetable but my own. These are his fingers.
*My Dear friend Kathy in Calgary mentioned an experience she had the night before I visited this Temple and I forgot to add it from my notes. As I stood in the chamber with the thirty foot Buddha, I saw pigeons flying around the head of the statue, but the sound I heard was the echoing caw-caw-caw of a raven. I also heard what sounded like a coral singing from a long way away. Kathy, I think you told me you had a dream about a raven that night before and when I heard this sound I thought of you. You thought it might be a warning but I think it was more of a remembrance. You may have been picking up on the dichotomy of the feeling of violence outside with the serenity inside the chamber.

At one of the other sites I took this picture of the Buddha.

Something I kept seeing again and again, was this cut in the statue that had been cemented in with plaster. I suspect that someone has hidden something in the solar plexus of several of the statues. I felt I should rename this site 'The Secret City' because it seems that the most important artifacts have been removed or hidden from view.

As I rode along, I felt drawn to a place called "Phra Ruang Dam". I had no idea why I should go there but I felt to go so I did. As I headed along the road to the dam, the bell on my bike kept jingling, which was funny because it didn't work until then. The pitch was the same as a bell I got at the Golden Temple the other day. It woke me up as if to tell me something important was happening.

I saw a sign just before the dam that read: "Experience is the creator of Knowledge".

When I finally got there I was starting to feel the effects of the 40 degree temperatures, and so I headed into the park where the Dam was and went down to the reservoir to cool down. There was no one in the whole place except me.

When I got to the shore I suddenly spotted a snail shell. It was the only one on the whole rocky beach. I immediately thought of the incident I wrote about in my post: The Voice Of The Silence. My Universe felt very comfortable at that moment. I felt I was meant to find that shell. To be all alone, on the shore of this beautiful lake and see symbol that sat there just for me to find, made a chill run down my spine. When I found the shell, I sat down and wrote: "This small shell calls to me: 'remember, remember'. I swim n the water and listen to the birds and hear the few flies that buzz around . I cool my body and take off my shirt and rinse it in the water. 'Remember', the Voice whispers. The Heart beats in Silence until you listen for it."

I would enjoy hearing your interpretation of what you think this experience represents.

Note: I wrote this Post the same day I had this experience. Last night when I got back to Bangkok, I was so drowsy I accidentally deleted most of my pictures; which isn't really such a loss because most of them were of sites you can see better on post cards. As far as the snail shell, I have it with me but it is so smelly I'm afraid to take it out of it's bag until I get it cleaned. I will take a picture of it later and add it here. But for now, if someone could find the Dam I was at, on the Internet and send me the link or some pictures of it, I would be truly grateful. This is what the sign said: 'Sariphong (PHRA RUANG DAM). I noticed there were 193 new hits on this site in the last 10 hours. One of you must be able to find this dam dam.


Anonymous said...

lol... I think 192 of those hits were me Steve... I was worried about you and wanted to check up on you

glad to hear everything is well


~~ Melissa said...

What an amazing day that must have been. I've decided I would like two of those great statues please. One for the front garden and one for the back. I know your backpack is expandable so it should all work out. :)

Anonymous said...

Those pictures are amazing Steve I cant believe how your blog makes me feel like I am right there experiencing everything with you

I love it!!


Steven said...

Kathy: With you watching out for me I know I have no worries. Thanks! (((((Hugs back)))))

Steven said...

P.Melissa: Sorry Mel. It was either those two statues or that extra roll of toilet paper I stole from my hotel room. How about a keychain?

Steven said...

Sarah: You are with me, in my heart every day. Love you!

Jerry said...


Jerry here! Looked up your site and its looking good. I hope the chat on nuclear disasters didn't give you sleepless nights!

Loved the bit about the Thai massage in BKK - The Tuk Tuk drivers automatically assume you want it ALL and bear in mind the ones they take you to they are on commission from! (by the way that also applies to hotels & guest houses!)

But, thats half the fun of travelling in a different country - finding out how it really works! Have fun and feel free to contact me (



P.S. For all other onlookers the redish glow was the result of 12 hours under the sun and has nothing to do with nuclear afterglow.........