TheLoneRider
a nomad in search of Easter Eggs
Nong Khai, Thailand

Peoplescape of Nong Khai Jun 17, 2020

Peoplescape of Nong Khai

Location Google Map: Nong Khai, Thailand

Peoplescape
With the Covid lockdown and the isolation of Nong Khai, there weren't much of any socials happening. Still, my 3-month stay amounted to meeting some interesting souls.

Peoplescape of Nong Khai

yoga groupMut Mee Owners and Staff
They were very nice to me. Pao especially. I would share my workout with their son Benny, focusing on the Wim Hof method of breathing while breaching a wall. Julian was generous with his terms about my extended stay. I would have wanted to interact with the staff more, but at best, their English was limited. I particularly liked the gardener and the receptionist, Namtan. They both exuded a calm and pleasant demeanor.

yoga groupMut Mee Pets
I'm not usually a pet guy, but their 3 pets, Dolly the Golden Retriever and the 2 cats, Tawan and Leo, were all endearing. I saw them as distinct individuals with their own unique personalities. Interestingly, Tawan, the Calico cat, was aloof by nature. But she 'chose' me. I would wake up in the middle of the night to go to the washroom and I would see her sitting and almost waiting for me to open the door. I would talk to her and say, "You wanna come in?". And she would, sniffing things around my room. I would talk to her again, "I'm gonna close the door now. You wanna go out?" And she would go out like she really understood what I meant.

yoga groupYoga Group
They were the closest thing to my community. They were doing a daily course with Pancho and Beatrix (I was not), but I would join them for the daily 2pm unguided meditation. If not for anything else, that hour regularized my practice. I was able to implement new ideas and creative methods to my practice. Normally, I would default to such a community, but I wouldn't exactly say they were the social type. They would convene at the studio for the classes and leave after. I can't even say there was a sense of community there. Everyone seems to be into their own private space.

KassiKassi USA
She had an inviting and friendly smile from across the tables. When I bumped into her again, we walked and talked a good stretch of the promenade. She is an attractive American from Wyoming, a science teacher in an international school in Nong Khai, and a Muy Thai fighter. With just 6 months residency, she can speak conversational Thai already. At just 23, she's doing plenty and I was impressed. We talked twice and I never saw her again. I could imagine she was able to take the last flight out before the lockdown was enforced - as was the case for most travelers who got lucky.

China DollChina Girl China
She was part of the ongoing yoga courses and also a guest at Mut Mee Garden. We would talk at any of the pavilions whenever she would pass by or go together for dinner, lunch or walk the long promenade. She is reserved and carefully chooses her words. Also, she is attractive, adequate in English, and enterprising. I initially spent time with her the most, but as the days wore on, energies shifted. Maybe it was a cultural misunderstanding.

Blogs about China Girl

  1. Coming Back To Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  2. Peoplescape Of Nong Khai Jun 17, 2020

RichardRichard France
Richard is a friendly French photojournalist in his 70s who smoked a lot, knew people, and privy to events in Nong Khai. Like most guests, he has been coming here the last few decades. I defaulted to him for local info. He was in the Philippines at some pivotal moments to cover historical events - the Marcos-Aquino election, the failed coup by Arturo Tolentino, etc. He looked like a dashing playboy during his younger days...always with a pretty woman. It's a treat to listen to wise men who have seen a lot and experienced a lot.

JoeJoe USA
Joe is a healthy 70-year-old who jogs every day on the promenade in the heat of the afternoon sun. He always stops by when he sees me working on one of the pavilions of Mut Mee. He has many interesting stories. At 70 years, he has a wealth of insight and experience on his belt. I may not agree with everything he says, but he's always interesting. At some point though, I would have to tell him that I have to get back to work.

Ending Thoughts
I meet people everywhere I go. Having acquaintances is not a problem. Still, I envy people who form deep bonds with one or two people before they leave a place. I can't say that happened to me here. I'm not in search of friendship, but I always welcome one if and when it comes knocking on my door.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
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Life in Nong Khai Nong Khai, Thailand

Life in Nong Khai

(Mar 13 - June 18, 2020) With my continued stay in Nong Khai, many things unfolded. The world has been ravaged by Covid 19, but Nong Khai has remained resilient with prudent measures in place - no night market, big gatherings are cancelled, and the closure of the Laos border. I comfortably entrenched myself within the garden compound of Mut Mee Garden Guest House.....more »»


Nong Khai Travel Information / Tips

Vientiane to Nong Khai by bus

At the Khua Din Bus Terminal, you can board the #14 bus bound for Buddha Park. It will make a stop on the Friendship Bridge border - 15 mins, B8000. Go to Laos Immigration to exit. Board the special bus to cross the Friendship Bridge, Kip 4,000 or Baht 20. It will stop at Thai Immigration. Get processed. From there, board a tuk-tuk for Nong Khai, 5kms.

Nong Khai Attractions
  1. Nong Khai Aquarium -
  2. Salakaewkoo (Wat Khaek) -
  3. Issan Rum Distillery -
  4. Wat Pho Chai -
  5. Lan Phaya Nak -
  6. Tha Sadet Market -
  7. Nong Khai Muay Thai Gym -
  8. Phrathat Bang Phuan -

Nong Khai Blogs by TheLoneRider

  1. Nong Khai - Chiang Khan Roadtrip June 18, 2020
  2. Life in Nong Khai Mar 13 - June 18, 2020
  3. Peoplescape of Nong Khai Jun 17, 2020
  4. Exploring Nong Khai's Cafe Culture datedate
  5. Nong Khai Street Art June 4, 2020
  6. Sirsasana A & B May 20, 2020
  7. Structured Water, Water Therapy and Nauli May 1, 2020
  8. Visiting the Salakaewkoo (Buddha Park) in Nong Khai, Thailand Apr 23, 2020
  9. Fitness in Quarantine Times Apr 20, 2020
  10. Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy Apr 13, 2020
  11. Covid 19 and the Conspiracies Mar - Apr, 2020
  12. Nong Khai with Cheng Mar 18 - Apr ???, 2020
  13. Covid 19 and Pranayama Mar 20, 2020
  14. Giant Mekong Catfish at the Nong Khai Aquarium Mar 19, 2020
  15. Drawn to Nong Khai, Thailand Mar 12, 2020

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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