a nomad in search of Easter Eggs
lucid thoughts in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019

Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Bike Ride Anyone?
It started out as a simple coffee/bike-ride-to-market/breakfast invite to a dear friend.

Just thinking...6am Tai chi, 7am breakfast at the market on a bike, 9am yoga. Thoughts?

Friend 1
...sounds tempting but can't tomorrow! Shall we do this the day after?

Sure, let's do that. So, we meet at 5:30? We can have a quick hot drink and bike to Tai Chi.

Friend 1
Ah no, let me have every possible minute of sleep I can get. Let's meet directly at Tai Chi at 6.

...and then walk back to get the bike?

Friend 1
Why get the bike? The market is close by.

But getting the bike only cuts your sleep by 5 mins!

Thought Bubble: What's the big deal about sipping hot morning coffee on a cold day and riding a bicycle to market? Why does every little thing always end up in a tug-of-war? Always a struggle and a compromise! I'm frustrated and exhausted. Argh!!!!! I'm getting negative over this. This is not good.

Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany
let's make it about you and not about me

Another Friend
Not yet recovered from that frustrating episode, on a totally different matter, I messaged another friend for a bike ride and dinner in welcoming her back to Chiang Mai.

Let's ride, go for dinner and then some Blues.

Friend 2
That would be nice but I imagine us meeting at the venue instead of riding a bike there.

Huh? We're not riding a bike together?

Friend 2
Woman issue: if I want to dress up for the special occasion, then it's gonna be hard for me to ride.

Thought Bubble: You too? What's happening to this world? How come nobody wants to ride a bike with me? Riding a bike at night in Old City is one of the great unspoken pleasures of Chiang Mai! I don't get it. Where's the toilet? I wanna flush myself and get it over with. Whaaaaaaa....!!!

...and that's when I had the AHA MOMENT !

Thought Bubble: Hey, wait a moment! That's already 2 of them against me. Maybe there's nothing wrong with them. Maybe there's something wrong with me!

It Was All About Me
And then it hit me. I was making the whole thing, all about me. I wanted them to ride a bike with me, I wanted this, and I wanted that. They were willing to accommodate me, but to an extent that also works for them - but I didn't see that part. All I felt was the struggle, the compromise and the frustration.

Making it About Them
Being aware of the situation, what should I do next? After some thinking, I was drawn to this: I'll just make this about them! No more of what I want. If they want to walk, we'll walk - and not ride a bike. If they want dimsum, it'll be dimsum - and not pizza. If they want jazz, then no Blues, just jazz.

Ending Thoughts
It's uncanny, but as soon as I made that decision, everything felt light. How could something so insanely simple be so powerful? All I did was to change the paradigm! I didn't have to move a mountain or save mankind from Armageddon! I no longer felt any struggle, compromise or frustration with both Friends. Since there was nothing I was imposing, there was no cause for disappointment. It was so Tao te Ching - to be everything, you have to be nothing. I was just there, to be taken where they take me, in full compliance to whatever they want, with no expectation of the outcome. Whoa! This is amazingly liberating!

Shifting the paradigm is easy. It's catching yourself that is difficult. But life is always there to remind just don't get it, or don't notice it. Had I been thick, these 2 messages from my 2 friends would just have passed by as an insignificant blur without any realization on my part. But with awareness and mindfulness, I was able to catch this fleeting lesson. And I am grateful for it. To the extent we can exercise free will, it's only through awareness.

'Let's make it about you' is now my new and powerful mantra to eradicate struggle, frustration and imbalance. Not just for my 2 lovely and endearing friends, but to life itself! If there is something I want to do, I can always do it by myself anyway - no need to impose it on anyone. A reminder why I'm TheLoneRider. Amazing how life throws you an Easter Egg when you need one. My site caption is, " search of life's Easter Eggs." I can add this one to that!

I eventually replied to both of them saying, "Let's have it your way."

--- 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:

Suzi SuchiFriend 2 USA
(Dec 18, 2019) Just saw your post about "have it your way" and am glad to read you understand. Empathy is a wonderful thing as long as its not abused. I know how much you enjoy biking so my way today, yours tmrw, ok?

Lea AgravaL.A. Philippines
(Dec 18, 2019) Wow, love reading it epiphany indeed, when you ride it light, everything will synchronize.

Leave a comment?

Next stop: Visiting Mae Sot

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. Movie Review: Inception (2010) Aug 13, 2020
  2. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  3. In Pursuit of Happiness Aug 2020
  4. Manipuraka (Navel Chakra) Aug 5, 2020
  5. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  6. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  7. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  8. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  9. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  10. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  11. Yoga Class to move Prana Vayu (energy) July 11-12, 2020
  12. Movie Review: Jojo Rabbit (2019) July 11, 2020
  13. Movie Review: The Kingmaker (2019) July 8, 2020
  14. Anahata (Heart Chakra) July 5, 2020
  15. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  16. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  17. Movie Review: Underwater (2020) Jan 19, 2020
  18. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  19. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  20. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  21. Movie Review: Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Jan 7, 2020
  22. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  23. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  24. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  25. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  26. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  27. Movie Review: Knives Out (2019) Dec 12, 2019
  28. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  29. Movie Review: Ford vs Ferrari Dec 5, 2019
  30. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  31. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  32. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  33. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  34. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  35. Movie Review: The Cave (2019) Nov 23, 2019
  36. Movie Review: Panic: The Untold Story of the 2008 Financial Crisis (2018) Nov 22, 2019
  37. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  38. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  39. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  40. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  41. Movie Review: Midway (2019) Nov 15, 2019
  42. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  43. Movie Review: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019) Nov 11, 2019
  44. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  45. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  46. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  47. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  48. Movie Review: Judy (2019) Oct 31, 2019
  49. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  50. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  51. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  52. Movie Review: Roger Waters - Us + Them (2019) Oct 27, 2019
  53. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  54. Movie Review: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) Oct 24, 2019
  55. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  56. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  57. Movie Review: Liam: As It Was (2019) Oct 23, 2019
  58. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  59. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  60. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  61. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  62. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  63. Movie Review: Official Secrets (2019) Oct 15, 2019
  64. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  65. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  66. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  67. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  68. Movie Review: Joker (2019) Oct 8, 2019
  69. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  70. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  71. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  72. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  73. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  74. Movie Review: Hail Satan? (2019) Sep 29, 2019
  75. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  76. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  77. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  78. Movie Review: Ad Astra (2019) Sep 25, 2019
  79. Movie Review: Rambo 5 Sep 22, 2019
  80. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  81. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  82. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  83. Movie Review: Farewell Song (2019) Sep 16, 2019
  84. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  85. Movie Review: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019) Sep 12, 2019
  86. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  87. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  88. Movie Review: Yesterday (2019) Sep 3, 2019
  89. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  90. Movie Review: Midsommar (2019) Aug 28, 2019
  91. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  92. Movie Review: Ready or Not (2019) Aug 22, 2019
  93. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  94. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  95. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  96. Movie Review: The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019) Aug 14, 2019
  97. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  98. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  99. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  100. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  101. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  102. Movie Review: Anna (2019) July 15, 2019
  103. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  104. Movie Review: Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) July 4, 2019
  105. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  106. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  107. Movie Review: Rocketman (2019) June 25, 2019
  108. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  109. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  110. Movie Review: Aladdin (2019) June 13, 2019
  111. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  112. Movie Review: X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) June 6, 2019
  113. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  114. Movie Review: John Wick 3 - Parabellum (2019) June 4, 2019
  115. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  116. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  117. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  118. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  119. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  120. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  121. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  122. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  123. Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame (2019) May 14, 2019
  124. Movie Review: Arctic (2018) May 13, 2019
  125. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  126. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  127. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  128. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  129. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  130. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  131. Movie Review: Hellboy (2019) Apr 15, 2019
  132. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  133. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  134. Movie Review: Shazam! (2019) Apr 4, 2019
  135. Movie Review: Captive State (2019) Mar 27, 2019
  136. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  137. Movie Review: Captain Marvel (2019) Mar 19, 2019
  138. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  139. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  140. Movie Review: Vox Lux (2018) Mar 2, 2019
  141. Movie Review: The Favourite (2018) Feb 25, 2019
  142. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  143. Movie Review: Alita Battle Angel Feb 19, 2019
  144. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  145. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  146. Movie Review: Spider-Man - Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Feb 3, 2018
  147. Movie Review: Green Book Jan 30, 2019
  148. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  149. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Jan 27, 2019
  150. Movie Review: Aquaman Jan 26, 2019
  151. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  152. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  153. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  154. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  155. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  156. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  157. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  158. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  159. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  160. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  161. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  162. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  163. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  164. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  165. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  166. 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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