a seeker in search of Easter Eggs
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016

Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

If I were to state the highlight of Chiang Mai, it would be the kaleidoscope of people that went in and out of my orbit like people in a revolving door. Some were passing blurs while others left me inspired. It would range from a fleeting Hi and Hello with a few drinks to one of hanging with for a couple of days with a lingering feeling of connection. As travelers, these friendships had a limited shelf life, usually from a few hours to a few days...and the cycle repeats itself.

Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape

Mikey ChongMike Singapore
One guy that impressed me the most in Chiang Mai is Mike. He's only 40 years old and he already owns a string of businesses - hotels, cafe, massage parlour, travel and tours, and looking to expand even more. No, his being rich is not what impressed me. He has no air about himself. He's like the guy next door you want to have beer with. He knows what he wants and makes quick decisions without being bogged down on trivial details. He's not the kind to nickel-and-dime you. He's a perfectionist and understates what he offers. You just get blown away because you get more than what you expect. With his obsession to have consistency with his coffee, he purchased the top-of-the-line fully programmable Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle espresso coffee maker - the most expensive in all of Chiang Mai (according to him - and he wasn't's not like him). I looked it up, it's about $26,000. Who would spend that kind of money just to get a good cup of coffee? He very seldom makes mistakes. In my 4-day stay in his hotel, I was impressed. The only flaw I saw was a slow drain in the shower. He was quick to fix it. In fact, he lavishes you. He kills you with kindness and generosity to a point where the only reciprocity is to go the whole 9 yards with your very best with what you have to deliver. I resonate with such people. Before I left, I told him I don't want his money but I'll give him carpet coverage on all his way of saying 'Thank You' in my own currency.

Mike blogs:
  1. 2020: A Year In Review Dec 31, 2020
  2. Shifting Peoplescape Of Chiang Mai July 2020
  3. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  4. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24-Mar24, 2019
  5. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  6. Overnight in Pai with Mike Jan 1, 2019
  7. 2018: A Year In Review Dec 31, 2018
  8. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Dec 12, 2018 - Jan 1, 2019
  9. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  10. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  11. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  12. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016

Increasingly, I see more and more intrepid lone lady Chinese travelers - beautiful ones at that! I met Samantha in one of the temples, had an extended conversation with her at a cafe and later rode her bike with her in tandem as we searched for the best Khao Soi dish around town in the middle of the night. It was spontaneous adventure. She brought me back to my hotel and I never saw her again. All that happened within a few hours - short but memorable. As travelers, you live in a world of impermanence as detachment is forced upon you.

Eva Popoluska Dora GutaiEva and Dora
2 beautiful Hungarian ladies I met while enjoying a local dish in the market eatery. We spent a few times together having breakfast at my Nawa Sheeva Hotel, taking a dip in its salt-water pool, an exploration of Warorot Market and discovering Thamel Coffee in the area. I'm sure our paths will cross again.

Helena and I go back to the monastic retreat at Thai Plum Village in Pak Chong. We hung out and did yoga there together with an Austrian traveler, Sabrina. It was great seeing her again in Chiang Mai. We spent time over coffee, at the pool in Nawa Sheeva and enjoyed extended talks.

Malina and I met while enjoying our fruit shakes during Songkran, and braved getting wet during the festivities. We had sporadic coffee conversations in the days that came by. We even met at the bus station where she headed out for Laos, while I went ahead with my Tachileik border crossing.

Ana KostakosAna
Ana is perhaps the friendliest I met. A wonderful Greek lady now residing in Australia, she was my neighbor in Chiang Mai before I moved to Nawa Sheeva Hotel. We would share breakfast coffee talks and enjoy city walks over beer and eats. She was a kindred soul. Safe travels Ana!

Ton, from the way I saw things, was the overall manager of Nawa Sheeva and Nawa Saraan. He was on the ball who went the distance for me. When I would casually tell him something, he would be quick to suggest something better. If he is not sure, he would even make the trip to ascertain the information and come back to me with a map. He was prompt and alert. When I left the hotel, he even had a to-go sandwich for me. What a guy! I wish we had a picture together.

Pareena ArsirawajanaPareena
Like Helena, I met Pareena in the retreat at Thai Plum Village. She resides in Chiang Mai so we met up for coffee at Thamel Coffee in Warorot Market. It was a relaxed and leisurely conversation that took us back to Plum Village and to the prospects of tomorrow. Too bad that meeting wasn't followed-up. Next time perhaps.

Uyen NhiNhi
I'd been crossing paths with Nhi since I met her in Kho Rong (Cambodia). We met again in Ho Chi Minh City and enjoyed a night meal with Phung, a common Vietnamese friend. Now we meet again in Chiang Mai. Always good to be catching up with her.

We met inside a minivan in Siem Reap en route to Chiang Mai. I thought that was it. Then we bumped into each other during Songkran...then accidentally met again on several occasions, up until she was boarding the red taxi for Bangkok. It was uncanny how we would keep bumping into each other. I'm sure I'll be surprised again.

Ending Thoughts
This is the first of many chapters to come!

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider

Reader Comments:

Eva PopoluskaEva Popoluska
(April 24, 2016) It was a pleasure to meet you Gigit! Enjoy Myanmar

Honey GoodeHoney Goode
(April 25, 2016) there's a great digital nomad meet up there Git, I recommend it. I love CM

Ana KostakosAna Kostakos
(April 25, 2016) Safe travels Gigit.

Camille VenturinaCamille Venturina
(April 24, 2016) Read your blog Gigit and just a happy surprise to see Tui Pavinee Khemphet n your photo, cheers! I'm jealous of you both. Wish I were in Thailand now haha

Erica BoucherErica USA
Erica Boucher: Personal Development ~ Yoga ~ Retreats & Travel
(April 24, 2016) This is great, Gigit. I miss you so much! Your light is palpable even in your writing, just as it was the very moment I met you. I just KNOW our paths are going to cross again soon, my dear friend.

Ayn LatonioAyn Philippines
Vinyasa Krama by Srivatsa Ramaswami
(April 24, 2016) Chiang mai always seems to work its magic

Chiang Mai Peoplescape blogs

  1. 2020: A Year In Review Dec 31, 2020
  2. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  3. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  4. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  5. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  6. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  7. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  8. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  9. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  10. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  11. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  12. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  13. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  14. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016

Next story: A First Timer in Chiang Mai

Google Map

Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location
Arun Suite, Chiang Mai Arun Suite - 3 bedrooms in a 3-storie guesthouse within Old City, ideal for families

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
ITM  International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200


Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
  • hot season begins March and lasts until June
  • wet season begins July and lasts until September
  • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February - after the monsoon and before the burning
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Pub - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays by the 11pm band
  2. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
  3. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
How to Get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Bus from Loei to Chiang Mai
  1. From Loei town center, take a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station, B30. There is only one bus station.
  2. As of June 28, 2020 (still on Covid schedule), there are only 3 night trips: 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 12 midnight. 9 hours, B470.
  3. The bus makes the following stops at the following times from a 9pm Loei departure: Phu Ruea (9:50pm), Phitsanulok (12:40am), Uttradit (2:20am), Lampang (4:35am)
  4. Final bus stop is at the Red Bus Arcade, Chiang Mai, 9 hour-trip, arriving 6am (from 9pm Loei departure).
  5. Take a red songthaew to Old City, B50. They'll try to charge you B100, but they'll take B50 (just assure the driver you won't tell the other passengers).
Chiangmai Blogs by TheLoneRider
  1. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  2. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  3. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  4. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  5. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  6. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  7. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  8. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  9. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  10. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  11. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  12. Are You Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  13. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  14. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  15. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  16. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  17. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  18. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  19. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  20. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  21. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  22. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  23. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  24. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  25. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  26. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  27. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  28. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  29. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  30. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  31. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  32. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  33. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  34. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  35. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  36. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  37. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  38. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  39. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  40. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  41. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  42. Yoga Class to move Prana Vayu (energy) July 11-12, 2020
  43. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  44. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  45. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  46. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  47. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  48. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  49. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  50. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  51. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  52. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  53. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  54. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  55. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  56. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  57. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  58. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  59. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  60. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  61. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  62. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  63. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  64. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  65. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  66. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  67. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  68. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  69. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  70. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  71. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  72. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  73. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  74. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  75. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  76. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  77. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  78. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  79. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  80. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  81. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  82. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  83. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  84. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  85. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  86. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  87. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  88. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  89. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  90. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  91. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  92. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  93. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  94. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  95. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  96. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  97. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  98. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  99. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  100. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  101. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  102. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  103. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  104. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  105. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  106. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  107. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  108. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  109. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  110. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  111. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  112. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  113. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  114. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  115. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  116. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  117. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  118. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  119. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  120. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  121. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  122. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  123. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  124. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  125. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  126. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  127. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  128. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  129. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  130. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  131. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  132. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  133. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  134. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  135. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  136. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  137. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  138. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  139. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  140. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  141. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  142. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  143. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  144. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  145. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  146. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  147. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  148. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  149. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  150. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  151. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  152. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!

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