5 Reasons Why You Should Escape To The Countryside

 

5 reasons why you should escape to the countryside5 reasons why you should travel to the countryside

For me traveling is all about freedom. The freedom to go wherever I want and with as little possessions possible. As a permanent traveler I am always searching for ways to gain more freedom. Recently I have come to believe that a stay in the country will provide me with more freedom. I will give you 5 reasons why you will have more freedom in the countryside.

1. Consumerism

Big cities scream consumerism. Billboards, screens, shops. They are all try to sell you something. However I believe that you do not need most of the advertised products. Better to be influenced by the beauty of nature then by the next commercial for washing powder, which screams at you that you can not live without it.

2. There is always more

In a big city everything is available at any time of the day. Although this certainly can be beneficial, it also causes stress. 24/7 availability means that you always have the opportunity to go out to buy something or to be entertained. You do not learn to be satisfied because there is always that option to purchase more products or have more entertaining experiences.

3. We know what is best for you

Big cities do not only push the consumer ideal through your throat. They are also playgrounds for politicians. Politicians who make great efforts to win peoples hearts, and of course they always now what is best for you. They will take every opportunity to bother you with pushy marketing campaigns and endless pragmatism. Sometimes politicians are useful but more often you just want to escape from them.

4. Busyness

Life never calms down in a city. Traffic jams, rush hours, crying ambulances, screaming video screens. It can be an overwhelming experience to stay in an urban environment. One that will easily make you tired. You do not have much opportunities to enjoy a quiet and serene moment. A moment where you can sit down and watch at the stars or stare at a beautiful sunset, while the day calms down.
Rush hour in Bangkok

5. Safety and crime

Sometimes your perception of freedom can be negatively influenced because you feel unsafe, anxious or even scared. Crime rates are higher in large cities. There are many people living in cities, so there will be less social control. People don’t know each other so they often fear others. This results in less friendliness and care for each other. Living in small countryside communities, where people know and help each other, provides a feeling of companionship and security.

Useful Links

Thailand Motorcycle – Tears In The Land Of Smiles

Thailand Motorcycle Misery in the jungleThailand motorcycle – Drama in paradise

I was breathing sand and sweating salt while squeezing the brakes as strong as I could. If I would loose my grip for the smallest of seconds I would most likely slide into the cliff and disappear for ever. Swallowed by large green leaves and digested by the dark moist soil.

Stranded in the jungle

My first solo journey into the wild was an adventures mix of great experiences and miserable moments. There were plenty of moments when I relaxed and plenty of moments when I got in trouble. In this article I will tell you about a particular bad situation, which made me cry for my mommy in the land of smiles. It all happened when I got stranded with my motorcycle in the “jungle” of Ko Tao, Thailand.

Making a wrong choice

I had rented a motorcycle in town and then I wanted to drive back to my bungalow before sunset. However, to get there I had to drive trough a rough, sandy road full of huge stones, sticks and coconuts. Steep cliffs on both sides of the road and the pending darkness of the evening made it even more of a challenge. But of course I made the decision to go anyway.

The beginning of the end

Somehow, somewhere I made a wrong turn, and that was the start of a miserable night. It got dark and the road became a real challenge. On top of that my motorcycle started to break down. Sprocket and chain decided to separate while I was struggling on a steep and sandy hill. I dropped to the ground and it cost me all my strength to keep the motorbike from sliding down into the cliffs.

However, I managed to get the chain back on the gear. Only to experience the same situation after a few more meters, the chain snapped lose again. I had to drop myself on the heavy bike and squeeze it to the ground otherwise me and my motorized friend would disappear in the jungle forever.

Pure Thailand motorcycle misery

I managed to drag the motorbike uphill and there I sat down to weep while drowning in my own sweat. I had no idea where I was, where I should go and how I should go somewhere anyway. I cried out of misery and I swore to myself that this would never happen to me again.

The rescue mission

Somehow, I managed to drag my motorcycle to a house in the jungle. The Thai residents in that house stared very confused at the white boy who was weeping at their doorstep. I put up my saddest puppy face and eventually managed to explain that they needed to call my resort.

After a while some people from the resort arrived with a pickup truck. The brought me and my bike back to the resort. I was relieved as I had overcome my  stupid mistake. A mistake that taught me some valuable lessons about myself and about renting motorized vehicles in Thailand.

Some Tips

  • Before renting, always check your motorcycle for existing damage
  • Do not underestimate situations. Especially in an unfamiliar place
  • Rent an automatic scooter if you are not used to shifting gears

Useful links

  • Renting scooters in Thailand: Do you want to rent a motorcycle / scooter in Thailand? Avoid making the same mistakes that I made. Do yourself a favor and check out this Youtube video from Darren Brinkworth. In the video he talks about how you can avoid scams and how you can drive safely. He also gives advice about legal matters when it comes to renting a bike in Thailand.
  • Renting a motorcycle in Southeast Asia: For the readers. This is written down advice about renting motorbikes in Asia. The writer from the artice, Greg Rodgers, describes into detail what you need to be aware of when renting a bike in Southeast Asia.
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Museum Of Siam – Discover The Thai Identity

The Museum of SiamThai history in the Museum of Siam

While in charge of the canon, I am attacked by a large group of warriors, who approach me from the front. I aim the cannon, load, and I blast away. Three soldiers on the right flank of the group fly through the air. Then the ground starts to rumble. A large war elephant comes charging in from the left flank of the group. I quickly reload and aim my canon at the approaching giant.

There is a big bang and a lot of dust. The elephant and its accompanying warriors disappear in the fire of the explosion. Then I am suddenly surprised by a very angry looking warrior who jumps out of the dust. He is right in front of me and it is to late to react. He swings his battle sword and the last words I see are: GAME OVER.

Museum of Siam

This Museum of Siam provides an inside into the rich and turbulent history of the Thai people and their country. You learn about their culture and heritage via a very interactive exhibition. Videos, sound recordings, photos and a war game will certainly entertain young children and also their accompanying parents.

Location

The Museum of Siam is located at Sanam Chai Rd in the old part of Bangkok. Other nearby sights are Wat Pho and the Grand Palace. You can easily recognize the museum because it is located in a neoclassical building, which has been formerly used by the Thai Ministry of Commerce.

Getting there

Take the Chao Phraya river boat to Tha Tien pier. Get off the boat and walk from the pier to the main road. Then walk to the right, in the direction of Wat Pho. Keep following the main road (Th Maharat). After Wat Pho you will see a school and university.

Keep walking till you see the museum walls on your left hand. Enter Soi Setthakan and follow the walls. Halfway down the street there is a passage. Go inside and walk to the main entrance of the building. The walk from the pier takes about 5 minutes. Be careful at the surrounding streets. There is a lot of traffic.

What to see

The main exhibition consists of 17 rooms. Each of these rooms have a theme, which is related to Thai history and culture. The rooms have topics like the founding of Ayutthaya, Buddhism, village life and Thailand today. There is also a war room where you can play an interactive war game. This game will take you right into a battle, where you are in charge a 19th century canon.

You can visit this sight from Tuesday till Sunday. The opening times are 10:00 AM till 18:00 PM, and the admission is 300 baht (about 9 dollars) for foreigners and 100 bath for Thai people. At the time of my visit there where also temporary exhibitions, which were on display around the main building. There was a butterfly garden and an exhibition about silk.Neoclassical architecture in the Museum of Siam

Tips

Come late to avoid large masses of children and the high entrance price. You can enter for free after 16:00 PM. I came at 16:15 PM and had the building practically for myself. Which is nice because it is a very interactive exhibition. You don’t want to have to fall in line to push buttons, shoot cannons, watch videos and listen to sound recordings.

Useful links

  • Museumsiam.com: The official Museum of Siam website. Check it before you go to this sight, so that you are up to date about the current opening times, prices and expositions.
  • ndmi.or.th: The website of the National Museum Institute, which might be more interesting for researchers. Visit this site to network with the institute or check news updates and current events.