Ti-Ratana Penchala KATHINA in Khorat Thailand 21 - 23 Oct 2011 (itinerary)

FRI OCT 21 Bangkok - Chachoengsao - Wang Nam Keow                (Lunch)
Depart on Air Asia FD3572 10.40am flight from KL-LCCT airport, arriving 11.40am at Bangkok Airport. Pick-up by tour guide and transfer to Chachoengsao town for lunch at a local Thai restaurant. Then visit100 year old Ban Mai Market, a traditional riverside market of preserved old wooden shop houses, located beside the Bang Pakong River. Then at 3.30pm, go for the 30 minutes Bang Pakong river cruise with views of Chachoengsao town. End your cruise at Wat Sothon, the splendid marble temple that houses the Luang Pho Sothon Buddha statue, one of Thailand’s holiest Buddha images. Legend has it that this Buddha statue was floating down the Bang Pakong River unretrieved until it reached Chachoengsao town. The locals managed to pluck it from the river after building a small shrine and conducting prayers.

Transfer to Wang Nam Keow district of Khorat province, a popular rural resort getaway spot for Bangkokians escaping the heat & stress of the city. Check in your resort. You can have your dinner at the resort’s restaurant (dinner will be on your own account).

SAT OCT 22 Wang Nam Keow - Pak Chong - Wang Nam Keow                (Breakfast)
Morning, transfer (with packed breakfast provided) to Wat Khao Yai Charoendham monastery in Pak Chong district to help out with the pre-Kathina Ceremony preparations. Later in the morning, participate in the Kathina Ceremony by offering robes and other requisites to the monks of the monastery. After the Kathina Ceremony, transfer to Farm Chokchai, a working state of the art dairy farm and popular tourist attraction of Khorat province. Return to your resort to overnight.
OPTIONAL: If you wish, you may join the group to Wat Ratanawan for an evening Dhamma talk. The group will depart the resort at around 6pm. The Dhamma talk is scheduled at around 7pm and snack food will be provided for those attending.

SUN OCT 23 Wang Nam Keow - Bangkok Airport (those flying home) - Bangkok (those extending)                                                                (Breakfast)
Morning, transfer (with packed breakfast provided) to Wat Ratanawan monastery in Wang Nam Keow district to help out with the pre-Kathina Ceremony preparations. Later in the morning, participate in the Kathina Ceremony by offering robes and other requisites to the monks of the monastery. After the Kathina Ceremony, transfer to Bangkok airport for FD 3575 6.30pm departure to KL, arriving at KL-LCCT airport at 9.40pm. For those extending stay on your own in Bangkok, you will be transferred to your hotel in Bangkok for check-in.

RATES: RM 559 per person, twin sharing, for group size of 20 persons, in 2 tour vans
1.     Ground Tour                                RM 535
2.     Tipping                                        RM   24
TOTAL =         RM 559
Single supplement: RM 240
For EXTENSION in Bangkok, we recommend All Seasons Bangkok Siam Hotel, walking distance to Pratunam shopping area, BTS skytrain & Airport Rail Link stations.
Standard Room: RM180 /room/night inclusive breakfast
Superior Room: RM210 /room/night inclusive breakfast
Rates & Itinerary subject to changes in FOREX rates, Air Asia air ticket price, unforeseen surcharges, weather, etc.

1.     Airport transfers and tour excursion on PRIVATE basis using Toyota D4D 13 seater tour van, for the period Oct 21 to 23, 2011
2.     2 nights with breakfast at Villa Khao Phaengma Resort (3 star) or similar resort type
3.     Lunch in Chachoengsao town on Day 1 (Oct 21)
4.     English speaking tour guide and entrance fees for attractions as per itinerary including Bang Pakong River cruise ticket (cruise departs at 3.30pm and is jointly together with other tourists).
5.     Guide & Driver Tipping

a) KL-Bangkok return Air Asia air tickets, airport taxes & fuel surcharges
b) Travel insurance: can be arranged separately (RM 32 /pax for up to 5 days coverage)
c) All lunch and dinner (except lunch provided on Oct 21)
d) Personal expenses like optional activities not included in itinerary, drinks during meals, laundry charges, etc.

To sign up, kindly contact Bro. David via:
·         email david@elsoltravel.com 
·         h/p: 016-210 6951
·         tel. 603-79844560 (Mon–Fri, 10am-5pm, EL SOL Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd)

DEADLINE: sign up by SEPT 15 with a non-refundable deposit of RM 280 /person
Note, if you wish, we will assist with booking return KL-Bangkok airtickets for you. However, full payment for the air tickets must be immediate upon booking as Air Asia and MAS will bill immediately for the air tickets. Payments for air tickets are non-refundable and changes to air tickets are subject to terms & conditions set by the respective airlines.

Information required are: NAME, PASSPORT No., PASSPORT Expiry Date, Date of Birth, Handphone No. (preferably with roaming function) and Home Address.
Flights to be used are:
OPTION 1:     OCT 21 Air Asia         FD 3572         KUL 10.40         BKK 11.40
                               OCT 23 Air Asia         FD 3575         BKK 18.30         KUL 21.40
OPTION 2:            OCT 21 MAS                 MH 784        KUL 09.10        BKK 10.15
                       OCT 23 MAS                 MH 781        BKK 19.40         KUL 22.50

NOTE: On Oct 21, Option 2 travellers must wait for Option 1 travellers to arrive before tour transfer begins. On Oct 23, Option 1 and Option 2 travellers will transfer together to the airport.
Upon signing up, you will be forwarded a check-list of suggested items to pack, suggested requisites to be offered to the monks and further details regarding the 2 Kathina ceremonies.

3D/2N Kathina in Thailand, 21 - 23 Oct 2011

Ti-Ratana Penchala Community Centre joyously invites you to participate in the meritorious Kathina Festival at 2 forest monasteries in Khorat (Nakhon Ratchasima) province, Thailand:

Wat Khao Yai Charoendham, under abbot Ven. Luang Por Uthai Siridharo

Wat Ratanawan, under abbot Ven. Tan Ajahn Nyanadhammo

The trip includes visit of famous Wat Sothon marble temple, Bang Pakong river cruise and the popular dairy farm attraction, Farm Chokchai. Option to extend stay in Bangkok can be arranged.

Kathina is a Buddhist festival which comes at the end of Vassa, the three-month rainy season retreat for Theravada Buddhist monks. It is a time for the laity to express gratitude to monks. Lay Buddhists bring donations to temples, especially new robes for the monks.

As the legend goes, thirty bhikkhus were journeying with the intention of spending Vassa with Gautama Buddha. However, Vassa began before they reached their destination and they had to stop. According to Buddha's guidelines for Vassa, mendicant monks shouldn't travel during the rainy season as they may unintentionally harm crops and insects during their journey. As such, the monks had to stop.

Afterwards, the Buddha rewarded the monks by demonstrating a way to practice sharing and generosity. A lay disciple had previously donated cloth to the Buddha, so the Buddha now gave that cloth to the group of monks and told them to make it into a robe and then offer it as a gift to one of them. A frame, called a Kathina, was used to spread the robe while it was being made.

Accounts of Vassa and Kathina are found in the Mahavagga volume of the Vinaya Pitaka, the Buddhist scriptures pertaining to monastic rules for monks and nuns.

PROFILE OF Ven. Luang Por Uthai Siridharo

Ven. Luang Por Uthai Siridharo was born in Yasothon province of Thailand on March 12, 1936. As a teenager, he helped his parents tending their rice fields. At age 21, he ordained as a Buddhist monk in Amnat Charoen province on May 9, 1956. After 3 rains retreat, he went to search for a meditation teacher and proceeded to have periods of discipleship under Ven. Ajahn Sim, Ven. Ajahn Wein and Ven. Ajahn Fan Acharo. After the passing away of Ven. Ajahn Fan Acharo in 1977, he mainly resided at Wat Tham Phra Phu Wua in Nong Khai province. In 2006, he was invited by Ven. Ajahn Maha Boowa to set up Wat Khao Yai Charoendham, where he is currently residing

PROFILE OF Ven. Tan Ajahn Nyanadhammo
Ven. Tan Ajahn Nyanadhammo was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1955 and studied biology at university. His contact with the Dhamma via reading a Buddhist book eventually drove him to Thailand to receive his novice ordination in 1978 at Wat Bowon Niwet Wiharn in Bangkok. Full ordination followed in 1979 at the age of 24, under Ven. Ajahn Chah at Wat Nong Pah Pong in Ubon Ratchathani province. In 2002, he became the abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat, a branch monastery of Wat Nong Pah Pong with an international community of English speaking monks. In 2007, he became abbot of Wat Ratanawan, where he is currently residing.
Limited to 20 seats only. Deadline by 15 Sep 2011 with deposit or once we reach 20 seats. Confirmation is base on first come first serve with payment. Please note flight ticket will be cheaper when you book early.

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