TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Chiang Mai, Thailand



2021: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2021

2021: A Year in Review

Location Google Map: Chiang Mai, Thailand

2021 in a Nutshell
2021 has been a wild swing of extremes - from 'an abundantly good life' to one likened to be being on ground zero in a firestorm. From close intimate friendship to one where the same friends doze gasoline to burn you alive. Yes, spanning 2 ends of a very broad spectrum makes you live life in a manner very few people can even imagine. But on a mindful note, this experience is also so rich in insight and lessons that it makes you appreciate your 'being' and the diversity of human existence inside their heads.

I've stayed at this boutique hotel, Nawa Saraan for the entire year, hosting coffee and bread to friends, opening up my door to new acquaintances, until I realized I had to put up my boundaries. I shouldn't be as open as I had been - it just makes me vulnerable to anyone out there with life issues and looking for someone to vent it on.

Peoplescape

Peoplescape
I started the year with a lot of friends whom I invited to break bread and drink coffee with, at my place. I end the year with just a select few - some I have lost through no one's fault, most I have walked away from. The very few ones left have been filtered through a fine-mesh - they are the ones I'm happy to be with. I don't mind having only a few. As much as I enjoy celebrating life with people and friends, it's something I can also do without. The attack on me made me see how my so-called friends made their choices - those who looked the other way, those who poured gasoline, those who stayed safe on the fence, and those who came forward in support of me. In a way, it's good to know them better and get the undesirables out of my space.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the vacuum created within my social sphere attracted a new set of people who do not belong to the 'woke' community. They don't invoke 'consciousness' or 'enlightenment' in every sentence. These are normal regular people who are decent, honest and shall we say, not hypocritical or even delusional about their spirituality? At the end of the day, I find them more evolved by simply living life and dealing with life in pragmatic terms...without dragging the catchwords like vibration, ego, authentic, etc.

As a general rule, I simply stay clear of woke people who are "working on themselves". Not that working on yourself is bad, but woke and being a train wreck are huge red flags that are best avoided. In my parlance, cuckoos don't know they are cuckoos.

2021 Peoplescape

(click on their faces for the story)

Traveling

Traveling
I stayed put in Chiang Mai for most of the year. Covid imposed travel restrictions and it was just best not to move around. I did go to Pai upon Aida's invite. I saw a Pai that was quiet and more grounded with its resident farangs (instead of the transient hippies). I also went to Bangkok to have my passport renewed. I just found Bangkok different from how I left it. It was foreboding, empty, expensive and people seemed to be in fear of the pandemic. I also realized just how lucky we are to be in Chiang Mai where there is still a semblance to normalcy.

Ice Bath

Ice Bath
I progressed into my ice bath practice, attending Jason's Wim Hof breath-hold / ice-bath gatherings and finally doing it on my own at Nawa Saraan. I reached the 23-minute immersion on 40kgs of ice, but I felt sick the next 2 days, perhaps from mild hypothermia. I realized that I needed to learn more about heat-generation from Tummo Yoga to melt the ice and come away unscathed. I haven't tried ice bath since Sep, so I'll have to gradually ease into it when I'm ready.

2021: A Year in Review
the ice bath...staying up to 23 minutes in 40kgs of ice (2 big sacks)
Breath Hold

Breath Hold
Another Wim Hof practice I've taken on is the breath-hold. Of course, with my yoga practice, I've long done the kumbhaka (breath-hold), but Wim Hof pushes the boundaries. I've held my longest over 5 minutes, but I started feeling strange after I broke the 4-minute threshold. Even if I'm not practicing, I would constantly feel an unsettling vibration on my chest. Additionally, I was beginning to have nightmares - something I don't usually have. I was told it was the beginning of an activation. Nevertheless, I moderated my practice. I would only hold it for 2 minutes, but not anywhere within 4 minutes. There are no more vibrations and no more nightmares, but at the same time, I'm left wondering if I have taken a step back in my practice.

Yoga

Yoga
Yoga remains a continuing staple. I taught a free class at Yoga in the Park, conducted group Saturday classes at Nawa Saraan, and even tailor-fitted yoga programs to one-on-one students - Doriana, Calum and Nana.

Moreover, I continued to deepen my practice, not content on simply staying in maintenance-mode. I experimented on the bow-and-arrow switch-approach, fighting infection through pranayama, kumbhaka and visualization, substituting sleep with yoga nidra, cleansing my system through the shatkriyas, and employed different approaches to meditation - emptiness, mantra and nada.

Perhaps my most ambitious yoga project to date is Tummo Yoga or Inner Fire Meditation. It's not an easy practice with a lot of Tibetan mantra, visualization and new Tibetan names to know. To ensure I learn it, I rewrote the entire book in HTML, summarized every chapter, and codified the core practice into a teaching format. I've already finished the project and the challenge for me is to continue my practice until it becomes second nature. It offers a very promising horizon full of heat generation and control, siddhi activation and even self-realization in the fastest way possible (much faster than the sutrayana/samadhi approach).

Pizza Nites

Pizza Nites
Pizza Nite has been my Canadian tradition that I continued here, given that I have the facilities of a bakery at Nawa Saraan where I stay in Chiang Mai. Everybody brings everything they need to make pizza - dough, sauce, cheese, toppings and even drinks. Everyone gets his/her turn to make their pizza and everyone gets a slice. There is always an element of surprise with Pizza Nite - you don't know what pizza will be served. Of course, it's all about a gathering of friends for a great time with food, laughs and sharing.

Long Hair

Long Hair
My last shave was Dec 31, 2019. At this year-end, my hair is already 2 years old, long enough to satiate my once high school obsession of having 'long hair' - which was cool at that time. Now that my hair is long, what now? I'm satiated, so I don't have to keep it. But I'm ok with my grays, so I don't have to shave it. I think I'll cut it to still qualify as 'long hair' but short enough to make it more manageable.

2021: A Year in Review
Learning New Things

Learning New Things

Fish Pond Maintenance: When Mike waded inside the fish pond to clear some debris, it was his way of saying the pond needed cleaning. I had no idea how to do it. As always, everything can be learned on the internet - websites, Youtube, pdfs, etc. By the time I was done, I knew how to operate the big sand filter (filter, waste, recirculation, backwashing, rinse, closed), the bucket filter (rocks, biological filters, media filter). I can even design and construct a fish pond from scratch now. But taking care of the koi fish was a different matter.

Learning Thai: I tried learning Thai language with just an app and Google Translate. I was getting the hang of it, but it got in the way of my yoga reading. I can't seem to multi-task. Too bad I had to let it go. Had I persevered, I could be speaking Thai now. Oh well.

Import/Export Documents: When Mike asked me to learn how to fill in various shipping documents for his shipping business, I ended up learning the entire shipping industry in the process - documentation, process flow, agencies involved, etc. Shipping is complicated. Unfortunately, Mike didn't find a use for the things he asked me to do - so despite all the learning and studying, it wasn't put to use. However, I learned something new.

Bitcoin: Again, Mike asked me to be proficient in Bitcoin. It appears he found a niche market where fast commissions could be made in hiding clean money into crypto - avoiding taxation, avoiding transport of huge amounts, anonymity, etc. Even though I used to be in Bitcoin, I still had to be up to speed. Thus, I had to open up a Bangkok Bank for a savings account, a Bitcoin account with a crypto exchange center, and learn more about the new things that came up. Again, after having transferred money within my new accounts to develop proficiency, the project was shelved. Still, I learned many new things.

Python Programming: Lastly, I've always known that I needed to know programming to take my web design skills to the next level. Inspired by my talk with Nut, I embarked on learning Python Programming. Python is very easy to learn, becoming more in use, and web-integration friendly. I just need to feel more excited about learning it aside from just knowing that it's good for me.

Covid Pandemic

Covid Pandemic
Last year, it was a race on who makes the first vaccine. This year, the vaccines are out, and the increasing pressure on a global mandatory vaccination is on. The vaccines never made sense to begin with. People who already contracted the virus are supposed to be immune already - but they are still pressured to get the vaccine. Those who already have the vaccine continue to get Covid - then what are these vaccines for? Some of those who got the vaccine got sick or even died - but news is suppressed. You hear about it and see the underground videos of people just falling down in the middle of a game. Not only are people supposed to get 2 shots, they also have to get subsequent booster shots - so it's vaccine after vaccine. People who never want it are forced to get it either because of travel restrictions, job requirements or simply social pressure.

The pandemic continued to spread panic and fear across the globe. There would be episodes when controls loosen up, but then a spike would happen and again, bars, night markets and several industries would be shut down. It was horribly bad for businesses.

The imminent threat now is not so much about Covid but the mandatory vaccination. This is polarizing people. It has divided families, friendships and communities. The vaccinated thrash-talk the ones who do not want to be vaccinated, alleging that the pandemic is not getting contained because of these 'conspiracy believers'. The non-vaccinated (that's me), believe that there is no pandemic and that the vaccine is a toxic medication designed for population control or simply control. Already, many vaccinated have died but news is suppressed in mainstream media. With travel easing up, the new concern is how to travel without being vaccinated.

I speculated that 2021 would be a pivotal year that will define how the 'new normal' will be. I was assuming that Covid would be gone and society resumes its onward movement. But no, Covid remained despite the mass vaccinations. As of this writing, a new Covid variant, the Omicron has already spread to more than 100 countries, perhaps requiring a booster shot in addition to the 2 shots that most people have already taken. I could imagine it's going to be wave after wave of Covid variants with booster shots layered upon booster shots. I strongly suspect these succession of shots are all designed to corrupt the human body. I will avoid this vaccine at all cost.

Covid 19 Blogs

  1. Covid 19: Lion - Buffalo Analogy Apr 13, 2020
  2. Covid 19 and the Conspiracies Mar - Apr, 2020
  3. Covid 19 and Pranayama Mar 20, 2020
Homemade food and drinks

Patries
Pizza making has always been my staple, but this year introduced me to explore the culinary pleasures of baking pastries and artisan bread. A conversation with Simona inspired me to make the German Kipferl Christmas cookies. This was followed by doing the complicated Stollen Bread, then cinnamon rolls, cornbread, Hobnob Cookies and New York Cheese Cake. In the kitchen, I was a kid lost inside a toy story. I increasingly default to making my own food instead of eating out.

Kombucha
I started doing my own kombucha. I get to harvest 3 gallons of kombucha every 10 days which fits just right with my morning water therapy. I now add grated ginger on the 2nd bottling and the taste is exponentially better.

Ice cream
My neighbor lent me her ice cream maker and started me into making my own ice cream. I started off with my hands-down favorite, rum raisin ice cream. Even after I returned the ice cream maker, I continued making my own ice cream using the hotel food mixer. I would experiment on using the healthier coconut cream instead of whip cream, using dulce de leche instead of regular sugar or even using mashed bananas as filler/thickener.

Middle Eatern dishes
Leaning towards Middle Eatern dishes, I ended this year making baba ganoush and hummus. Tahini is such a versatile blender's base.

Tourist Visa

Tourist Visa
Thai Immigration has been routinely extending visas over the Covid pandemic. Whereas it used to be unpredictable what the policy might be, this year saw consistency - filling up a multitude of forms and B1900 for a 2-month extension. In December though, word is coming out that extensions may no longer be liberally given. As of this writing, my visa is extended until Feb 2022.

Challenges

Challenges
There are a few major factors I'm looking at that determine how 2022 will play out.

  1. Vaccination - while not yet mandatory, there is increasing pressure to get vaccinated. In Chiang Mai, entry to events requires proof of vaccination. I wonder how this affects international travel. Soon, the covid visa extension will not be offered. Moreover, my extension expires in Feb and I have to leave anyway. This 'next chapter' is a very big question mark.
  2. Palawan - this is likely my next destination. No telling what happens here. There is no certainty and I'll simply have to go with the flow.
  3. Yoga practice - this remains a constant challenge because there are many things I'd like to do but cannot - until I reach a certain level in my practice. But I remain devoted to my practice - research, writing and actually doing the practice.
On the Horizon

Leaving Chiang Mai
Things are still floating in the air to make long-term plans, but the immediate one is to leave Chiang Mai. Being away from Chiang Mai would be a welcoming change, despite the abundance and blessings this place has given me. My universe has been giving me strong signals to move on. If I can get cheaper airfares by waiting until after the holidays, I'll do that. Where? The Philippines is the soundest choice for now - Palawan awaits with Greg's offer. I also feel the need to talk to my Dad and clear things up. I no longer feel like traveling. I would rather settle down, grow roots and just deepen my yoga practice.

Ending Thoughts
I'm leaving this year still feeling heavy about the attack I had to survive through. My social landscape has radically changed. I've unfriended a lot of 'friends' who just stood by while I was burning at the stake. Deep inside, I know this had to happen because I asked to go through the entire span of the human spectrum. It gets easier by the day, and I'm sure at some point, that I can smile back to this episode, being wiser and more experienced.

The uncertainty of the world still hangs in the balance as I also find bearing in what lies ahead when I eventually leave Chiang Mai. I've stayed here 3 years, and I have to say, that the abundance and bliss are unparalleled. Perhaps the attack on me was the other side of the abundance coin - yin and yang, happiness and sadness, craving and aversion. In hindsight, I would still choose to go through that nasty episode than go through life not knowing what it's like to burn at the stake. It's all about having that 'bucket list' human experience...like falling in love, like being heartbroken, like losing a loved one, etc.

I remain grateful, I remain collected, and I already feel the transformation taking place. Yes, as it is said in Desiderata, "...with all its sham and broken dreams, it's still a beautiful world", I will rework that to, "...all its exhilaration and broken dreams make it a beautiful world".

--- 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



Year in Review Blogs:

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Next Lucid Thought:

Welcoming the New Year lucid

Welcoming the New Year

(Jan 31, 2022) 2021 started off bright and promising but ended up on a melancholic note of reflection and re-alignment. I un-Friended most of my Chiang Mai 'woke' friends and ultimately left Facebook, happy to just have a few but trusted friends. This created a void that seems to be filled in with the onset of 2022.....more »»

Next Peoplescape:

Donald Hoffman Chiang Mai, Thailand

Donald Hoffman

(Jan 1, 2022) Donald Hoffman, through experiments backed by empirical data and mathematical equations, posits that reality as we see it is not objective reality but simply a sensory perception manufactured by our mind to give our species a survival advantage.....more »»


Chiang Mai INFORMATION

Chiang Mai Map
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 Jazz Coop - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays at 11pm by the Chiang Mai Blues band
  2. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
  3. My Secret Cafe - near Wat Phra Singh. Tuesdays at 7:30pm for the changing front-act and 9:00pm for the Panic Band
  4. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
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 -
Chiang Mai to Bangkok Trains source: railway.co.th
  1. Check Train Schedule & Fares
  2. Book Online - direct booking with State Railway of Thailand. Best to register first. If going to BKK from CNX, click "Northern Line".

    note -- big difference between booking direct with the State Railway and booking with an online 3rd party agent. 12GO was charging B1330 for the same trip that only cost me B941 with the State Railway.

    note -- Oct 2022, I took the #10 Train from CNX to BKK, upper berth, 2nd class, a/c, sleeper, B941. The train was clean, fast, comfortable and modern. If you have heavy luggage that will cost more money in flight checkin, I would suggest this train. Otherwise, the flight now is so much cheaper it doesn't even make sense to take the bus or train.
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. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019 - Oct 10, 2022
  2. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Oct 10, 2022
  3. Siamaya Chocolates Oct 2, 2022
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  5. September Snapshots Sep 30, 2022
  6. Carrot Cake Sep 12, 2022
  7. Making Coconut Bread Sep 3, 2022
  8. August Snapshots Aug 31, 2022
  9. Yoga Nidra with Chunyah and Tom Aug 18, 2022
  10. Coconut Pancake Aug 11, 2022
  11. July Snapshots Jul 31, 2022
  12. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Jul 31, 2022
  13. Jason, Max and Elizabeth Pizza Nite Jul 28, 2022
  14. Yakiniku Dinner with Max and Jason Jul 25, 2022
  15. Icebath at Nawa Saraan Jul 6 - Oct 5, 2022
  16. June Snapshots Jun 30, 2022
  17. Tom, Chunyah and Simona Pizza Nite Jun 23, 2022
  18. Yoga Class Pizza Nite Jun 15, 2022
  19. Pranayama with Nicha Jun 14, 2022
  20. May Snapshots May 31, 2022
  21. Lover's Quarrel May 26, 2022
  22. Getting Lost on a Hike May 25, 2022
  23. Biohacker Meetup at 'Living with The Spirit' May 22, 2022
  24. Music and Magic at Paapu House May 5, 2022
  25. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai II Apr 20, 2022
  26. April 2022 in a Nugget Apr 30, 2022
  27. Tombstone Epitaph Apr 29, 2022
  28. Kayaking along the Ping River with the BioHackers Apr 24, 2022
  29. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  30. Pizza Nite with Jerry, Paolo and Abby Apr 9, 2022
  31. Tom Maher's Muay Thai Fight Apr 8, 2022
  32. Breathwork + Icebath @ Alt_Chiangmai Apr 6, 2022
  33. Yoga with Leo Apr 5, 2022
  34. Mar 2022 in a Nugget Mar 31, 2022
  35. Street Photo Mar 31, 2022
  36. Peoplescape Mar 31, 2022
  37. Chiang Mai's Recovering Music Scene Mar 31, 2022
  38. Street Photo Mar 31, 2022
  39. Yoga and Fitness Mar 26, 2022
  40. Friday Bitcoin Meetups Mar 18, 2022
  41. Pizza Nite with Aida and Sophie Mar 14, 2022
  42. Pizza Nite with Kevin, Jamie and Kris Mar 10, 2022
  43. In Search of Genetic Immortality Mar 5, 2022
  44. Feb 2022 in a Nugget Feb 28, 2022
  45. Palm-Feeding Wild Birds Feb 26, 2022
  46. Cuckoo Feb 16, 2022
  47. Tell John Feb 16, 2022
  48. Pizza Nite with Kris, Simona and Mary Feb 15, 2022
  49. Pizza Nite with the Chiang Mai Boyz Feb 6, 2022
  50. Welcoming the New Year Jan 31, 2022
  51. January Snapshots Jan 31, 2022
  52. ABS Fitness Challenge Jan 16 - Apr 16, 2022
  53. Pumpkin Tahini Recipe Jan 3, 2022
  54. 2021: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2021
  55. Pizza Nite with Simona and Lisa Dec 28, 2021
  56. Tahini Salad Dressing Dec 27, 2021
  57. Baba Ganoush Recipe Dec 23, 2021
  58. 7 Universal Laws Dec 20, 2021
  59. Sacred Circuitry Dec 18, 2021
  60. Cave-Living in a Boutique Hotel in Chiang Mai Dec 14, 2021
  61. Tummo Yoga + Wim Hof Breathing + Full-Body Muscle Contraction Dec 13, 2021
  62. Monk Chat Dec 10, 2021
  63. Making Tahini and Hummus Dec 8, 2021
  64. Watering the Plants Hands-Free Dec 2, 2021
  65. Vietnamese Phin Coffee Filter Dec 2, 2021
  66. Tummo Yoga Dec 1, 2021
  67. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Book Summary/Review Dec 1, 2021
  68. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa Dec 1, 2021
  69. 'Must Experience' Cafés of Chiang Mai Nov 30, 2021
  70. British Hobnob Cookies Nov 22, 2021
  71. New York Cheese Cake Nov 22, 2021
  72. Dham's Poetry Nov 14, 2021
  73. Pizza Nite with Simona and Nat Nov 11, 2021
  74. Stepping Forward / Reaching Out Oct 31, 2021
  75. Cancel Culture Attack Oct 31, 2021
  76. Mantra Primer Oct 29, 2021
  77. Spinal Mobility Oct 7, 2021
  78. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls [Kanelbullar] Oct 4, 2021
  79. Just Bring 2 Chinese Oct 3, 2021
  80. Sep Snapshots Sep 31, 2021
  81. One-Leg Yoga Asana Sequences Sep 30, 2021
  82. Pizza Nite with Nut, Monika and Yuki Sep 27, 2021
  83. 23-Minute Ice Bath Sep 27, 2021
  84. Pizza Nite with Nut, Simona and Malee Sep 23, 2021
  85. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) Sep 23, 2021
  86. Making Cornbread Sep 15, 2021
  87. Kombucha: 2nd Batch Sep 11, 2021
  88. Making German Stollen Bread Sep 9, 2021
  89. Pizza Nite with Jackson, Goi and Paapu Sep 6, 2021
  90. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  91. Making Homemade Kombucha Aug 30, 2021
  92. Wrong Question to Ask This Crowd Aug 29, 2021
  93. Pizza Nite with Tom, Chunyah and Goi Aug 20, 2021
  94. Pizza Nite with Moms and Kids Aug 15, 2021
  95. Bahya Kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale) Aug 14, 2021
  96. Everybody's Only Friend Aug 13, 2021
  97. Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies) Aug 11, 2021
  98. Fighting Infection through Yoga Aug 3, 2021
  99. Too Close for Friendship Aug 2, 2021
  100. Manifesting: Epicurus' Pursuit Jul 31, 2021
  101. Homemade Rum Raisin Ice Cream Jul 30, 2021
  102. Ice Bath at Nawa Saraan Healing Space Jul 25, 2021
  103. Pizza Nite + Slack Line + Hammock Jul 23, 2021
  104. Yin-Yoga & Hypnosis with Christine Thiel Jul 20, 2021
  105. Pizza Nite with James and Nat Jul 19, 2021
  106. Antara Kumbhaka on Nadi Shodan Pranayama: Yogic Breath-Hold on the Inhale Jul 17, 2021
  107. Moving and Cashing-Out Bitcoin Jun 2 - Jul 11, 2021
  108. 'The Bow' Yoga Jul 7, 2021
  109. Yoga Classes with Calum Mar 27 - Jul 4, 2021
  110. Hike to Wat Pa Thammachat Waterfall Jul 2, 2021
  111. Pizza Brunch with the Yogis July 1, 2021
  112. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  113. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  114. Hatha Vinyasa Yoga with Katharine Day Jun 17, 2021
  115. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
  116. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
  117. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
  118. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  119. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
  120. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
  121. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  122. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
  123. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
  124. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
  125. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  126. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  127. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  128. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  129. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  130. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  131. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  132. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  133. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  134. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  135. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  136. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  137. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  138. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  139. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  140. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  141. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  142. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  143. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  144. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  145. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  146. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  147. Am I Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  148. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  149. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  150. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  151. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  152. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  153. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  154. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  155. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  156. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  157. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  158. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  159. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  160. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  161. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  162. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  163. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  164. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  165. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  166. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  167. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  168. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  169. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  170. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  171. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  172. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  173. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  174. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  175. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  176. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  177. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
  178. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  179. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  180. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  181. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  182. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  183. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  184. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  185. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  186. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  187. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  188. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  189. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  190. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  191. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  192. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  193. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  194. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  195. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  196. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  197. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  198. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  199. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  200. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  201. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  202. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  203. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  204. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  205. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  206. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  207. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  208. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  209. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  210. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  211. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  212. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  213. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  214. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  215. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  216. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  217. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  218. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  219. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  220. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  221. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  222. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  223. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  224. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  225. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  226. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  227. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  228. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  229. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  230. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  231. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  232. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  233. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  234. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  235. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  236. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  237. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  238. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  239. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  240. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  241. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  242. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  243. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  244. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  245. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  246. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  247. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  248. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  249. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  250. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  251. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  252. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  253. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  254. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  255. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  256. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  257. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  258. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  259. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  260. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  261. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  262. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  263. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  264. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  265. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  266. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  267. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  268. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  269. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  270. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  271. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  272. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  273. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  274. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  275. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  276. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  277. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  278. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  279. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  280. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  281. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  282. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  283. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  284. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  285. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  286. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  287. 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

This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.

    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

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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