Laa gorn Laos, sawad de krap Thailand.
Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
40Trip End Nov 22, 2012
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Well not quite, one day in Luang Namthe after the bus ride, a pretty unevenly full night but I had a great run when I booked in it started monsoon raining just after I set off; love rain running not just because it's so refreshing, especially in this heat here but if locals look at you like your crazy for running here on a normal day they think you've lost the plot running in rain! But you always get a few thumbs up, smiles and nods too which make every run worthwhile.
So my only dilemma was I hadn't arranged anything for the meditation retreat in Thailand yet so I went online but found that on route to Chiang Mai was Chiang Rai which I heard was big and built up but not as full on as Bangkok or Chiang Mai so searching on Lonely Planet the first post I found was about a ace called New Life Foundation which was a place for people with problems to go to recuperate, recover or just improve their situation and volunteers could go too
Ok so here's the good bit; if you stay up to two weeks it's 500 bhat a night (tenner), or over 30 days only 200 bhat (£4). Now here's the even better bit; you do 4.5 hours work a day either in the gardens where they grow all their own food or in building where they are building all the sites resources ( they have only been going 1 year so still expanding). there are yoga and meditation classes you can join in, Thai lessons, an outdoor swimming pool, steam room, mindfulness classes (like awareness) and all kinds of other stuff. You get your own nice room with bathroom and three hot meals a day, free water, coffee and tea!! All for a tenner a day!!!
So next day I went to Chiang Rai via the Houe Xai Laos border.... Where I had a near run in with immigration ... Again..!