April was a wicked month despite a few annoying hiccups! It started off in Bangkok where I squeezed in an awesome Muay Thai experience before heading down to Koh Samui for both relaxing and exploring. Then 10 days of Vipassana course, one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The last 10 8 days of the month were in KL that went by in a flash.

As you’ll see in the highlights, there were lots of catch ups with friends. My 2018 goal of spending time with friends has been going exceptionally well.

Cities Visited

hello from a bus

Writing this to you from a bus, fun times.

Bangkok, Thailand
Koh Samui, Thailand
Surat Thani, Thailand
Gambang, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Stadiums & Arenas Visited

Three stadiums to watch three different sports this month. The numbers are trending in the right direction after poor attendance in February and March.

where to watch muay thai in bangkok for free

Channel 7 Boxing Stadium In Bangkok

Channel 7 Boxing Stadium (blog post: watching Muay Thai for free in Bangkok)
KLFA Stadium (football)
Kinrara Stadium (cricket)

>>>The Highlight Reel<<<

Scooter Missions Around Koh Samui

favourtie view of samui

This was my favourite view of the week on Koh Samui

I joined Franzi in Kok Samui where we had a blast scootering around the island looking for new beaches. Not all of them were stunners, but we found a couple of gems. Silver Beach was her favourite, there were people there so shade was limited, but the cove was magical and the water was amazing. My favourite was Laem Set Beach. We would have skipped over the beach, but when we saw it from the viewpoint above we knew we had to get there the following day. Not sure where everyone else was but we had the insanely warm water to ourselves.

Trying Out Muay Thai On Koh Samui

samui gym

Those chicken legs though…

It took a lot of effort for me to go as I’m not the biggest fan of martial arts. If you asked me about the class within 24 hours of finishing a class, I would have been negative about them. Looking back now though, they were enjoyable and they’ve played a role in me wanting to get back on top of my fitness levels.

Experiencing 10 Days Of Silence

vipassana room

My room at the retreat

Wow, this was incredible. I’m going to write a post about this in the next week but for now I’ll say this; if you have any interest in meditation, jump on the Dhamma website and start planning to take a 10 day silent vipassana course. GAME CHANGER.

Spending Some Time In KL For Once

malaysia traffic

I hope that bus was supposed to be changing lanes?

Kuala Lumpur has always been a transit city for me so I have been there often but rarely for more than a few days. After the course I wanted to take it easy and catch up on some work. Kuala Lumpur worked out well for that and I saw some more of the city and found some awesome vegetarian spots.

Reuniting With Friends

love malasia vegetarian food

Never eat alone. Getting better at that.

This 2018 goal of spending time with friends is going brilliantly! There was the time with Franzi on Koh Samui and I met up with my buddies Lillian and Vitaly who live on the island too. Then after the 10-days of silence I bumped into a friend I met in Belgrade last year. Bizarre. Then it turns out Rich was in KL for a few days. To start with we were chatting on Facebook without knowing we were both in KL! And finally, a friend from University, Jacquie, happened to be coming to Kuala Lumpur so I extended my stay there for a few days. Super worth it!

>>>The Fumbles<<<

Getting Cash Stolen

koh samui airbnb

Lake views from the airbnb

Ugh, this is so frustrating. I had gotten a bunch of cash out on Koh Samui and because I was in my swimming shorts most of the time, I was only taken a few hundred baht with me at a time. The rest was left in the private airbnb. We came back one day and 4000 baht was gone. All my smaller notes were there, it was just the 1000 baht notes gone. Super annoying, I’m trying not to blame anyone, but it played on my mind for a few days. Guess there’s a first for everything.

Smashing The Camera On My Phone

Koh Samui is featuring a lot in this update. While driving around the hills in the centre of the island, I stopped to look at directions. As always the phone went into the pocket and we continued on. Nek minnet, I’m grabbing my left thigh after hearing something fall onto the road. My phone was no longer there 🙁 It still works, and during the day it can still take reasonable photos, but at night time the crack on the camera impacts on most photos.

Making The Journey To Kuala Lumpur From Koh Samui Harder Than It Should Be

monk smoking

On the train to Hat Yai I found it really weird seeing this monk smoking

This was all my fault. I left Koh Samui on the 9th and just needed to get to Gambang by the afternoon of the 11th for the start of the course. I took it a bit too easy and ended up arriving a bit late. Things would have been a lot easier if I caught the night train on the 9th from Surat Thani rather than spending a night in a 30-bed dorm. My bad. I was then stuck on a slow train south where the most interesting thing was seeing the monk smoking above! Arriving in Hat Yai I was almost stuck there for the night, but somehow got the last overnight bus to Kuala Lumpur…not sure what would have happened otherwise.

Not Meditating Consistently Post Vipassana Retreat

sweaty meditation in botanical gardens

After meditating in the botanical gardens in Kuala Lumpur. So hot.

The recommendations for continuing your meditation practice after the retreat are this:

  • One hour in the morning and one hour in the evening
  • 5 minutes before sleeping
  • One hour with a group every weekend
  • 1x 10 day course each year
    • I set my standards a bit too high post course trying to do a modest 30 minutes a day. That was a lot more than the 10 minutes I was doing prior to the course, and have been struggling. I’ve got to make this a priority again.

      What I Read In April

      Considering there were 10 days of no reading at the course, I’m proud that I managed to get four books in, including the super long David Beckham biography.

      Normally I’ll give a brief description of my thoughts on the books, but I’ve finally started to compile my notes on sports autobiographies (work in progress). These compilations are as much for me than anyone else. Do you have moments when you read a non-fiction book but don’t remember anything a few days later? By putting my highlighted notes together I should at least get a takeaway or two.

      Anyway, in April I read:

      David Beckham, My Side by David Beckham (obviously)
      Getting A Grip by Monica Seles
      The Power Of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

      Before The Exit by Dan Andrews

      I just opened the Kindle app on my phone and counted nine autobiographies waiting for me to read! Loving it, one of my better auto.

      New Blog Posts From April

      I spent a bit of time updating and refreshing some old content but did get a few new articles posted.

      Watching Muay Thai At Channel 7 Stadium In Bangkok
      Watching Muay Thai At Thaepae Stadium In Chiang Mai

      The Monthly Rundown: March 2018

      What’s Coming Up In May

      hello kitty malaysia

      Wanna ride? You’ll find these all around the heritage area in Malacca

      Malaysia May. The first half of the month is organised. Four days in Malacca, a new destination for me. Then it’s up to Ipoh, where I’ve spent over two months in before in 2016, for a week of volunteering. After that I’ll pop into Kuala Lumpur again too meet up with my mate Sarah and we’ll see what goes from there. Would like to get to the Cameron Highlands, my other Malaysian oversight and perhaps one more new city before the end of the month?

      Have the best month ever.