I'm heading to Thailand, Laod and Cambodia this late October. Will be travelling on the 30 day free-visa waivers that I can on arrival to the countries.
I am wishing to particpate in a Vipassana retreat (in any of the countries) but am finding that on dhamma.org their schedules seem to overlap the 30 day schedule that I must stick to if I will be holding free-visas.
Are there any other places I might check into on the web for scheduled Vipassana courses?
Also, it seems that if I were to arrive in country there would be plenty of options for finding a 10 day Vipassana retreat which I could sign up, rather than try to do it months before hand from my home in USA-is this true?
Any suggestions would be appreciated!
one suggestion might be to arrange a 60-day tourist visa in advance rather than just the 30-day visa exemption on arrival by air. according to the thai consulate in los angeles, the 60-day visas are being offered free until early 2011. the only cost you'd have would be postage to/from the thai consulate or embassy nearest you. cheers.
Tourist Visa Fee exemption scheme which terminated on March 4, 2010 will be renewed. All foreigners who apply for Tourist Visa will be exempted from Tourist Visa Fee from May 11, 2010, to March 31,2011
Ah yes, I am fairly excited to go on the simplicity of it all, and buy the one way ticket and travel via the free-visa for 30 days per country for around three months...Sending away for the VISAs is a quite tiresome process and I was going to try it this way around. As it is I may be heading from SEA to India to meet friends and serve at some communities and project.
Any other information on Vipassana retreats in SEA would be appreciated!
fair enough. and just so you know, you can only get a fee-free 30-day visa waiver at the airport is for Thailand (or 60 days for free if you go through the tiresome process of applying for a tourist visa ahead of time). neither Cambodia nor Laos have fee-free entry options. you can get your visa on arrival at the border, but it will cost about $30 to $35 dollars for each country. best to have that cash in US dollars too if you can and spare passport photos for each application and crossing. when you finally cross back into Thailand by land, you'll only get 15 days, so good to plan ahead.
anyway, in the late 90's, my wife enjoyed a wonderful 10-day retreat at a forest temple in the northern part of Surat Thani Province in Thailand. it was pretty basic but exactly what she was seeking. there used to be another, more advanced retreat on Ko Phangan that many of her meditation buddies did as well. perhaps that will help with your research? good luck.
It was Wat Suanmok. Apparently it is only 120 baht/day for the 10 days and you don't need a reservation. They hold the retreats every month. Beautiful spot and highly recommended by the spouse. There are more details at this link:
Aside from Thailand Vipassana Center and Wat Suan Mokkh, you may also want to check these:
Some of these you will need to reserve space in advance while others may be open to a last minute arrival.