14 October 2014

Ulu Tiram trip : To santi forest

Today trip was started off with a ~18 seater mini bus and we were all sleeping off at our trip there as all of us were very tired very tired. (got the earliest waking up of all activity award today 4am meet up)
When I reached there, my first impression of it was scary because our bus is moving into a very rural villiage and it is going in to a more rural place inside the rural villiage. Imagine a mini bus going through a path with no road lights around and there is no one on the surrounding early in the morning when the sun has not yet risen around 5am its creepy right? 
But when we reaching santi forest, my impression changed a little bit as I start to see a huge plot of land filled with many tourist bus and cars ( imagine a soccer court filled with vehicles, yeah that much). I was surprised because I thought it is somewhere isolated to the point where the monks have to build roads to join up the path to the rural villiage ( I heard its because there’s a monk who wish to go to the forest with no people around and do his own training there so he went to santi forest) but it really surprised me with the number of people whos so dedicated to come from different part of Malaysia and other neighbouring countries that will take like more than 6 hours of travelling trip by bus to come here? Wow

Its around 6am in the morning we started by having our breakfast there. Ehhh buffet breakfast to be exact. There are 71 stalls there with different food of different culture there and it is all FREE! Its really like an internation street food buffet to me. I heard those food stores are set up voluntarily by lay people and some are stalls their supporters had bought it for a day so everyone can eat their food for free.

We went to put our food offering after that. And wow! Its totally different scale compared to what we can see in sinapore. The offerings were all put on the floor to form a row of line and its so long to the point where we have to walk for like 20 minutes to see the end of the line from the start!

The monks took about an hour to receive all the offerings from the lay people (LOL)
We went to the main shrine after that as we were told to gather there for the main event of the day. We had to do some chantings with the monks there and  kathina ceremony after that.

our afternoon street food buffet after the ceremony  (yep all for free! many more but too full to try all)

We also got some books to add into our SPBS library. I would recommend " 16 predictions of the Buddha" which is a book contains some forecast by the buddha. Some of the forecast he made can be seen in today's world. One of it was about people getting married and start a family in their young age. (To people that live 2500 years ago may find it ridiculous but in modern days....) If anyone interest in any of the book you can contact me ^^

With Metta,
Lee Xun

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