ADSactly Travel - The Secret of the Rain Forest

in #travel3 years ago

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One of the most beautiful rainforests in Thailand is located in the province of Trang. Southern Thailand is infamous for paradisal rain forests, islands, and beaches which attracts millions of visitors annually. The culture is still very much tribal with tribal beliefs that all living things are connected to nature, with the highest honor to the family. Mother Nature is a big part of the family connection, much like the first "Avatar" movie but unlike the film, Thailand has never had to give up the tribal family way of life. The culture was never forced to give up its spiritual beliefs and abilities. Our families were never torn apart through treacherous acts that are associated with diabolical colonizing ideals. One of those spiritual beliefs is the 3 ancestral spirits that the people of Trang still believe protects them and the town 'til this day.

The Festival of Family

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I travel to Trang annually to attend a local festival simply called "Por Tha" which is directly translated as "Father Grandfather." The festival is to praise the 3 ancestral spirits (oversoul) that the people of Trang believe most of them originated from. In these annual festivals, a host is chosen for a lifetime and lends their body for one of the ancestral spirits to enter and speak to the elders. Among those present and deserving, 1 of the 3 ancestral spirits will grant a wish, and that person then has to pay for the following year's festival. These festivals cost between 500k baht to 1 million baht so you can imagine, we're not talking about granting children's wishes of toys and teddy bears.

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2018 was my 6th straight year at the "Por Tha" festivals. One could say that the first 3 years of me attending was to see if the deserving person the year earlier, got their wish. Being it's my 6th straight year, I've been a true believer since my 4th year's attendance. My 2nd year was the most amazing festival for me because it was the rags to riches story with one of the elders. He was told he would receive the number 1 lottery number in a dream and to play the numbers exactly as they appear. To my surprise when I showed up the following year, everything had happened as stated and that elder had won the number 1 Thai national lottery.

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The festivals are always filled with family members enjoying the festival's feasts and celebration lasts 3 days. In these 3 days, there are performances of Thai traditional dance (Southern style) and the local form of traditional music that the 3 ancestral spirits used to love and listen to. The festivals include Thai traditional dance performances by children, women, and men. There are improving performances by the adult men performers over music played with traditional instruments. These improving performances have been around for hundreds of years, passing down the artistic abilities from generation to generation through chosen mentors. The local joke is that the Hip Hop culture borrowed these performances and renamed it "freestyling" the past 50 years.

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In the 3 days of feasts and Thai traditional dance performances, family members and friends gather to eat and drink together to wait for the arrival of 1 of the 3 ancestral spirits. If we're lucky, 1 of the 3 ancestral spirits come all 3 days of the festival and by come, I am referring to the ancestral spirit entering the host's body. They then communicate with the family of their bloodline and grants 1 wish to the deserving person. I am an in-law so I'm grateful to have the opportunity to be accepted as one of the family and enjoy visiting and witnessing the impossible, year after year.

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Finding the Secret

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During the 3 days of the Por Tha Festival, I always take the kids to the Khao Chong Wildlife and Nature Education Center. It's a national park style center that hosts groups of school children from around the country and teaches them about the evergreen rain forests.

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The center has many walking trails that are amazingly filled with tall trees and small wildlife. You see insects and small animals scurrying along to complete their daily tasks as well as visitors trekking to different waterfalls. The most known waterfalls in the Khao Chong Wildlife and Nature Education Center are Ton Yai, Ton Noi, and Ka Chong waterfalls but deep within this rain forest lies a great secret.

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I couple few years ago while visiting Khao Chong, I followed 2 monks on a trail off the beaten path. I remember thinking to myself, where are these monks going? We followed them about 400 meters and to my surprise, there was an unmapped waterfall named Ton Pliw Waterfalls.

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Even the Amazing Thailand website has no mention of this marvelous waterfall. It's a 3 stage waterfall and I began with the 3rd stage so I could drink from its waters with my Lifestraw.

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The first time I made it to the 3rd stage of Ton Pliw Waterfalls, I followed the monks to the main pool. From the top of the 3rd stage, I saw a group of 8 local kids climb up to the 2nd stage. From the top, I was wondering what they were doing because the formation they were in didn't seem like they were about to swim in the 2nd stage pool (which is great for families, BTW). Then it happened. I saw the secret of the rain forest.

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The kids one by one, slid down the face of the 1st stage waterfall like they were professional extreme athletes. My brother in law and I looked at each other and smiled. We yelled at the kids, "Wait for us!" We hiked down and the kids explained to us which points to slide on and the safety of the entrance points on the pool below. The rock formation has no sharp edges and the algae on the surface made the perfect lubricant, preventing injuries.

There are 3 slides in all, with the highest and fastest being the most dangerous. Not because of the height and speed but the entry point at the pool below has a huge boulder in its path. We had to lean backward upon entry to avoid smacking our heads from the forward momentum. Since that day, I've gone down those slides countless times and have enjoyed the secret of one of the evergreen rain forests of Thailand.

A Piece of my Heart is Down South

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I can say that about most countries I've visited because Southern hospitality is very real and Thailand is no different. The locals in Trang are welcoming and they always go out of their way to help each other as well as visitors. These are some of the reasons I always plan my next trip to Trang as soon as I get home from the last one.

The Por Tha Festivals are now apart of my family life and I'd have it no other way. I've seen the greatest things happen at these festivals, somewhat short of miracles. I'm extremely grateful for all the family and friends I've made there over the years and hope I get the opportunity to make many more great relationships in the upcoming years.

Traveling to Trang, one may not get to see and attend the Por Tha Festivals but everyone reading now knows one of Khao Chong's greatest secrets. That secret is sliding down the magical waters of an unmapped waterfall named Ton Pliw. You can make money anytime, at any age but to find something exciting that makes you feel like a kid again, is literally priceless.

Authored & Photographed by @stewsak

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Beautiful .. You are lucky, look wonderful trip
Nothing is more beautiful than virgin nature
Thanks for sharing this with us..

Beautiful photography with travel Have a nice travel. Thanks for sharing.

Truly glad that you enjoyed it and hope you have an amazing rest of the week :)

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Beautiful looking this natural photography...i appreciate your traveling. thanks for sharing this post. Upvote and resteemit done.

Truly happy that you enjoyed it and hope you have an amazing week :)

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Thanks a lot for replying....

You lost me for a moment when you mentioned the first Avatar Movie, but you got me again as soon as I saw these marvelous pictures.

I am actually very much interested in this oversoul festival. It is a very specific yet interesting take on the topic of spiritualism that I haven't seen anything about yet, so it is fascinating!

By first Avatar movie I meant that Thailand still believes that if nature created the problem then she has all the answers. In the film everything is connected to nature and their power source is the large tree. Our culture still believes we are connected to our trees and that connection to nature is the power source that connects us all. We have taken a huge hit the last 100 years to logging and illegal logging at that etc.

The oversoul festival is quite interesting and you would enjoy it. If you ever get a chance, it's around March to May every year, depending on the wish granted to the deserving :) I super appreciate you coming by and hope you have an awesome weekend.

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Oh, you meant THAT Avatar Movie! I thought about The Last Airbender!

All is great then.

Thailand is a very beautiful country. In Indian old literature this country was known as Siam -which is a form of Shaym in Sanskrit which means dark. Indian sailors and businessmen used to travel there in search of gold, elephants, ivory etc. right from the ancient ages. Indians became superstitious during medieval age and severed their connections from South Eastern Asian countries. However, Indian culture has a great influence on the culture of Thailand and other SE Asian counties.
My friends visited Thailand some months ago. They described the beauty of Thailand and nice behavior of people there. I wish to go there. Perhaps, Steemit may give me an opportunity to visit Thailand.

In our modern world and in the past, Thailand and India are very much connected. We very much follow the beliefs of India spiritually with a few additions of our own such as sak yant and amulet consecration. I look forward to the day I get to visit India and pay homage to Ganesha. Thanks for coming by and I hope you have a great rest of the week.

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Thank you for this nice comment my friend. You are welcome in India.

These trips are excellent not only to be in contact with nature, but also to know other cultures and customs; good photos and beautiful landscapes. Thank you for sharing those unforgettable moments.

This is quite an interesting story. I've learned something about the Thai tradition today. So now tell me, when chosen to prepare for the festival and thus bear the spirit. Does the spirit give you some form of luck, as is the case with the guy that won the lottery? Like do you get any monetary assistance to prepare for the festival? As you are the chosen one for that festival, do the spirits look after you in any way? Apart from the general belief that spirit protect the community etc. I'm referring strictly to the person that's chosen for the year.

And any reason why you think the secret of the waterfall is not known to all? Does it have some healing powers maybe or is it just sacred and too pure?

The spirit doesn't give any luck but it's more of exact instructions. Most people ask for some type of figure and when they get that figure, they use part of the funds to pay for the festival. Throughout the year, people always ask for things at the shrine and I suppose that's how they're chosen. It's not always people who need money. Some people want the impossible and for that impossibility, once they get it, they have to treat the town with the festival in return. The 3 ancestral spirits just want to see the family (town) gathered and want to see their favorite forms of art.

And the waterfall is a secret because it's unmapped despite having that nice sign. If you google Ton Pliw Waterfall, it doesn't come up but I assure you, that it's there. Only the locals really know about it and all the school camps that visit Khao Chong never get to see it. I just got lucky, I saw those 2 monks, LOL. Thanks for coming by and hope you have a marvelous week!

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Thanks a million!

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Good job @stewsak it is good to make known the cultures and traditions of places like this, it is a heavenly place, the beautiful photos, the natural pool is a magical place, I have always said that nature has its secret and this is one of them a place to get away from the city and connect with oneself, there the tribal life is for its inhabitants its greatest treasure. We can tell this post a bit of paradise on earth

Agreed, nature has her secrets that used to be common knowledge to man, LOL. I suppose we somehow let these systems in life lead us towards the other direction. When I visit temples, I also love taking my shoes off and stand around earthing/grounding for a few minutes. The monks always look at me and give me a thumbs up, LOL. Thanks for coming by and hope you have an excellent rest of the week :)

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

I neeeed to go there... and btw that tatoo is supper cool.

That's mine :)

When you get there, you're gonna love it :) The locals are welcoming and Trang has some pretty awesome islands too, like Koh Lipe. Love the tattoo :) Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome rest of the week.

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Very good place, the oriental culture always focuses on the spiritual. The beauty of the impressive place. How I would like to travel to Trang to attend festival "Por Tha".

You would surely love it there and the locals are wonderful. Trang also has amazing islands such as Koh Kradan that has some of the clearest waters I've ever seen :) Thanks for coming by and hope you have a wonderful rest of the week :)

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

I'm so happy I learnt about the most beautiful rainforest in Thailand, so much abundance of mother nature from the great photos I see.
I also love festivals dance performances most especially.
Festivals have a way of bringing families from afar together.
It is impressive that the locality is very welcoming.
Great post @adsactly writer @stewsak

One reason I go every year is also to see the happiness when families gather. I believe that family is the power source to each person and if you give that up, you have no power source. For kids who don't have families, we all need to be their power source :) Thanks for stopping by and hope you have an amazing rest of the week.

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Awwwwn this reply is so welcoming
Thanks so much Amazing Writer Stewsak🤗

great article. thank you

Thanks a million and hope you have an outstanding week.

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

OMG!

I travel to Trang annually to attend a local festival simply called "Por Tha" which is directly translated as "Father Grandfather." The festival is to praise the 3 ancestral spirits (oversoul) that the people of Trang believe most of them originated from. In these annual festivals, a host is chosen for a lifetime and lends their body for one of the ancestral spirits to enter and speak to the elders.

I know of a smiliar festival somewhere in Nigeria. Where a host is also chosen and lends his body for the spirits to possesses and act through.

It's a scary festival to watch. It's called Isi- Atu festival.

The chosen host becomes totally unaware of his environment and also loses control of himself. To me it's pure Voodoo.

You captured every detail. Nice one.

The rock formation has no sharp edges and the algae on the surface made the perfect lubricant, preventing injuries.

I'd love to visit Nigeria and that festival one day sooner or later. I understand that voodoo is a term used for powers that derive from negative purposes but for every yin there is the yang. Magic is magic. There is good and evil in it on this grid we live on. There is no doubt in my mind that magic exists, we just used different terms for it these days such as astral projection or the law of attraction. I've seen Qigong masters heat their hands to the point that it burns my skin on touch. For me, it's awesome just witnessing the impossible. I look forward to traveling to Nigeria one day soon to learn about the awesome powers that exists there :) Thanks for coming by and hope you have a great week :)

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

This is all of @Beauty of nature Sir @Adsactly

The photos are awesome! I wish I could visit this rainforest someday! It's nice to see how some ancient cultures and places are still intact. Isn't it amazing to know that almost all ancient cultures seem to believe in the interconnectedness of nature and how we (the modern/urban people) seem to have forgotten that?

The performers wearing those colourful and beautiful costumes look fabulous!

Sliding down the waterfall is way beyond my appetite for adventure - I cannot personally imagine myself doing such a thing! But it looks like you had a blast! It was fun reading your post. Thanks for sharing!

Sometimes I feel like we've all been programmed to forget Mother Nature so I try to get out there as much as possible. I grew up around nothing but concrete and the appetite for wealth so I hope we all get chance to get back to nature every now and then. I super appreciate you coming by and hope you have a terrific rest of the week.

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

Dear @adsactly thanks for the revealition of the truth of the rain forest tree and it's near to truth.

love to read it ,i see every things in discovery .

I really like reading your messages about travel. Today's message is no exception. Tropical forests are amazing and picturesque places on our planet. It was interesting to learn that the culture of southern Thailand is associated with tribal beliefs that living beings and nature are a single whole. Excellent comparison with the Avatar movie, which is perfectly visible this concept. Unfortunately not all people share this opinion.
The festival is a wonderful family with its ancient tradition and rituals. I respect the culture of other peoples and take an interest in ancient festivals that have value and significance in people's lives.
Most of all in today's message I was surprised by the beauty of the wildlife center. Such places where the green forests are preserved are those places that need to be protected. Alas with each year, such places become less.
Thanks for the interesting post! I like it

These excursions are magnificent to be in contact with nature, as well as to know different cultures,customs and delightful scene.

que bellos paisajes se ven,me gustaría visitar a Tailandia

So beautiful mother nature, amazing Thailand. Thank you @adsactly for sharing such a mind blowing pictures of rain forest.

I'm quite suprised that these still e ists...they really must have held firmly to their tribal beliefs in trang

It's quite an experience and I'm grateful every year to get to witness it :) Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome week.

"We appreciate you joining us on our travels..."
Wishing you the best, @adsactly & @stewsak

This looks so magic and beautiful! thanks for sharing and have a nice travel

Awesome, lucky for you, you have a chance to visit a place like this.
I hope i can, someday!