a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Too Many Gurus Jan 8, 2021

Too Many Gurus

In this day and age of the woke-Zeitgeist, every Tom, Dick and Harry who learned how to do a Downward Dog has become a self-styled guru who'll dissertate their thoughts on consciousness, enlightenment and awareness at the drop of a hat. Some have been around the block long enough to become rock stars while upstarts are ambushing community be-in gatherings to segue into their dhamma shtick (a person's special talent, interest, or area of activity).

Rishikesh (Baba Land)
The most notorious place for fake gurus is Rishikesh. I've seen them lined-up all looking for lost souls to prey upon. They all look the part - dreadlocks, white ashen stripes on their faces, saffron robes, beads, vermilion bindi on their forehead, etc. There are true gurus, but really hard to come by. For the most part, the Rishikesh gurus go by this modus operandi:

  1. they identify the lost souls and initiate conversation (they can smell you a mile away...they are professionals)
  2. they start saying spiritual things that address your issues (you think you found the real genuine one - the hook is now set)
  3. you now start hanging out with him as he dispenses words of wisdom - enlightenment, non-attachment, non-duality, etc. (he digs the hook deeper)
  4. when he thinks the hook is securely embedded, he starts the control - like you shouldn't talk to any other guru. More dos and don'ts follow
  5. he now starts asking money to take you to a trek, an ashram, a waterfall, etc. The amount escalates
  6. he now starts talking about tantric sex and may begin to touch you (you can actually feel powerless to resist. They seem to have hypnotic skills)
  7. if he gets away with sex, he now carves another notch on his cane and shows this to the other gurus saying, "another white girl I banged!!!"
Too Many Gurus
gurus or babas lined-up along Parmarth Niketan Ashram

Community Gurus
These are the ones who organize events and gatherings within a local community (Chiang Mai? ha-ha) - dharma teachings, talks, music, parties and gatherings. Events could contain catch-words like "community building with like minded souls". They would post Facebook memes quoting the Dalai Lama, Ramaha Maharshi or the Bhagavad Gita. Nothing wrong with any of the above, but when the person doing that is a train wreck or a narcissist, you're a blind guy being led by another blind guy. They may proclaim, "No, I'm not a guru" - but behave and talk like one and call his/her home an "ashram". They dearly love hearing their own voice.

Sounding the Part
Some may not look the part, but sound the part - modulated voice, whisper tones if need be, eyeball contact, and a generous sprinkling of woke words. They may come across as "deep", but really, they're just a one-dimensional bag of feigned profundities. Here's an actual example from a conversation about ego:

Me: Ego in measured dosage is good because it just might allow me to add one more rep on a push-up.

Wannabe-Guru: Because you leverage on ego, then you are not in your true-self.

Me: (thought bubble - I'm talking about a push-up and he invokes true self? Who is he trying to impress with his pseudo-intellectual psycho babble? me?)

Too Many Gurus
the movie Kumare showed how even established members of polite society can be so gullible and will believe anything

What's in it for these Gurus?
For the upstart guru, I would say it's the adulation - it's intoxicating when you are surrounded by people who nod on every word you utter. You morph from loser to Mr. Popular.

Another reason is because they are struggling from the very lessons they preach. You're just practice-material.

Money of course, is always part of the landscape. One time in a sharing after a hippie ritual, one guy confessed to being lost and a wreck. Then I met a lady who talked about her meditation guru to whom she pays US$20/session to. Turns out her meditation guru is the same lost guy. Good on him for making money on being wrecked.

Sex is definitely a come-on. A harem of beautiful followers is a welcoming indulgence. That's why gurus are almost always followed by a sex scandal - Bikram Choudhury, John Friend, Kausthub Desikachar, Amrit Desai, etc. Being a real guru is still tricky because you have access to sex - always a slippery slope and even the best take a slip once too often.

Name Change
Joe Bloe attends a few yoga classes and suddenly becomes Swami Brahma on Facebook. Dev Smith is now Guru Dev and conducts free satsangs. Some take on a Tibetan name - from Joe to Tenzin Tenzing. I bet you have one or two friends who did that - I can name 3 from my circle.

Ending Thoughts
Most of these wannabe-gurus size me up and test the boundaries. I'm quick to put them in their place. Result? They don't look me in the eye after that. One meditation 'guru' even messaged me after our discussion and asked that I don't write about the episode. One astrology guru refused to call me when I raised my hand for another question.

Are they bad guys? I don't think so unless their primary intention is to defraud or abuse. I think they're just lonely people who fake it by entertaining grand delusions of themselves. They usually have deep-seated issues about life but are able to hide it well or come up with a believable rationalization. Nearly all of them are smart and confident in their ability to influence other people's thinking - which makes them scary. I don't make them my enemies, but I stay clear of them. I've met too many of them I can already smell them a mile away.

With self-styled wannbe-gurus who are just a day ahead of you, how do you know who's the real thing? Very hard since nearly all of them are crafty and clever. I would go to the established ones - why reinvent the wheel or take chances with popular unknowns who look the part and sound the part? Below are the ones whose practice I've already tried and I vouch for them:

  1. meditation and life-coaching - Vipassana Meditation (Goenka Tradition) to exorcise your demons, dissolve your anger and bring about peace of mind. Goenka's video-taped dhamma talk provides many answers to life's compelling challenges. The nearest one from Chiang Mai is Dhamma Simanta in Lamphun.
  2. breathwork - Wim Hof for strength, power and resilience from disease through breathing. You might find it surprising that I am recommending a non-yoga practitioner for what is essentially pranayama, but the Wim Hof method works!
  3. yoga - Sivananda Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga are established traditions in yoga. There are many centers around the world. Choose a teacher that resonates with you. Use this as a grounding practice for yoga. Later, venture on your own - you'll know when the time is right.

    For yoga teachers in Chiang Mai, I would recommend Katharine, Nix and Lara. I have attended their classes and they are just about the cream of the crop.

As a general rule, real gurus radiate with their heightened perception of reality (although the wannabe-gurus are very good in faking this). They don't advertise - no Youtube chanel, no Facebook page and money plays a very little role (hey, the guy still has to eat). They practice what they preach (they don't preach healthy living but smoke cigarettes or binge on alcohol). They don't gossip or say things that put other people in bad light. They share their knowledge/life experience to educate rather than to impress. Fake ones can get away with it, but at some point, they will falter - you'll know and it's up to you to exercise critical thinking.

Sometimes, you just can't find the right teacher despite the gamut out there. That's my difficulty. At some point, I came across a teacher who was knowledgable but had bad behavior. I learned from him, but I was aware that I was there strictly for the knowledge. I didn't really see him as my teacher. Hopefully, you find one who resonates. Good luck!

--- 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

Related External Links:

  1. Anti Fake Gurus Movement
  2. How to Spot a Sketchy Spiritual Guru
  3. Ten Signs That a Guru Is a Fraud or a Fake
  4. How Fake 'Gurus' Take Advantage of the Vulnerable
  5. Sexual abuse by yoga gurus
  6. Top 5 Spiritual Gurus in India Who are Changing the Society for Good

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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. Spinal Mobility Oct 7, 2021
  2. Swedish Cinnamon Rolls [Kanelbullar] Oct 4, 2021
  3. One-Leg Yoga Asana Sequences Sep 30, 2021
  4. Pizza Nite with Nut, Monika and Yuki Sep 27, 2021
  5. 23-Minute Ice Bath Sep 27, 2021
  6. Pizza Nite with Nut, Simona and Malee Sep 23, 2021
  7. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) Sep 23, 2021
  8. Making Cornbread Sep 15, 2021
  9. Kombucha: 2nd Batch Sep 11, 2021
  10. Making German Stollen Bread Sep 9, 2021
  11. Pizza Nite with Jackson, Goi and Paapu Sep 6, 2021
  12. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  13. Making Homemade Kombucha Aug 30, 2021
  14. Wrong Question to Ask This Crowd Aug 29, 2021
  15. Pizza Nite with Tom, Chunyah and Goi Aug 20, 2021
  16. Pizza Nite with Moms and Kids Aug 15, 2021
  17. Bahya Kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale) Aug 14, 2021
  18. Everybody's Only Friend Aug 13, 2021
  19. Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies) Aug 11, 2021
  20. Fighting Infection through Yoga Aug 3, 2021
  21. Too Close for Friendship Aug 2, 2021
  22. Manifesting: Epicurus' Pursuit Jul 31, 2021
  23. Homemade Rum Raisin Ice Cream Jul 30, 2021
  24. Ice Bath at Nawa Saraan Healing Space Jul 25, 2021
  25. Pizza Nite + Slack Line + Hammock Jul 23, 2021
  26. Yin-Yoga & Hypnosis with Christine Thiel Jul 20, 2021
  27. Pizza Nite with James and Nat Jul 19, 2021
  28. Antara Kumbhaka on Nadi Shodan Pranayama: Yogic Breath-Hold on the Inhale Jul 17, 2021
  29. Moving and Cashing-Out Bitcoin Jun 2 - Jul 11, 2021
  30. Hatha Yoga: Controlling the Switch Jul 7, 2021
  31. Yoga Classes with Calum Mar 27 - Jul 4, 2021
  32. Hike to Wat Pa Thammachat Waterfall Jul 2, 2021
  33. Pizza Brunch with the Yogis July 1, 2021
  34. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  35. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  36. Hatha Vinyasa Yoga with Katharine Day Jun 17, 2021
  37. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
  38. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
  39. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
  40. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  41. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
  42. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
  43. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  44. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
  45. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
  46. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
  47. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  48. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  49. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  50. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  51. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  52. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  53. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  54. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  55. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  56. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  57. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  58. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  59. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  60. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  61. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  62. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  63. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  64. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  65. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  66. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  67. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  68. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  69. Are You Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  70. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  71. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  72. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  73. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  74. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  75. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  76. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  77. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  78. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  79. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  80. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  81. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  82. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  83. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  84. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  85. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  86. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  87. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  88. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  89. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  90. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  91. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  92. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  93. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  94. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  95. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  96. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  97. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  98. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  99. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
  100. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  101. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  102. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  103. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  104. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  105. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  106. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  107. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  108. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  109. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  110. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  111. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  112. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  113. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  114. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  115. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  116. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  117. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  118. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  119. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  120. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  121. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  122. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  123. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  124. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  125. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  126. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  127. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  128. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  129. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  130. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  131. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  132. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  133. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  134. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  135. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  136. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  137. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  138. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  139. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  140. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  141. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  142. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  143. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  144. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  145. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  146. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  147. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  148. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  149. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  150. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  151. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  152. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  153. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  154. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  155. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  156. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  157. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  158. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  159. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  160. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  161. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  162. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  163. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  164. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  165. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  166. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  167. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  168. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  169. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  170. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  171. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  172. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  173. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  174. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  175. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  176. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  177. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  178. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  179. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  180. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  181. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  182. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  183. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  184. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  185. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  186. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  187. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  188. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  189. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  190. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  191. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  192. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  193. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  194. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  195. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  196. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  197. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  198. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  199. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  200. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  201. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  202. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  203. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  204. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  205. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  206. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  207. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  208. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  209. 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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