TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs
lucid thoughts in Chiang Mai, Thailand slice of life in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Blogs with Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip




Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021

Transformational Life Events

Google Map: Chiang Mai, Thailand
I therefore conclude : lessons learned, insight gained

Life Presentation
While trading stories with Cherry at Fern Forest Cafe, she found my life adventures interesting and asked if I could make a short presentation for an interview of the turn of events that led me to my present lot - a nomadic life in search of life's Easter Eggs. She later coined the interview title, Spiritual Backpacker. Of course, I said yes.

But while doing it, I was thinking, "Why not put it in blog form?" This way, I can think back on the series of events that took place and articulate on the insight and lessons learned. I can't do that in the interview with Cherry since the interview is time-constrained for brevity. Yes, it would be good to go back to Memory Lane to piece together these events that helped shape my here-and-now.

Transformational Life Events
(Mar 2021) pondering and piecing it all together

Turning Points

  1. Questioning Outsider
    (childhood) Growing up, including early adult, I was always an outsider. I didn't seem to belong. I had no tribe. I was not a loner, but there was this lingering feeling that I was different - not exactly special, but different. I've longed for this feeling of somehow blending-in. I was even beginning to question if there was something wrong in me.

    At the same time, my mind was always questioning things that didn't make sense. I was even wondering why I was the only one seeing the anomalies. Others seemed oblivious or simply could not be bothered. e.g.? If God was omnipresent and omnipotent, then why do we need a priest for our sins to be forgiven? Why not talk to God? If religion was the gateway to salvation, then why do people kill each other over their religious beliefs? None of that made sense. Nearly all my beliefs imploding when put to intellectual scrutiny. Instead of buy the establishment narrative, I followed my instinct. This made me an atheist at an early age.

    I therefore conclude I realized that I had a critical mind that kept asking questions. More importantly, I followed the logic and not the nonsense. This could be a lonely path, but still better than believing there is a tooth fairy.
    outsider
    I've always been a questioning outsider


  2. Celebrity party boy
    (2000-2004) After graduating from university, I landed a good job. I was upwardly mobile, enjoying the good life. Everything was different from life as a student. I had my own money, my own apartment, a car, a girlfriend, more lady friends and I would dabble in tv commercials (Bear Brand Milk) which made me a minor celebrity. I was invited to parties. Even though it was all superficial, I didn't feel like an outsider anymore. Life was good.

    I therefore conclude Everybody should have their 15-minutes of fame in their lifetime - just like what Andy Warhol said. Also, being single and a part of the corporate world (going through the politics, the frustration, the struggle) are all part of a rite of passage. If you skipped this part of your life (either by getting married too early or becoming a monk), you probably missed out on something important in life.

    Bear Brand commercial was the first of a few tv and print commercials that gave me short-term celebrity


  3. New York
    (1984-1989) Even though life was good in the Philippines, it felt monotonous. The days became predictable and I started wondering what's out there. I yearned for a bigger stage...the biggest stage - New York, the big apple!

    New York was a humbling experience. I came alone with no papers (just tourist visa which expired in 6 months). I didn't know anyone and my temporary lodging was just arranged by family friends. I was out of my comfort zone. Everyone who thought he was special in his country felt ordinary in New York. I was thrown into an arena where everyone had to survive. Competition for everything was intense. Life wasn't easy and adjusting to the new culture was challenging. I felt what they mean when they say that if you survive New York, you'll survive anywhere. My girlfriend from the Philippines followed me to NY where we got married. She convinced me to move to Canada where we can get legal status as immigrants.

    I therefore conclude It's good to be out of your comfort zone - to fumble and stumble, to feel small and vulnerable. You get to test your wits, skills, knowhow to see you through. It makes you value a lot of things people usually take for granted.

    New York
    New York was a formidable testing ground for surviving life


  4. Canada
    (1989-2004) We had 2 lovely girls in Canada. I was a devoted father and husband. It was a new life of owning a house, doing the 9-5 work schedule and looking after the needs of the family and my 2 daughters.

    I therefore conclude This stage taught me that my life was no longer mine. By being a family man, my personal desires/needs have to be subordinated to family needs. I relished my new role.

    Canada
    I was a typical family man in Canada with a lovely wife, wonderful kids, a paying job and a modest house by the suburbs


  5. Separation
    (2000-2004) I loved my wife and I was devoted to my family. But even with the best of intentions, the marriage failed. We separated for 4 years but I still spent the weekends with my kids. The separation culminated in a nasty divorce.

    I therefore conclude This taught me many things - love is fragile (there is no such thing as a vault-solid love), love and good intentions are not enough to keep a marriage together (there is a lot of hard work to keep it together), nothing is permanent, the future is an illusion (people subscribe to it because it gives them emotional solace or psychological well-being), the only thing that exists and the only thing that we can work with is the here-and-now, the present.

    family
    already separated, I spent the weekends with my kids. I was a devoted father. We biked, made bread and spent time in parks


  6. Yoga
    (2001-present) I was introduced to yoga in Canada where it was offered free by my employer. Even as a beginner, yoga felt like I've practiced it all my life - perhaps I was a yogi in a previous life. I immediately embraced it wholeheartedly and took it with me to this day. I continue to deepen my practice always in awe of the many revelations it unravels. Yoga has fortified my body, increased my awareness and allowed me to see a bigger picture of life.

    I therefore conclude Yoga (the whole 8 limbs and not just the physical postures), is a life enabler. It almost feels like having an unfair advantage over others.

    yoga
    Yoga gave me strength of body, mind and spirit


  7. Burning Man
    (2003) To give someone an idea of what Burning Man is, it's a one-week event that happens in the desert of Nevada (USA), 120 miles from the nearest city, where you can run around naked giving free hugs and nobody will say no.

    Coming alone to the desert and revel with 30,000 like-minded seekers was deeply transformational. I experienced reality that was far removed from the default reality I have always known. I've never been back, but The MAN continues to burn inside me.

    I therefore conclude This taught me that there is an infinite horizon far broader than the visible one immediately in front of me. I trusted this new horizon. I realized there is a more beautiful world that extends beyond career, social ranking and material belongings. I could no longer settle for anything less after that. You couldn't put the genie back in the bottle.

    Burning Man
    Burning Man gave me a glimpse of an infinite horizon


  8. Fired from the job
    (2003) After Burning Man, I was a different man. I was no longer afraid of the uncertainties of life. I just wanted to be real...to be at my authentic self. When my boss would not make the necessary changes to increase efficiency in the workplace, I told her she was incompetent. HR intervened, tugged me aside, and said I could keep my job if I shut up. I couldn't. I couldn't settle - even if I was going through a nasty divorce with a $22,000 personal debt. I got fired. This was when the magic really happened.

    I got severance pay commensurate to the amount of my loan - $22,000. My 4-year debt was miraculously paid overnight. I was debt-free! Still going through the trauma of divorce, it was one less pressure. I saw how my universe was coming to my aid.

    I therefore conclude LIfe will continue to offer a fork on the road - the proverbial red pill or blue pill. There is no right or wrong choice. How life takes its turn depends on the choices you make. The universe is here to help, provide and look after your well-being - if you let it.

    Fired
    getting fired came as a blessing in disguise...my universe at work behind the scene


  9. Divorce
    (2004) 4 years after the separation, when my ex-wife realized I wasn't coming back, she filed for divorce. I thought divorce was simply coming to terms and signing a piece of paper. But no. Divorce is an all-out war that destroys everything and everyone. I would soon realize that. Everything was cordial between me and my ex-wife until she hired a lawyer who savaged me in court. All I wanted was to comply with the law. But divorce, by its very nature, and lawyers, by the nature of their profession, are vicious. I felt my head being put on a vise where they increase the pressure with every passing day. The pressure kept mounting until I began to see black. I was afraid I might snap. Men who snap become deranged. He gets a gun, shoots his wife, his kids and kills himself. I researched and that happens often even though the media is silent on it. I didn't want that to happen. I asked for help - something I'm not used to doing. This was when my universe intervened.

    I therefore conclude Life can deal you a heavy blow where your intelligence, life experience, and wits are not enough. Everything can seem bleak and hopeless. You can either turn on the bottle, drugs, violence, or simply let go and ask for help.

    Divorce
    divorce was destructive, divisive and left everyone damaged


  10. Off to Switzerland
    (May 2004) The divorce proceeding was taking its toll on me. I was having skin ruptures from the stress and I knew that I was close to snapping. I feared what I might do. I was lost and asked my universe for help.

    From out of nowhere, I received a plane fare for Switzerland, paid for, including accommodation on one of its fine hotels. It came from someone I helped many years ago. I already forgot her. She just stated that she had accumulated a lot of air miles and wanted to give it to me. With my $22,000 debt already paid overnight, I was off to Switzerland. Away from Canada, away from the stress, and away from snapping. My universe saved the day for me.

    I therefore conclude The universe is here to help, provide and look after your well-being - if you let it. This was a defining moment for me to realize that there is an unseen hand looking out for my well-being. From hereon, I let go and trusted the process. You are never alone - there are very powerful forces at play just awaiting your call.

    the free ticket to Switzerland to take me out of Canada had the fingerprint of my universe stamped on it


  11. Letting Go: France, Italy, Philippines
    (May 2004) With my newfound trust in my universe, I completely let go and let the flow take me where it takes me. I didn't have to do anything. All I had to do was say YES to the opportunities that presented themselves.

    In Switzerland, I met someone who invited me to stay with him in France. In France, I met someone I met in Burning Man, who invited me to travel to Italy with her. In Italy, I was invited to join a hippie commune in Germany. I decided to visit my Dad in the Philippines before committing myself to a hippie life in Germany. My life took a different turn upon reaching my motherland.

    I therefore conclude If your heart is in the right place and your intentions are good, let go (stop controlling everything and just trust the process). Let the bigger forces take the rein. just enjoy the magical ride.

    France
    Paris, France: wine with Naomi with the Eiffel Tower in the background

    Italy
    Milan, Italy: renaissance architecture

    Philippines
    Boracay, Philippines: after many years of absence, I was back in the Philippines

    I didn't have to do anything but say YES to the opportunities that took me to Switzerland, France, Italy and the Philippines. My universe was taking care of my itinerary.


  12. Sagada
    (May 2006 - Mar 2009) After a while, Manila felt stale and the need to move on beckoned. Sagada is a remote and isolated mountain village where head-hunting was still practiced generations ago - but it is spectacularly beautiful. It's one of those places I've always imagined living in since I first saw it in the early 80s. With my high-performance mountain bike, Sagada became my playground. I would wake up in the morning thinking, "Hmmm....what excites me today?" - no boss, no deadline, no rush, no stress. Even though I had no job, the web projects kept coming in without me looking for them.

    I therefore conclude By living in Sagada, I followed my bliss and lived The Life. The worst fate is to be haunted the rest of your life thinking, "I should have done it."

    Sagada
    rafting
    mountain biking
    living in Sagada was pure adventure and bliss - mountain biking, wild water rafting, waterfall hikes, gourmet meals by a Michelin-rated chef, etc.


  13. Survivor Philippines Castaway
    (May-Dec 2008) Out of 40,000 who auditioned for Survivor Philippines, I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 18 castaways. Life played a cruel joke on me here. It lifted my ego to dizzying heights and dropped me to shatter into many bits like a watermelon. I was voted out too early in front of a national audience. I dreaded coming out of the house feeling publicly humiliated. But life lifted me back again through the support and kind words of the viewing public who appreciated how I played my role.

    I therefore conclude I learned how important it is to be equanimous and detached. To be attached to expectation (eg fame) is to invite misery into your life. Oftentimes, the obvious expectation is not what happens because there is an underlying purpose that was meant to be served. I'm grateful to learn that, even if I did so the hard way.

    Survivor Philippines Castaway
    promotional poster for the launch of Survivor Philippines


    interview at Showbiz Central after being voted-out


  14. Vipassana Meditation
    (Apr 2009) With my deepening practice of yoga, Jim, a Buddhist friend (RIP), broached me about a 10-day silent meditation course - Vipassana Meditation. I went and life was never the same. To date, I've done 9 courses including Satipatthana.

    With this practice, I was able to exorcise my demons. The ones I can't get rid of, I was able to reduce to insignificance and put to sleep. I now live life anger-free and harmoniously. I began to see my role clearly. What yoga opened-up, Vipassana flung wide-open. I still had to remain vigilant because in moments of weakness, these monsters will either awaken or come back.

    I therefore conclude Meditation (which is one of the 8 limbs of yoga) plays a critical role in stilling a troubled mind, providing clarity of thinking, and seeing reality for what it really is. You make conscious decisions with an equanimous mind. Auto-pilot reactions become a thing of the past.

    Vipassana Meditation
    Vipassana Meditation empowered me to exorcise my demons. I now live in harmony with myself, with others and with the universe at large


  15. Philippines: travel and adventure
    (Mar 2009 - Sep 2014) After my yoga certification course in Sagada, I felt the need to leave. I had no idea where, but I left anyway, letting the wind take me where it takes me. I took up temporary residences as a base while continuing my travels. But at some point, I decided to travel homeless with nothing but what I can fit into my backpack. I gave away my bed, frying pans and all household items, and paid my last rent. I had no regular job, but the money kept coming - not much, but enough for travel and adventure. I was relying heavily on my instinct and wits for my survival. There was no career to worry about, no home to pay rent or mortgage to, no deadlines, no boss, and no stress - there was only the open road and the opportunities that lay ahead.

    My universe took me to many places where I met many people and engaged in many adventures. I didn't question where my universe was taking me. I just let go and fully trusted the process. In all those years of being lean on money, I've never skipped a meal or slept on a sidewalk.

    I therefore conclude The universe is more than willing to play with you. But only if you let it.

    hammocking
    chilling on a hammock on a limestone outcropping

    snorkeling
    snorkeling the coral reef of Apo Island

    beach yoga
    beach yoga in Coron, Palawan

    body painting
    body paint modeling in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental

    tv guesting
    tv guesting

    kayaking
    kayaking at Lake Balinsasayaw

    mountaineering
    mountain climbing Pico de Loro Peak

    freediving
    freediving to 15 meters

    caving
    caving Sumalsag Cave, Sagada

    After leaving Sagada, I simply let go and my universe took me to one place after another. I had this non-stop life of travel for almost 3 years


  16. Overseas Traveling
    (Sep 2014 - present) After continuously traveling the Philippines for years, it felt time for a bigger stage. I was still homeless with very little money and no job. But again, enough money was coming in to pay for day-to-day expenses. To conserve my little cash, I would talk to hotel owners, restaurant owners, bike shop owners, cafe owners and trade my services for their products. With this approach, I was able to sleep in nice hotels and resorts, eat good food and get basic services. Consequently, these same owners became good friends. Some even become deeply trusted friends.

    I therefore conclude It's a big wide world out there. There is more to me and the culture I was born into. The diversity of people, culture, and tradition make an animated mosaic we can all call home. We may look different on the outside, but we all share the same human need and desire.

    You can work hard, or work smart. You can also see potential clients as customers or see them as friends who have yet to meet you. How you see the world architectures the reality you live in - the choice has always been yours.

    Siem Reap, Cambodia
    Siem Reap, Cambodia: exploring the fabled Angkor Wat

    Bangkok, Thailand
    Bangkok, Thailand: with the cast of Muay Thai play in Asiatique

    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
    Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: motorbike culture

    Vientiane, Laos
    Vientiane, Laos: temple rest from the bike ride

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: at the Petronas Towers

    Singapore
    Singapore: at the Marina Bay Sands

    Indonesia
    Ubud, Bali, Indonesia: at Taman Hati Ashram for Pranavayu Yoga

    Pokhara, Nepal
    Pokhara, Nepal: with the snowcapped Anapurna Mountain range in the background

    Rishikesh, India
    Rishikesh, India: Crow Pose on the Ganga River

    Yangon, Myanmar
    Yangon, Myanmar: Sule Pagoda in the background

    Chiangmai, Thailand
    Chiang Mai, Thailand: waterfight at Songkran

    It has been a dizzying travel adventure, but for now, I'm enjoying my stay in Chiang Mai.


  17. At Present
    (Mar 2021) During these Covid times, nothing is certain. Even my stay in Thailand hangs in the balance. In the meantime, I enjoy whatever abundance rains on me here in amazing Chiang Mai - yoga, fitness, coffee conversation with friends, Blues music. I am grateful to my one benefactor without whose generosity I wouldn't know where I'd be. Thank you Mike.

    I therefore conclude Life will never be the same when this pandemic blows over. You can live in fear in these Covid times or you can simply enjoy the ringside seat. You can tell your grand kids, "I was there when shit hit the fan." The glass is either half empty or half-full. Both are right - but you make the call.

    abs
    keeping fit and strong at all times, allow me to respond on-the-fly when life beckons

    Mike
    Thank you, Mike 🙏


Ending Thoughts
Going back in time to write about this was grounding. It's like looking back and seeing how much ground I've covered. The best thing is, the journey isn't over yet.

I've seen many changes in me as I pursue life on the open road while staying on the right path. Now, I no longer feel like an outsider. I don't even feel the need to belong. I'm simply comfortable under my own skin, feeling self-contained. I enjoy being with people, not to validate me, but to enjoy celebrating life with.

In all these travels and adventures, with hardly any resources, I was at the complete mercy of my universe. But my blessings transcend statistical probabilities. Again, this only validates that there is an unseen hand looking after my well-being. The universe I believe, is there to be at your service - if you let it. It is far wiser, far knowledgeable and far more benevolent than it is given credit for. Once you let go and trust the process, you see how things are architectured to pave the way for your journey. With a staunch relationship I have with my universe, I feel the power of the Big Bang right behind me. I feel the divinity that mantles this universe. It's a heightened perception of reality very few get a glimpse of. I wake to a new day always thankful to be alive and experience this magic.

--- 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:

Jason RoblesJason Philippines
(Mar 27, 2021) Very inspiring Git!

Junne GrajalesJunne Grajales
(Mar 27, 2021) Wow!

FriendFriend
(Mar 26, 2021) Wonderful adventures you’ve had. You are very blessed and taken cared of.

Leave a comment?

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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
Chiang Mai Trains by Train36.com
  1. Chiang Mai trains for Bangkok - 2 day trains, 3 night trains, daily schedule
  2. Train 14 to Bangkok - departs 5pm daily, arrives BKK 6:15am, 1st class and 2nd class sleeping accomodation, Special Express
  3. Chiang Mai trains to other destinations -
Bangkok to Chiang Mai 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
Loei to Chiang Mai by Bus
  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. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  2. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  3. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  4. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  5. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  6. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  7. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  8. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  9. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  10. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  11. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  12. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  13. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  14. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  15. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  16. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  17. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  18. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  19. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  20. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  21. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  22. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  23. Are You Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  24. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  25. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  26. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  27. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  28. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  29. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  30. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  31. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  32. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  33. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  34. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  35. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  36. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  37. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  38. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  39. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  40. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  41. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  42. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  43. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  44. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  45. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  46. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  47. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  48. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  49. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  50. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  51. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  52. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  53. Yoga Class to move Prana Vayu (energy) July 11-12, 2020
  54. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  55. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  56. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  57. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  58. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  59. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  60. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  61. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  62. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  63. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  64. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  65. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  66. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  67. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  68. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  69. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  70. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  71. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  72. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  73. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  74. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  75. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  76. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  77. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  78. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  79. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  80. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  81. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  82. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  83. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  84. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  85. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  86. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  87. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  88. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  89. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  90. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  91. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  92. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  93. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  94. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  95. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  96. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  97. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  98. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  99. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  100. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  101. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  102. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  103. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  104. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  105. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  106. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  107. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  108. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  109. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  110. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  111. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  112. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  113. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  114. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  115. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  116. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  117. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  118. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  119. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  120. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  121. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  122. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  123. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  124. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  125. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  126. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  127. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  128. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  129. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  130. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  131. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  132. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  133. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  134. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  135. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  136. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  137. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  138. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  139. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  140. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  141. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  142. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  143. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  144. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  145. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  146. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  147. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  148. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  149. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  150. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  151. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  152. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  153. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  154. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  155. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  156. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  157. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  158. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  159. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  160. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  161. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  162. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  163. 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

Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com

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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