Spirituality

Climbing Shwesandaw Pagoda in Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar: Temple Climbing Banned!

One of the ‘bucket list’ things to do in Myanmar, if not the whole of Southeast Asia, is to climb atop a thirteenth-century temple in Bagan to watch the sunset over a magical landscape of 3,000 pagodas. Recently, however, this controversial activity has been banned. We find out why and when the ban came into force, hear from a backpacker who recently visited Bagan and look at possible other ways to get THAT view!

Meditation Teacher Training Course

Meditation Teacher Training: Because The World Needs It

Meditation Teacher Training is becoming more and more popular as people discover the immense benefits of meditation and want to share the magic with others. If you are interested in becoming a meditation teacher, here are some guidelines on how to choose a meditation training…

Turtle being released for Buddhist Karma

Turtle Release: The Buddhist Practice of Building Good Karma

One traveller visits Wat Rakhang (Temple of Bells) in Bangkok and receives a cultural lesson in the Buddhist ritual of animal release. Every day hundreds of creatures; turtles, eels, snails, birds and other animals are captured in cages, purchased by locals and then released back into the wild in order to gain merit.

Wat Sri Suphan, Chiang Mai, the Silver Temple

Top 5 Temples, Chiang Mai – What Wats to Visit if You’re Tight on Time?

With over 300 Buddhist temples dotted all around Chiang Mai, you’re sure to be ‘wat-ed’ out quite quickly! So what if you only have a few days to explore this beautiful Northern city? Here’s our pick of ‘what’ wats you definitely shouldn’t miss out on, even if you’re tight on time…

10 Days in a Vipassana Meditation Retreat at Wat Ram Poeng, Northern Thailand

The Northern Insight Meditation Centre of Wat Ram Poeng is nestled on the secluded edges of Chiang Mai, surrounded by woods, just on the outskirts of the Old City. These days, its reputation as a Vipassana retreat has spread worldwide, resulting in thousands of meditators enrolling in search of enlightenment.

Soon To Be Lost Forever: Larung Gar, the Largest Tibetan Buddhist University

In June and July of 2016 the Chinese government demolished 50% of Larung Gar, a thriving settlement of 40,000 peaceful Tibetan Buddhists. They say that it has become overcrowded and that its population must be reduced to only 5,000 people by October 2017. These photos, taken by photographer, Jesse Rockwell, are the last that will ever be taken before the city is destroyed forever…

Suan Sati, Chiang Mai: A Review of the Cheapest Yoga Retreat in Thailand

Last week, we were invited to stay at Suan Sati Yoga Retreat in San Sai, near Chiang Mai, Thailand. Suan Sati (which means ‘mindfulness garden’) has only been open six months, yet the place is attracting many backpackers to come and enjoy meditation, yoga and a vegan diet in beautiful surroundings. Is it the cheap price that’s the draw for thrifty backpackers – or is it something else?

A Couple Stand Looking Out From The Viewpoint At Koneswaram Temple, Trinco

Black Tea and Burnt Feet, A Journey Across Sri Lanka

Travel writer, Ian Packham takes us on a journey across the colourful island of Sri Lanka, that’s a mix of Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim religions. Tea, trains, soldiers and temples mark the route from Colombo to Trincomalee, giving an interesting insight into the unique culture of this beautiful tropical isle in the Indian Ocean.

Spiritual Extremism: The Enemy Within

Dave Noakes takes a tongue in cheek look at the path to spiritual enlightenment. A search for the self in India will present you with a number of Western seekers that’ll do away with any desire you ever had to discover that “we are all one”.

Buddha statue across a pond in Sukhothai

Sukhothai Vs Ayutthaya – How Do You Choose Which UNESCO Site To Visit?

Central Thailand has two popular UNESCO World Heritages sites, Sukhothai and Ayutthaya, both the homes of former ruling dynasties in the history of Thailand. Both sites, on the face of it are pretty similar and both are close to the well-trodden train route between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. So, if you have to pick only one, which should you check out?

Yoga teacher on beach

Jobs Abroad: My Life as a Yoga Teacher in Goa, India

24-year-old Martha from Limerick in Ireland, has been making a living abroad since she was 20. She’s worked as a massage therapist on cruise ships that sailed all around Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, has backpacked in Thailand and India, and is currently working as a yoga teacher in Agonda, South Goa. After attending her morning ‘wake up’ classes on the beach, I decided to interview Martha on how she ended up in this beautiful part of the world…

Facing The Great Unknown – Travel & Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Ever found yourself wondering… Where am I going next? What am I going to do when I get back home? How am I going to earn money to keep on traveling? I hate my job but I don’t know what else to do with my life! What happens next? Soul Seekers Ambassador Melanie Swan maps out what we can do to work through this dilemma and come out stronger…

Move, Play, Breathe and Smile… Life at the Xhale Yoga School in Pai, Thailand

There’s the old cliché that backpackers travel to ‘find themselves’. In South East Asia, particularly Thailand, many travelers like to experiment with yoga and meditation in an attempt to still their mind and discover what it is that they really want out of life. We meet local Thai native, Bhud, owner of the Xhale Yoga School, located in the beautiful Pai Valley to find out more about daily life on a meditation retreat…

Deep Reflection & Spiritual Learning at the DHARMA INC Centre, Thailand.

How can travel inspire us and guide us without a heavy dose of time for ourselves in the mix? How can we welcome in new insight, or perspectives, or desires if we do not give them time to marinate and become fully flavoured? Recently we discovered the Kailash Akhara Centre by Dharma Inc the perfect location in which to add some essential ‘YOU time’ into your travel plans.

Interview: Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, Founder of Agama Yoga

The island of Koh Phangan in southern Thailand is notorious for the Full Moon Party and a hedonistic destination for young backpackers! However, there’s so much more to the island than meets the eye. In recent years, it has become a hub for yoga and spirituality and draws thousands of ‘soul-searching’ travellers who are looking for more than just buckets and beaches. After the New Year’s Eve celebrations died down this year, we made our way to Agama Yoga on the beautiful West coast of the island to meet the founder of Agama Yoga School, Swami Vivekananda Saraswati. We discuss yin and yang, the laws of karma, tantric sex, God and reincarnation!

Notes From the Editor: Travel and a Simple Twist of Fate…

Unencumbered by routine and responsibility, backpackers are free to make impulsive decisions that have the potential to change the next few days, weeks, even years of their lives. Have you ever wondered how differently your backpacking trip may have turned out if certain, seemingly insignificant events had gone differently? Retracing the steps of your journey it is possible to pinpoint those tiny instances that with hindsight literally changed everything, the course of your journey and even your life…

The Black House, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The White Temple & The Black House: Chiang Rai, Thailand

Just five hours north from Chiang Mai, is the smaller, less touristy city of Chiang Rai. Many travellers arrive here on a northward journey from Chiang Mai to Laos and are already feeling ‘templed out’ by the 300+ temples that make up the ancient walled city of Thailand’s cultural capital. However, there is just one more experience that awaits the culture vultures amongst you! And we promise this one is worth a look! Dubbed the ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ of architecture, the White Temple and the Black House will conjure a clashing of emotions. One dark, mysterious and almost sadistic, the other white, ethereal and other-worldly, these two opposing buildings couldn’t be more different…

Angkor Wat, Cambodia, the largest religious monument in the world.

Guide to The Unmissable Temples of Angkor, Cambodia!

Breathtaking and awe-inspiring, Angkor Wat will astound even the most unlikely of backpackers. Beer guzzlers are turned into Culture Vulture’s overnight as Chang Vests are replaced with ones that say ‘Angkor Wat is f**ing amazing!’ Hailed as one of the most magnificent examples of architecture ever created, it’s a site not to be missed for all travellers in South East Asia.

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