TheLoneRider
a nomad in search of...
Chiang Mai, Thailand

4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019

4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel

Hotel Check-in: Nawa Saraan Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Location: 37/1 Sinharat Rd Lane 2, Tambon Si Phum, Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
Phone: (+66) 061.272.8885
Email: nawasaraan@gmail.com

60-Day Thai Tourist Visa
After Pai, Mike and I headed back to Chiang Mai where he checked me in at his luxurious Nawa Saraan Hotel. With 4 days before my Thailand visa expiration, I had to plan out my next move. Mike suggested I apply for a 60-day tourist visa with Thai Embassy in Hanoi and I could stay at a room in Nawa Saraan upon my return. Whoa! Being tired from 6 years of traveling non-stop, 60 days without worrying where I sleep for the night was extremely appealing.

Free Yoga at Nong Buak Hard Public Park
Free yoga is one of Chiang Mai's endearing features. Traveling yoga teachers and resident yoga teachers alike take turns conducting free yoga classes at 9am daily at the Nong Buak Hard Public Park. I saw some familiar faces from my last stay in Chiang Mai in August 2018.

I only planned to participate on the yoga classes, but on one occasion, the teacher didn't show up. I had to step-up to the plate and conduct the class myself. Ann and Bridgette were even there. I introduced the group to my own brand of yoga which consisted of asana, pranayama and meditation. I got a few thank-you hugs after the class. One guy even complimented that he learned yoga but he also learned about life - that was flattering.

Post-yoga is usually followed by a sumptuous Khao Soi breakfast at the nearby eatery.

Acro Yoga at Nong Buak Hard Public Park
This park is perhaps one of the hidden secrets of Chiang Mai. In the morning, a lot of group activities are already happening - yoga, tai chi, etc. A few people are also doing their own private practice. But a compelling presence are the acro-yoga guys. There is a whole community of practitioners who coach and assist everyone willing to learn. It's an animated scene that only adds flavor and dimension to Chiang Mai. Just being there in the late afternoon to watch them do their thing is both inspiring and motivating.

4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel
acro-yoga at Nong Buak Hard Public Park

Mikey ChongMike Singapore
In an unexpected token of generosity, Mike gave me a wad of down-payment money for the website I would be developing for Arun Dara, his most ambitious hotel project todate. I already told him I'd do it for friendship, but he could not be swayed otherwise. Whoa! This new fusion of money adds sanity to my overheated mind - at least while it lasts, I won't have to be frantic about marketing pitches or pounding the pavement for a deal.

On a different scene, when he learned I lost my phone in DaNang, he gave me a brand new Xiaomi A2 Lite phone that still came in a box! He even added a power bank, but I had to refuse it already - it would seem like taking advantage.

Mike has saved my skin in more ways than one in more than one occasion. I wonder where I would have ended up if he weren't there. Not too many people have a "Mike". I am truly fortunate to know of this remarkable man.

Bridgette and AnnBridgette and Ann
In Chiang Mai, I was hanging out with two wonderful souls I met at the Wat Pa Tam Wua Forest Monastery - Ann and Bridgette. We would do yoga together in the morning, eat Khao Soi post-yoga and sometimes just hangout in the park to do some acro-yoga. It was good vibe being with them. But expectedly, since we were all travelers, we all left Chiang Mai to continue our journey. I'm just glad to have met them.

Ending Thoughts
With enough money to start my travel out of Thailand, I feel optimistic that this year holds the much elusive abundance for me. Add a new phone to that and a roof over my head awaiting for me on my return, I feel calm and at ease. I haven't felt this way in a very long time. Thank you, Mike!

--- TheLoneRider
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Next stop: Hanoi Revisited


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 room, high ceiling, salt-water pool
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - upscale container-themed, garden setting, most expensive coffee maker in Chiang Mai

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

cafes in Chiang Mai BICYCLE RENTAL
Chiang Mai bicycle rental Top Thailand Adventure Tour - bicycle rental


USEFUL INFORMATION

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)
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • visit Chiang Mai between October and April - best time, without the monsoon rains
  • 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!
  • 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.
How to Get around Chiang Mai
  • red taxi (shared) - B50 standard fare
  • tuk-tuk
  • bicycle - B50 daily rental
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Pub - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session
  2. Road House - in front of Porn Ping Hotel
  3. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar
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
Chiangmai Blogs by TheLoneRider
  1. Movie Review: Alita Battle Angel Feb 19, 2019
  2. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  3. Movie Review: Spider-Man - Into the Spider-Verse (2018) Feb 3, 2018
  4. Movie Review: Green Book Jan 30, 2019
  5. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) Jan 27, 2019
  7. Movie Review: Aquaman Jan 26, 2019
  8. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  9. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  10. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  11. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  12. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  13. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  14. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  15. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  16. Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai July 31, 2018
  17. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  18. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  19. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  20. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  21. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  22. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016
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 journey...you 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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