a nomad in search of Easter Eggs
Chiang Mai, Thailand

The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019

The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Arriving from Hanoi
Returning from Hanoi from a visa-run, I resumed my life back in Chiang Mai and consequently took part in its shifting peoplescape...familiar faces, new faces and distant ones...each of them a wonderful soul with a telling story.

The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai

Suzi SuchiThe NewYorker USA
Even though she's gone, she continues to be a part of my morphing peoplescape in Chiang Mai. We message almost every day and it still feels like having a good buddy you can readily open up to, although not a buddy across the table you can enjoy coffee with. Despite the distance and shifting peoplescape in Chiang Mai, she remains a constant to me. We agreed that we will remain a part of each other's lives.

The New Yorker blogs:
  1. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  2. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  3. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  4. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019

Gabriella NagyGabriella Hungary
Heart Space
Although we don't hang-out outside Heart Space, Gab continues to play an important role in my peoplescape. I attend her events to get centered and align perspective. She is authentic in her crusade to develop Heart Space as a safe haven for people to take refuge to without judgment and find a supportive community to enhance growth and evolution. If I'm hurting for community-connection, I go to Heart Space - and it makes no difference if I see familiar faces or complete strangers, as we are all cut from the same cloth.

VivianVivian China
Like me, Vivian was a live-in at Nawa Saraan - at least for the 2 weeks of her stay. Having the same roof over our heads, we defaulted together over coffee and small talk. I've introduced her to friends where she got a glimpse of what it's like to live a life of travel - an alien lifestyle to one coming from a corporate background. She's fascinated and kept pondering the could I? should I? question. I invited her to yoga in the park and gave her a bicycle for her city exploration. She's a quintessential Chinese maverick who steps out of the conventional box to follow her bliss against pressure from family and society about what's traditional. Now, she's amazed at the broad spectrum that used to be invisible.

Yogini ChristinChristin Germany
Yogini Christin
I met Christin during her debut yoga class in the park (together with Nadja). It was just the three of us as most were dissuaded by the inclement weather. We talked a while after class. It was almost like being drawn together in a wonderful but brief bonding as Christin had to pack-up the same day. Short but sweet. She came back after a few weeks and we reconnected over bread and coffee. And she was gone again.

Martina BarabasMartina Czech Republic
Bardo Yoga
Martina was a traveling yoga teacher who taught Flow and Yin classes at the park. She has supported her travels through yoga, and just as things could be down to a routine, she was already off to a new yoga gig in a retreat place in Chiang Rai. Just glad we got to squeeze-in a coffee break for some life/travel and yoga sharing.

Nick LianNick USA
Nick is one cool dude. I get my Vietnamese coffee from him and we've done yoga in the park once. As a hotelier, he's full of creative ideas and willing to share them. Like most foreigners I meet in Chiang Mai, you can't put him in a box. He's street smart with a disarming charm to go with. He's at the cusp of the spiritual path (or maybe just curious?) and being the go-getter that he is, I won't be surprised if I see him walk on water one day.

Nick blogs:
  1. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  2. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019

Monika JablonskaMonika Poland
Monika was a familiar face in Yin Yoga class but her main thing is running. Not just running, but doing ultra-marathons. I've seen her run during pouring rain, at night, etc. But she's also teaching Physical Ed to a local school. She's found home in Chiang Mai like most people who drift into this magical place. Chiang Mai seems to be the Siren of the Iliad - you get enchanted to stay and take roots.

Joe LightfootJoe USA
I stopped by the Pink House for some acoustic jamming and the organizer, Joe, instantly recognized me from our meeting in Sagada, Philippines, back in 2007! What are the odds that someone I met in a remote mountain hamlet in the Philippines 12 years ago, would be in some tucked-away cake house in Chiang Mai? Whoa! But during those times, Sagada was as magical as it gets. Joe seems to be on a conscious journey putting up gathering spaces where musicians and like-minded people connect and converge. I'd like to find out why my universe reconnected us.

Marina ForsterMarina Puerto Rico
Brazen Travel Thoughts
I met Marina at the Full Moon Ceremony and we reconnected a few times, one at Taphae East for Blues music, another at a pizza place where I met Salina and at Nawa Saraan where she's now a regular denizen. Marina has an imposing physical presence, strong personality and can seem to bulldoze her way through life. She knows what she wants (learning Spanish, go to Spain, re-connect with her roots) and she's out to make it happen. There is a certain magnetism to her as she forges solid friendship wherever life takes her.

Marina blogs:
  1. Shifting Peoplescape Of Chiang Mai July 2020
  2. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  3. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019

Schnippip PipselSalina Germany
Salina is beautiful both on the outside and beautiful on the inside. It was a fleeting conversation over pizza with Marina but that was also her last full day in Chiang Mai - sigh! Short but sweet acquaintance - that seems to be a recurring pattern lately. She's conscious about her path and pursues a life of travel while deepening her yoga/meditation and a whole lot of modalities. There was much more to talk about and not enough time.

Angela RussoAngela Germany
Angela has always been on the perimeter of my peoplescape. She was a familiar face at Yoga in the Park, Secret Sunrise, Chiang Mai Holistic events, but it was only when I conducted a digestive-cleansing kriya with her, followed by pizza talk, that we found quality time. She's candid with no pretentions - I like that quality. I would also bump into her at non-conscious events like open-mic at Boy Blues Bar. How cool is that?

Jerome NicolasJerome France
Jerome was a lone elderly hotel guest whose calm and placid demeanor caught my attention. I invited him to break bread with me and on another occasion, coffee - I don't usually extend this to hotel guests. He didn't talk much about himself but his presence was compelling. The conversation was short with not much said, but somehow understood. Maybe we cross paths again with more time for exploration.

Anthony and PattyAnthony & Patty Singapore
While catching my jass duo favorite (Geng and Ribbin) at Mellowship, I got into a conversation with two interesting personalities at the bar. I don't even remember what we talked about but they were engaging and even promising. It felt refreshing meeting people out of my social sphere. I extended a coffee invite and let's see what comes out of it.

Ending Thoughts
People shape the place. With the continuous flow of different energies they bring with them, they paint multi-dimensions to an already wonderful destination.

--- 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

Chiang Mai Peoplescape blogs

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

Reader Comments:

Gabriella NagyGabriella Hungary
Heart Space
(Sep 4, 2019) We shall soon hang out... Outside of Heart Space... In heart space 👏🙂

Monika JablonskaMonika Poland
(Sep 2, 2019) Thank you Gigit 🙂 I hope see you soon in your garden!!! I lost a lot of calories during my last race (65km) and.. I need your delicious bread 🍞 🙂

Leave a comment?

Next stop: Movie Review: Yesterday (2019)

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
    Happiness Series
    1. In Pursuit of Happiness Aug 2020
    2. Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) Aug 31, 2020
    3. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) Aug 28, 2020
    4. Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) Aug 25, 2020
    5. Lucious Annaeus Seneca (4BC–AD65) Aug 10, 2020
    6. Epicurus (341–270 BC) Aug 2020
    7. Socrates (470–399 BC) Aug 7, 2020

    Chakra Series
    1. Visuddhi Sep 15, 2020
    2. Anahata (Heart Chakra) July 5, 2020
    3. Manas (mind chakra) Sep 1, 2020
    4. Surya (sun chakra) Aug 30, 2020
    5. Manipuraka (Navel Chakra) Aug 5, 2020
    6. Svadhisthana (sacral chakra) May 2020
    7. Muladhara (root chakra) Apr 26, 2020
    Young Farang and the Older Asian Couple
    1. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
    2. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
    3. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020

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  2. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  3. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  4. Movie Review: Tenet (2020) Sep 2, 2020
  5. Movie Review: Late Night (2019) Aug 20, 2020
  6. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  7. Movie Review: Inception (2010) Aug 13, 2020
  8. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  9. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  10. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  11. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  12. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  13. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  14. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  15. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  16. Yoga Class to move Prana Vayu (energy) July 11-12, 2020
  17. Movie Review: Jojo Rabbit (2019) July 11, 2020
  18. Movie Review: The Kingmaker (2019) July 8, 2020
  19. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  20. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  21. Movie Review: Underwater (2020) Jan 19, 2020
  22. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  23. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  24. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  25. Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Jan 7, 2020
  26. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  27. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  28. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  29. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  30. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  31. Movie Review: Knives Out (2019) Dec 12, 2019
  32. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  33. Movie Review: Ford vs Ferrari Dec 5, 2019
  34. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  35. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  36. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  37. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  38. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  39. Movie Review: The Cave (2019) Nov 23, 2019
  40. Movie Review: Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis (2018) Nov 22, 2019
  41. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  42. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  43. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  44. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  45. Movie Review: Midway (2019) Nov 15, 2019
  46. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  47. Movie Review: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Nov 11, 2019
  48. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  49. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  50. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  51. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  52. Movie Review: Judy (2019) Oct 31, 2019
  53. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  54. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  55. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  56. Movie Review: Roger Waters - Us + Them (2019) Oct 27, 2019
  57. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  58. Movie Review: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Oct 24, 2019
  59. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  60. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  61. Movie Review: Liam: As It Was (2019) Oct 23, 2019
  62. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  63. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  64. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  65. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  66. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  67. Movie Review: Official Secrets (2019) Oct 15, 2019
  68. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  69. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  70. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  71. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  72. Movie Review: Joker (2019) Oct 8, 2019
  73. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  74. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  75. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  76. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  77. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
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  79. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
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  83. Movie Review: Rambo 5 Sep 22, 2019
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  101. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  102. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  103. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  104. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
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  117. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
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  120. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  121. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  122. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  123. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  124. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  125. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  126. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
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  130. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  131. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  132. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  133. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
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  137. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
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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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