TheLoneRider
a nomad in search of life's Easter Eggs
Chiang Mai, Thailand



Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019

Connective Cacao and Sound Journey

Venue Nong Buak Hard Public Park location: Heart Space - a gathering place for Chiang Mai's conscious community where events and activities in the pursuit of spirituality, connection and transformation are held. The gracious Gabriella Nagy hosts the events.
Google Map Nong Buak Hard Public Park location: Heart Space, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Cacao Ceremony
I first heard of a cacao ceremony when I was in Ubud, Bali. I was curious. What's so magical about cacao? I can eat Hersheys everyday and I'd be nowhere walking on water. Why not Macadamia or coffee? 23 days in Bali, but never had the chance. Here in Chiang Mai, Heart Space offers the ritual on a regular basis. Now, I finally get my chance to see what it's all about.

Connective Cacao and Sound Journey

Event Write-up
I did get a heads-up about the ritual through the event page, "Cacao has a nurturing, mothering energy that is wonderful for inner work and insight. Its heart opening effect helps you to deeply connect with yourself, those around you and our beloved mother earth with kindness and authenticity. It enables you to flow freely, while melting into the smoothing vibration of sacred sounds. The Tibetan singing bowls, Thai gong, ocean drum, bells and chimes take you on a journey of enchanting sounds into a world of deep relaxation and inner wisdom, where you can just BE effortlessly."

Given my focus on heart opening in the last couple of weeks (one of which is participating in + Heart Math), it's actually timely. There is too much intellectual adventurism going on inside my head that I need to assert my heart's voice and make them equal partners - two sides of one coin.

Full House
We were maxed-out to room capacity. All of us were like-minded in being conscious and staying on the path. There was already good conversation going on even before the ritual started. Everyone was positive and open. That's what I like about attending these activities - attendees are filtered out and we all get it and don't need to explain ourselves (of course, not to alienate those who thought it was a Cadbury buffet).

Gabriella Nagy
On the phone, I call her Gab because tiny keyboards are a hard typo. I liken her to be Heart Space's high priestess. It is to her credit that the prevailing ambience is always that of connection, community, safe space and openness. Categorically speaking, these are the common denominator to all events at Heart Space.

Gratitude for Abundance
Gabriella started the ritual with a question, to which we all individually declared our answers to. "What are we grateful for?". It was interesting to hear what others said. Grateful for their fears, their shadows, family, friends, health, etc.

In the last few months, I've noticed a mantra I'd been declaring for everything good that has happened to me here in Chiang Mai. And I would repeatedly declare it several times in the day...when I eat good food, when I feel blessed, when I meet someone amazing, etc. In the same way I would chant Gayatri Mantra, I now chant, "Thank you M...e, thank you Chiang Mai". This humbles and reminds me that I am always in the charity of my benevolent universe throught the people and places I am karmically entangled with.

Coming Away with What?
Towards the end of the session, Gabriella once again asked a pondering question, "What are you coming away from after this session?". Despite my being a social animal, it was still unnatural for me to look a complete stranger in the eye and openly smile, laugh and hug. Somehow, the protective carapace kept nudging itself in. I guess I came away assured that facing my vulnerability is ok. That it's ok to trust the process.

Connective Cacao and Sound Journey

Ending Thoughts
The lingering bliss I had with me after leaving was one of connection. That we are all part of a single organism. We all make up the singularity. That separation is simply a projection of our own protective mechanism. And again, by trusting the process, we were all given a glimpse of what it's like to be one.

Heartfelt thanks, Gabriella 🙏

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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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



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