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Thailand 2: Bangkok, Si Racha/Pattaya and Chiang Mai

From Koh Phangan, we took the Surat Thani – Bangkok night train in order to check out some hospitals for giving birth in Bangkok. The unborn moved vividly when we came to our preferred hospital and this way helped us to decide we would not fly back in order to give birth in Germany. For ecological reasons, that would have meant the end of our Asia trip, but avoided to have to pay 3k€ for the delivery. In order to stay relatively close to Bangkok but have some beaches around, we a few weeks in Si Racha and Pattaya. 

Near Si Racha, we visited the waterbuffalo race and the Mosaic permaculture school. You can find more about its founder below.

picture to come

In the pool of our Si Racha apartment, Demian learned snorkeling, and we took him to his first open water snorkel tour.

Then we continued to Pattaya, a large coastal city with a vibrant night life. The only thing we found really worth seeing in this city is the impressive wooden Sanctuary of Truth. 

Sanctuary of Truth

Now it was time to move to Bangkok. Our Airbnb apartment was located on the 27th floor of a sky scraper next tu Hua Mak train station, with a nice pool on the 7th floor. Simon went regularly to Rana‘s yoga shala, took the kids to a couple of sights, read books, listened to podcasts, followed the news on the Iran murders and spent a night in Cambodia to extend his visa. The kids stickered, drew and watched Tom n Sherry and Donald Duck on YouTube. And Janina took her womb to hospital to have it checked every once in a while and tried to explain to the Immigration Devision that she could not travel to the border in the final stage of her pregnancy. 

gender Spoiler an hour before birth

About 10 days after the calculated date, we carried the sleeping kids into a taxi and up to the maternity station. The room was prepared with balloons suggesting Simon should expect a daughter, a secret well kept (at his will) up to this point. Little time later, Simon came out to fetch Ronja who had woken up seconds before our third baby was born. He carried her in to have a first look at her newborn sister who had meanwhile seen the light in a birth tub. The entire family passed three nights at the hospital, and another two weeks in Bangkok. 

Arrival in Chiang Mai with our Ulfbo handcart

Then we took a night train to Chiang Mai, where we spent two weeks exploring night markets and finally spending a day in an ethical elephant sanctuary. Demi and Simon furthermore spent a day on the mountain where they hitchhiked to the camping ground, slept under the stars and hiked to the top and to a hilltribe village. 

Mosaic permaculture school

Neil began studying about permaculture in 1980 while he was still in high school.  After high school he enlisted in the US Navy where he studied a myriad of subjects including oceanography and physics.  He served as a professor of naval sciences in two universities and after retiring from naval service, he began teaching engineering design.  He explains that ecological physics and engineering design are close cousins of permaculture design and general systems thinking.  Starting in 2007, he purchased half a hectare of land near the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and developed Daruma Ecovillage, an educational site that is home to the Mosaic Learning Center, a full-time, K-12 school with a permaculture inspired approach to pedagogy for the entire Thai national curriculum.   Mosaic currently has 150 students between 4 and 1years old.  Much of the work to build Daruma came from over 1000 volunteers from WWOOF, HelpX and Workaway.  The project still occasionally accepts volunteers when possible and still offers conducts training in permaculture design, ecovillage design and specialty courses on request.

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