29 Days in Bangkok: Thank You and Goodbye
Location: Empo Hostel, On Nut neighborhood, Bangkok, Thailand
I'd been privy to the backdoor troubles plaguing my hostel - Empo Hostel. Too many people claiming ownership, too many shady maneuverings and a few casualties in the process. Everyone made compelling arguments why they were right and why everyone else is wrong. It was hard to believe who was lying or who was truthful. At some point, contents were being removed or sold. Then a notice came that the hostel would be "closed for renovation" on Sept. 24. Everybody had to move out. The date coincided with my flight out of Thailand, so it was great timing.
But in the haste of the "current owner" to sell everything off before the "other owner" took over, she sold just about everything in the hostel including the lockers with my laptop and passport in it - she didn't care. Getting them again is a whole story unto itself involving the police and a long taxi ride.
I'm just glad I'm not in that role where I have to keep a tight guard on ownership to stop others from taking it. Come to think of it, not being burdened by ownership is bliss. I only own a laptop and old clothes. No money, no land, no property. I don't have to worry about a leak on the roof, oil change on the car or mortgage payments, or even watering the plants...feeling the lightness of being!
A stay in Bangkok without catching-up with Eunice is not an option. We met at her usual hangout, Bonita Cafe and Social Club and spent the afternoon trading narratives. She seems to have a single-minded focus on her spiritual path. We are on the same path but perhaps on different routes with different chosen destinations (yes, it's not always enlightenment or heaven). Others take refuge on a guru and others meditate in a cave. I choose to stay on the default world and hurdle its challenges in compliance with my tenets of right and wrong. I would have had a farewell lunch with her, but I had to get back my laptop that was wrongly sold by the hostel owner...long story.
Chai has been pretty much my buddy in Bangkok for this visit - my go-to person for, "hey....you up for coffee?". She's like an onion - you keep peeling and you discover layered dimensions to her. From pretty-face to hard-core climber during our UP Mountaineers days, to yogini-freediver in our Cebu days and here in Bangkok, I saw how fast she took on Thailand's left-side driving with competent derring-do on the gas, her even keel even when it gets annoying, and her solid grounding (head above shoulders) on difficult situations. I'm sure I haven't seen the last of her (and I surely hope I haven't). The more I get to know her, the more endearing she gets.
We didn't hangout much, but he grows on you - mild mannered, soft spoken, reliable and a decent person. At least from my lenses, that's how I see him. I met him in Chiang Mai through Chai and hungout with him (together with the Amphawa Crew) as he took on being our tour guide in the floating markets of Amphawa and Damnoen.
After an art show, Mar took us to his favorite waterhole, Clockwork Bar and Cafe. He was like a fish thrown back into the water as his friends welcomed him back to sing popular cover songs. I haven't been in a bar with friends for the longest time. It was a great fun-filled evening of friendship, beer and music.
We planned on meeting up to discuss moves about his passion for art, but somehow, it didn't happen. Perhaps another day.
I met Marcela on the Little India Walking Tour. She felt light and pleasant to be with (no energy-draining heaviness). We kept in touch and met up at a cafe with another tour acquaintance, Saimatee (who gifted me coffee from Laos...thanks again). Marcela felt like an old friend....you know that comfort level when you're wearing an old glove or old shoe that fits you comfortably? We walked around Asok, stopped by another coffee shop and just leisurely talked. It was effortless and fluid. I'm sure to connect with her even from a distance.
Reza is an Iranian traveler who stayed at my hostel. He was a lovable character. Like me, he had no money so he offered to help clean the hostel. Me, I got my barter lodging by doing a promotional online campaign. We were essentially winging our travels and doing what it takes to survive the game. Reza was always positive and thankful. We would share our food and trade stories. I remembered what he said, "In life I only like exercise, sex and travel." He's getting some? Good for him.
Jessi was a hostel guest also where I was staying. We would talk at the lobby like ants stopping when they meet someone. She's interesting. As a flight attendant, she's tall and beautiful. But she came to Bangkok with a single-minded purpose: Muay Thai. And she's dead serious about it. She works out 2x/day totaling 4 hours. And she does it daily. No time for touristy shopping or sight seeing, her Bangkok existence was Muay Thai, rest, eat...back to Muay Thai. I saw her unblemished the first time. In the ensuing days, I saw her black and bruised from all the elbows, knees and punches. Beauty and brawl - that's Jessi for you.
I am grateful for all the help I received from the 7-Eleven people. I'm not sure if it's their orientation as staff but when I asked them where the nearest police station was, after explaining to them the hotel owner sold the locker with my laptop and passport in it, the supervisor sent Billy to drive me down to the police station in Phra Khanong on his motorbike. Billy stayed with me inside the station acting as interpreter to the police.
In another episode, when I bought a Thai sim at 7-Eleven, I asked them to install everything for me. Even though the store was busy and there was a line, the staff took the trouble to install the sim and load up everything that needed to be loaded up - it took a while.
Wow, in this day and age of corporate greed, it's good to know that there is a big convenience store chain that actually cares. For their good deeds, I am featuring a free logo placement of 7-Eleven on all my Bangkok blogs.
NEXT Flight Website
I was able to develop a website for a client whose business was to create an onward booking flight document for a cheap $6 - NEXT Flight. Immigration and the airline check-in counter demands an onward flight booking to allow you departure or entry to a country - an assurance you won't be overstaying. But what if you don't know yet how long you want to stay in the country? What if you still don't know where to go after? Should you make that booking knowing fully well you might end up canceling and payng a hefty penalty for it? It's one of those rules that serve a purpose but inherently flawed.
My Bangkok mini-life these 29 days were pretty simple: online work with my laptop, gym workout and a few socials. That's it. Even though it has been productive, I think I've spent way too much time on my laptop. I guess I can't help it either - with not enough money as a cushion, I had to keep pitching online. I wish I had enough just to be able to go with some friends for night outs. But even that proved too restrictive as I have already dipped into my Yangon budget.
At any rate, I'm still very privileged - 24 days barter lodging, barter deal on unlimited gym use, a little money on the side, hostel offer for my next visit, meaningful work on my laptop, sumptuous cheap Thai food to grace my palate on every meal, being in Bangkok where energy is pulsing, meeting new friends to add dimension to my stay and of course old friends for that familiar grounding.
For everything that was, thank you Bangkok !!!
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
Theosophical Society in the Philippines
(Sep 28, 2018) You're exuding w/ inner joy every time you're sandwiched by beauties.
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30 Days - Goodbye Bangkok(Nov 8, 2018) After a full 30 days, it was time to pack-up again for a new country. Bangkok this time around offered a different flavor - like it always does. I didn't struggle this time. People came and went but some stayed within my orbit. I had a barter roof over my head, barter resto deal for me and friends, work kept me busy, and a newfound abundance came in the form of a donation....more »»
Bangkok Blogs by TheLoneRider
- Bangkok in Pictures Mar 17-21, 2021
- Bangkok for Passport Renewal Mar 17-21, 2021
- Bangkok with $19 Dec 8-11, 2018
- 30 Days - Goodbye Bangkok Nov 8, 2018
- Revolving Peoplescape of Bangkok Oct 8 - Nov 8, 2018
- Food and Friendship at Dalad Vietnamese Oct 8 - Nov 8, 2018
- Movie Review: First Reformed (2017) Nov 6, 2018
- Doing Online Work at The Work Loft Nov 5, 2018
- Window Seat [His Precious] Nov 1, 2018
- Surreal Odyssey at Bangkok Float Center Oct 29/31, 2018
- Bangkok Halloween with Rinna and Steve Oct 27, 2018
- Push-Ups Oct 22/24, 2018
- Pad Thai at Thip Samai, Bangkok Oct 16, 2018
- Birthday Walkabout Oct 16, 2018
- Coming to Terms with Donations Oct 14, 2018
- Feelin' Da Blues at Adhere the 13th Blues Bar Oct 12, 2018
- Visiting the Grand Palace of Thailand Oct 12, 2018
- A Web Mandate in Bangkok Oct 8, 2018
- 29 Days in Bangkok: Thank You and Goodbye Aug 27 - Sep 24, 2018
- Calling the Bangkok Police Sep 23, 2018
- Movie Review: Mindfulness and Murder (2011) Sep 22, 2018
- Yoga Inversions at Now's Fitness Gym Sep 19, 2018
- Flow Yoga with Teacher Kea at Now's Fitness Sep 18, 2018
- Movie Review: Under Construction (2015) Sep 15, 2018
- Walking Tour of Little India Sep 15, 2018
- Vinyasa Yoga with Teacher That at Now's Fitness Sep 14, 2018
- Abs Workout with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 13, 2018
- Vinyasa Yoga with Teacher That at Now's Fitness Sep 14, 2018
- Abs Workout with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 13, 2018
- Exercise Ball Workout with Teacher Bie at Now's Fitness Sep 11, 2018
- Exploring the Amphawa Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
- Exploring the Tree-Engulfed Wat Bang Kung Temple Sep 9, 2018
- Parting of the Maeklong Railway Market with a Passing Train Sep 9, 2018
- Exploring Damnoen Saduak Floating Market Sep 9, 2018
- Horse Racing at the The Royal Bangkok Sports Club Sep 8, 2018
- Fight Class with Teacher San at Now's Fitness Sep 7, 2018
- Exploring the Bangkok Art Book Fair 2018 Sep 6, 2018
- Circuit Training with Mild at Now's Fitness Sep 5, 2018
- Gentle Flow Yoga with Nuch at Now's Fitness, Bangkok Sep 4, 2018
- A Yogi Lost in a Modern Gym - Now's Fitness Sep 3, 2018
- Abundance at On Nut, Bangkok Aug 30-Sep 1, 2018
- Outside Looking In Aug 29, 2018
- Back in Bangkok After 5 Weeks Aug 27, 2018
- 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
- Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
- Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
- Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
- Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
- Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
- Hotel Review: Adventure Hostel Bangkok July 11, 2018
- Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct 20, 2014
- Exploring the Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
- A First Timer in Bangkok December 31, 2005 - January 3, 2006
SPA / WELLNESS
Bangkok Cost Index
as of Sep 4, 2018: US$1 = Baht 32 = Php 53
- Bht 60 sm, 90 big one mug draft beer
- Bht 13 1.5 liter drinking water
- Bht 220 one hour massage
- Bht 60-80 muesli breakfast
- Bht 60-80 tom yum soup in modest eatery
- Bht 25-30 coffee
- Bht 30-50 pad thai
- Bht 350 Adventure Hostel lodging
- Bht 20-30/load laundry, coin operated machine
- Bht 7 bus ride
Transport Maps of Bangkok
- Chao Phraya Express, MRT, BTS, Khlong boats, Airport Link
- Bus Routes: 1-14
- Bus Routes: 15-30
- Bus Routes: 32-49
- Bus Routes: 50-70
- Bus Routes: 71-88
- Bus Routes: 501-516
- individual bus routes
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)
- take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
- 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.
- 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
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