a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Searching for Sugar Man (2012) Oct 7, 2020

Movie Review: Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

Rating: star star star star star (5 stars out of 5)
Cast: Sixto Rodriguez, Craig Bartholomew Strydom, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman, Dennis Coffey
Director: Malik Bendjelloul
Writer: Malik Bendjelloul, Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman (article)
Awards: Oscar, Best Documentary Features 2013 | BAFTA Film Award Best Documentary Film
Genre: Documentary, Biography, Music
Run Time: 1h 26min
Premiere Date: 26 July 2012
Country: UK
Youtube Youtube full movie: Searching for Sugar Man

The Gist
This movie is a true-to-life Cinderella tale of Sixto Rodriguez, an obscure American musician, whose music fueled and inspired the anti-apartheid revolution in South Africa. His music became the rallying cry - a galvanizing anthem sung underground by an entire generation who revered but never knew him. Meanwhile, in his hometown Detroit, Sixto gave up music and worked as a construction worker, making ends meet, completely oblivious that halfway around the world in South Africa, he was bigger than life...bigger than Elvis Presley.

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

The movie centered basically on the detective work of 2 people who were in search of the 'legend of Rodriguez' who was bigger than life but nobody knew who. Word had it that he shot himself on stage during a performance or doused himself in flames. Finally, they found him. What followed was a Cinderella story that defied a movie script. He traveled to South Africa and saw for himself just how big and how loved he was. He filled sold-out concert halls to a crowd who couldn't get enough of him. Fame didn't faze him. He still continued to live in a modest dwelling where he has been the last 40 years.

Rodriguez had a folky feel to his music, sounding like a third Dylan, third Donovan and another third Jose Feliciano. His writing was authentic and gritty - dug deep from the trenches of depravity. His words were clear, his beat was engaging, and it felt like a conversation listening to him.

Ending Thoughts
What are the odds that an obscure musician's music travels halfway around the world, goes viral and becomes the rallying cry of a rebel generation catapulting the singer into rock-star status bigger than Elvis? And while he is deitified across the Atlantic, he's completely oblivious about his god-like status as he makes both ends meet doing construction work? This is art imitating life because you cannot script this thing.

There was something about Rodriguez as a person. Despite his poverty, he remained grounded in the face of fame. He continued to be modest in his life. I would liken him to a lotus flower - grounded in the mud but reached out to the grandeur of man. He took his daughters to museums and art galleries to underscore that places where rich people go are also accessible. While doing construction work, he would be in his tux. Yeah, quite a guy.

On another note, I learned about South Africa's apartheid through this movie. My lingering impression of apartheid (filtered through US media) was a wholesale divided white against black (correction made, thanks Carl Johnson) in South Africa - segregation similar to the lynching era in the South of the US back in the pre-civil rights day. But this movie told a different tale. That not all whites were segregationists. Most of the young white people who protested against apartheid were controlled by a repressive and brutal goverment.

See this film and get a glimpse of humankind's triumph. I already gave you the link.

--- 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

p.s. - 24 hours earlier, I never knew about Sixto Rodriguez. I was at My Secret Cafe with Alan, a South African who talked about an enigmatic musician who was wildly popular in South Africa but lived in obscurity back in the US, completely oblivious to his rock-star status half-way around the world. I looked him up and got consumed by him.


"Cold Fact" Album

"Coming from Reality" Album

Reader Comments:

Carl JohnsonCarl South Africa
(Oct 8, 2020) I worked the Cape Town end of his tours. I found him to be a victim/casualty of circumstances. What I'm about to divulge is known and implied but wouldn't have made great film content.

1st the music recording industry. As an artist who was represented, published and distributed, he was the victim (as are many) of the size of the industry (and the world) and of how his lack of basic business acumen was used against him. This applies to the industry on both sides of the Atlantic. Essentially it is proof of exploitation of a resource whilst adding as little investment as possible. His rebirth through the tours saw re-releases of his music in SA and they benefited again, but thankfully not his appalling original management.

The tours were organized speculatively and based the conditions in SA at the time couldn't have been timed better but no one walked away making a fortune off them.

Another film that explores the theme and exploits the 'ignorance' of artists is The Lion's Share covering the story of The Lion Sleeps or Mbube and the descendants of the song's original composer.

2nd and possibly aiding the above was clear evidence and affects of substance abuse. On his first tour his nativity of his fame and his insecurity of his own talent was heartbreaking. When initially faced with a backing band (who were also massive fans) that was way better 'technically' than him, he threw himself towards a bottle. This made backstage chaotic. He became paranoid about going onstage, he was terrified of the size of the crowds (around 4k - 6k max). He would go missing on the mornings of shows. Clearly years of poverty, hard manual work and substance abuse had dealt significant physical and mental consequences. He was often found hanging out with the casual labour on nearby building sites - aligning himself with people who related to what was his reality. They had no idea who he was ... and generally thought he was crazy. None the less, those in the crowds knew nothing of this and lapped up his unique voice and 'quirky' performance style.

His second tour led to him being more confident, but fueled by booze, aggression. The relationship with the backing band was fractious. Again this was not known by the fans. The love story of one of the 'detectives' and his daughter is my favorite part of the story and clearly she is the anchor of the story and his life.

I too had been brought up on his albums during apartheid, I think your phrase 'black against white' should actually be 'white against black' (corrected, thank you Carl) - black people were silent witnesses to white privilege whilst white people (unless they actively went and sought the truth - which was hard to do) were naive to the harsh realities of black existence. This in no way justifies apartheid, it was set up by the white Afrikaners' political elite in complicity with predominantly English white business. Roderiguez was very much part of the 'white youth experience' and as stated, did fuel thought of an alternative.

(Oct 8, 2020) Whoa!!!! That is quite an eye-opener, Carl...a insider view of what's happening 'backstage'. I think it would have added dimension to the movie narrative if those moments were included though. It simply made his humanity more real, grounding, and yes, tragic. Thank you for this remarkable insight!

Grant LawlessGrant Australia
(Oct 8, 2020) Great docu. A truly humble man. Thanks for guiding me to it. Had both his released albums back in the day. A great talent.

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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


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
  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. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) Sep 23, 2021
  2. Making Cornbread Sep 15, 2021
  3. Kombucha: 2nd Batch Sep 11, 2021
  4. Making German Stollen Bread Sep 9, 2021
  5. Pizza Nite with Jackson, Goi and Paapu Sep 6, 2021
  6. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  7. Making Homemade Kombucha Aug 30, 2021
  8. Wrong Question to Ask This Crowd Aug 29, 2021
  9. Pizza Nite with Tom, Chunyah and Goi Aug 20, 2021
  10. Pizza Nite with Moms and Kids Aug 15, 2021
  11. Bahya Kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale) Aug 14, 2021
  12. Everybody's Only Friend Aug 13, 2021
  13. Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies) Aug 11, 2021
  14. Fighting Infection through Yoga Aug 3, 2021
  15. Too Close for Friendship Aug 2, 2021
  16. Manifesting: Epicurus' Pursuit Jul 31, 2021
  17. Homemade Rum Raisin Ice Cream Jul 30, 2021
  18. Ice Bath at Nawa Saraan Healing Space Jul 25, 2021
  19. Pizza Nite + Slack Line + Hammock Jul 23, 2021
  20. Yin-Yoga & Hypnosis with Christine Thiel Jul 20, 2021
  21. Pizza Nite with James and Nat Jul 19, 2021
  22. Antara Kumbhaka on Nadi Shodan Pranayama: Yogic Breath-Hold on the Inhale Jul 17, 2021
  23. Moving and Cashing-Out Bitcoin Jun 2 - Jul 11, 2021
  24. Hatha Yoga: Controlling the Switch Jul 7, 2021
  25. Yoga Classes with Calum Mar 27 - Jul 4, 2021
  26. Hike to Wat Pa Thammachat Waterfall Jul 2, 2021
  27. Pizza Brunch with the Yogis July 1, 2021
  28. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  29. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  30. Hatha Vinyasa Yoga with Katharine Day Jun 17, 2021
  31. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
  32. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
  33. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
  34. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  35. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
  36. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
  37. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  38. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
  39. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
  40. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
  41. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  42. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  43. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  44. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  45. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  46. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  47. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  48. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  49. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  50. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  51. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  52. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  53. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  54. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  55. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  56. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  57. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  58. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  59. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  60. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  61. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  62. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  63. Are You Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  64. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  65. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  66. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  67. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  68. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  69. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  70. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  71. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  72. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  73. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  74. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  75. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  76. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  77. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  78. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  79. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  80. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  81. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  82. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  83. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  84. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  85. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  86. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  87. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  88. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  89. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  90. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  91. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  92. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  93. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
  94. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  95. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  96. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  97. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  98. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  99. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  100. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  101. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  102. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  103. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  104. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  105. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  106. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  107. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  108. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  109. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  110. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  111. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  112. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  113. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  114. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  115. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  116. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  117. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  118. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  119. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  120. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  121. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  122. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  123. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  124. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  125. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  126. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  127. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  128. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  129. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  130. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  131. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  132. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  133. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  134. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  135. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  136. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  137. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  138. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  139. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  140. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  141. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  142. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  143. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  144. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  145. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  146. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  147. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  148. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  149. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  150. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  151. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  152. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  153. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  154. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  155. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  156. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  157. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  158. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  159. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  160. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  161. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  162. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  163. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  164. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  165. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  166. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  167. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  168. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  169. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  170. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  171. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  172. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  173. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  174. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  175. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  176. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  177. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  178. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  179. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  180. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  181. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  182. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  183. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  184. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  185. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  186. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  187. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  188. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  189. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  190. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  191. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  192. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  193. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  194. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  195. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  196. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  197. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  198. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  199. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  200. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  201. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  202. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  203. 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

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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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