I am going to be traveling to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and somewhere else in which I haven’t yet decided.. Anyone know of any ayahausca, iboga, mescaline, or any other psychedelic, healing ceremonies happening around there? If so, ever done them? How was it?
As of right now, Ill be in the Japan & the Philippines in September, Thailand & Laos in October, November I’m in Vietnam & and in December I’m in Cambodia & Malaysia.
Maybe we can meet up somewhere during our travels. It looks like we may be in the same area around some of the dates. I dont plan on living & dying by my itinerary. The only thing really set in stone for me are my arrival & departure dates.
I spent 6 months travelling around SE Asia about two years ago. I’m certainly open minded to any kind of plant medicine but didn’t find any shamanistic ceremonies. I could be wrong, but it doesn’t seem to be part of their culture. I did travel an arduous bus ride up to Vang Vieng in Laos for the promise of psilocybin mushrooms, but Vang Vieng ended up being a spring break kind of party town. The vibe was tubing down the Me Kong River and drinking. All the restaurants in town had an Marijuana vibe with either the tv show ‘friends’ or ‘family guy’ playing on large screen tvs at ear shattering volumes. Everyone was looking around to see if anyone else was stoned but nobody was. I did manage to get a mushroom shake but didn’t get any buzz and then when I went to talk to the bartender he just gave me a handful of mushrooms that didn’t look magic and having questionable limits when it comes to drugs I ate them anyway but didn’t get high. I have heard that are full moon parties down in phuket where ecstasy might be available, but Thailand just scares me with drugs. Too much corruption of police and it scares me that the person who sells you the drugs (if you could find any) might be in cahoots with the police to turn you in after the sale to make money both ways. I might be too uptight about this, but I’ve watched some videos of westerners in Thai jails and it doesn’t look fun. Definitely low on my bucket list anyway. If you need some xanax, which I might suggest for the long bus rides, their is a doctor in chang mai who literally has a clinic called ‘the xanax clinic’ who you can go see and he’ll sell them to you. For spirituality without the plants I’d definitely go see Angkor Wat in cambodia. That place is a trip without plant medicine…..although to my way of thinking there is no way such an amazing place could have been built except with a plant medicine culture driving it—probably some form of DMT or Soma–as with a lot of the ancient cultures. Truly a wonder of the world kind of place on par with the pyramids. Also, if you scuba dive or want to learn to scuba dive, head to Khao Lak in Thailand. (This is the place that was devastated by the tsunami and you can trip out on the local people’s resilience and ability to move on.) For my money, scuba diving a vibrant reef system is pretty close to a mushroom trip and has a very natural alien vibe. So much life that is so bizarre and so colorful plus it is fractals like the closer you look at something the more tiny beautiful lifeforms seems to appear. I’ve often thought that scuba diving on shrooms would be amazing…albeit probably not safe…but can you imagine? There is a rock climbing mecca near Krabi in thailand. It is called Ton Sai. Whether you rock climb or not it has a good vibe. I ended spending a month there. Low key kind of chill ambient music nightlife and pretty easy to get ganja. Ceremonial in its own way I suppose as the electronic music culture is in my opinion. Super pretty place. No cars. Cheap. As with all of thailand and most of south east asia, the culture seems to be tourism as well as a lot of poverty. We as westerners cause this (IMHO) and you can’t really escape it. Expect for a lot of Thai people to look at you as a walking ATM and upcharge you on a lot of things. They are a beautiful gregarious people but they worship the almighty dollar like the rest of the world except they don’t have a safety net if they fail so they are pretty relentless about it. Looking for a true buddhist culture is hard to find in SE Asia in my opinion, or at least in the places I traveled. Huge golden and sparkly emerald buddhas are not buddhism to my way of thinking any more than super-churches represent the teachings of jesus. But it is interesting to see all the monasteries and the golden buddhas despite this and reflect on how truth seems to frequently get corrupted in all cultures. One place I really liked (speaking of buddhas) was ‘buddha park’ just outside of Vientianne Laos. Not worth going to see, but worth seeing if you’re in the area…and Vientianne with its french imprint was a nice place. Speaking of which, trip out a little bit in a reflective way, on how hammered these countries have been by colonization and provincial rule. How bombed, landmined, and abused laos, cambodia, and vietnam have been by external western forces as well as internal strife such as pol pot. These are some resilient fucking people. I was blown away by the beauty of the cambodian and laotian people. It seemed like everyone over the age of 30 is missing an eye or leg or arm. There is no way I can even begin to understand what it takes to be that strong. Trip on their inner strength for a while. And check out the musicians who are playing at all the ancient temples in cambodia who have terrible land mine or genocidal (pol pot) injuries, but make the most beautiful music and epitomize that resilience. Bangkok is a trip in that it is 9 million people living in very close proximity. There is a lot of wealth in Bangkok and a lot more have-nots with no safety net. It is not a place to overthink the human condition, but a place to be passive and just soak in the samsara of it all. You’ll invariable spend a night or a few at Khao San road with its backpacker vibe. No plant medicines or synthetics there that I could find. A lot of alcohol. But it is worth checking out. It is a trip in its own way. It is a good jumping off place to access the mass transit system of bangkok–ferrys, elevated trains, and subways. See if you can get yourself to Lupini Park in bangkok. Huge green area in the middle of the city that is nice to just lie on the grass and soak in the WTF factor when you realize there are 9 million people scurrying around trying to eke out a living and a life. Get there around 6 pm to watch the mass calisthenics that go on (‘jazzercise’ kind of thing). be sure to stand for the national anthem when it is played and check out the godzilla looking gila monsters that swim in the ponds there. There is a red cross nearby to to donate blood if you feel like it and for some reason that was a trip too—or at least an excuse to get some cookies and juice plus a lot of smiles. I never made it down to Indonesia because they were having an excess amount of active volcanoes at the time, but I was interested in a place called Lake Toba on Sumatra which is located ontop of a super volcano that it is theorized went off 75,000 years ago causing an almost human extinction event—apparently some scientists think they can trace back DNA to just a few thousand human survivors of this era and there is global geographic evidence of a long period of nuclear winter type conditions……I also read in lonely planet that you can buy psilocybin mushrooms there. When you’ve had you’re fill of southeast asia….and for me that happened quicker than I thought….then catch a flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu, Nepal (prob $400 roundtrip)—once you’re there everything is super cheap–trip out in kathmandu for a while—it is a crazy crowded third world kind of place that make you say WTF over and over again, but also fascinating to see the beauty of the people in such a place—volunteer for a few days at an orphanage and/or there is a british lady who runs a humane kind of animal shelter to the north of town that is trying (and successfully) helping with the stray dog and cat issue–you could volunteer there too. Then head out to the Annapurna trekking circuit and wander among the mind boggling Himalayas for a few weeks. I was out there once in december and january and I loved it. Off season to be sure–and cold—but the lack of tourists was worth the weather. The people (buddhist and Brahims) feel really pure and spiritual living off the land in the shadow of these mighty mountains. I’ve been back a few times. And Ganja originates in this part of the world. Grows on 20 foot trees along the side of the hiking trail. In some places it is the predominant plant. It may not be an Iboga or ayahuasca ceremony, but smoking some locally grown ganja, walking on ancient pilgrim paths with a backdrop of 30,000 foot mountains, and visiting ancient small village Buddhist shrines in the country where Buddha was born was mind altering and awe inspiring.
Anyway, opinionated, long winded, and all over the place, but hope some of it is useful.
This was absolutely amazing. Thanks for sharing this information. I enjoyed your perspective on tripping out on different sites and attractions without having to actually use psychedelics. I have look everywhere online to see if there were any kind of psychedelic ceremonies in SE Asia and have failed to find any so I figured its not something that happens out there This kind of confirmed it for me.
Can I PM you with a couple of questions about SE Asia?