TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Yoga Classes
Yoga Classes

abs Yoga Classes

NOTE: 1pm Saturday classes are no longer available. Only private classes are offered.

Days/Times: students determine this depending on their availability
Location Google Map: Nawa Saraan Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Email: yoga@thelonerider.com
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The Class

Yoga classes are offered 1-on-1 for a tailor fitted program or developed for a group class. Classes can be traditional yoga offerings or classes focused on optimum digestion, healthy eyes, power/strength, weightloss, breathing, therapy and/or meditation. Classes come with explanations on what we are doing and why we are doing them. It's important for any student to know the underlying principles of yoga. One session usually lasts 90 minutes and will always consist of the following:

  1. yoga talk - theories and concepts in yoga
  2. asanas - can be a combination of yoga postures, HIIT, point-of-failure holds, calisthenics, dynamic tension
  3. pranayama - regulated breathing
  4. kumbhaka - breath-hold
  5. bandha - energy locks
  6. mudra - energy seals
  7. meditation - can be anapana, vipassana, trataka, chakra focus, emptiness, etc.

Fee: Baht 1000/session
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Nong Khai, Thailand



Visuddhi Sep 15, 2020

Visuddhi (Throat Chakra or Sound [Truth] Chakra)

Other Names: Vishuddha, Vishuddhi, Vishuddhikaya
English translation: "especially pure", "filtered"
Location: at the center soft spot (the size of the thumb) between the 2 collar bones at the base of the neck. In some traditions, they say it is at the Adam's apple
Asana: Sarvangasana (shoulder stand with chin tucked-in)
Diety: Panchavaktra Shiva
Vayu (energetic wind): Udana Vayu (throat energy residing in Vishuddhi Chakra)
Shakti (power): Shakini (mythical demon)
Mantra: HAM
Element: akash or ether, represented by the middle finger in the hand mudra
Form: lotus flower with 16 purple petals, a facing-down triangle and a whitish radiance at the middle, which is the akash or ether

Statement: "Truth is my moral anchor. Instead of fighting with life, I begin to flow with the current of life. I perform at a different level of competence. People naturally move towards me because I can do things beyond their understanding and abilities. I remain forever young."
Blocked by: lies (what are the lies we tell ourselves? that we are always right? what is our true nature that we hide away from?)

Attributes of Vishuddhi
This is the centre or level of awareness where the world begins to become like one's own home - your home goes beyond the confines of its 4 walls and unto the vastness of the universe at large. One becomes open to all experiences, whether good or bad. The stage of the world and life, in general, is regarded as the provider of experiences that lead to greater understanding. Instead of fighting with life, one begins to flow with the current of life. One ceases to continually avoid or ignore bad experiences or facets of life and seek good experiences. Instead, there is the tendency to let things happen in the way that they must. The nectar and the poison are both consumed because one begins to trust the process. Everything and everyone becomes magical. Instead of feeling neurotic and antagonistic towards the world and other people, one begins to relax and flow with all situations. One begins to tune in with other people and feel the connection between all things.

More and more, one will see sense and intelligence behind all things and actions. This is the centre where all people and all things are seen as a cosmic whole, with everything working in harmony with everything else. It is said that below vishuddhi it is possible to fall and lose one's level of harmony and understanding. At the level of vishuddhi and above, this possibility of fall no longer exists. It is the chakra that lies on the threshold of spiritual realization and higher knowledge. In the shat chakra nirupana it says: "This chakra (vishuddhi) is the gateway to liberation for he who wishes to know the real meaning of yoga and whose senses are purified and controlled." It is said that a person who opens vishuddhi chakra knows all the scriptures without needing to read them. That is, a person at this level of understanding comprehends the meaning behind the scriptures through his own experience and intuition. He becomes compassionate, peaceful and full of bliss. He can play with reality however way he chooses and still be in control without being intoxicated by it.

Visuddhi
Vishuddhi chakra resides on the hollow of the throat at the base of the neck

Amrita from the Bindu Chakra
The throat centre is the place where the divine nectar called ***amrita, (the mystical elixir of immortality), is tasted. This fluid is symbolic and represents satchidananda (truth, consciousness and bliss) which originates in the sahasrara. It flows and cascades downwards from a higher point called bindu (located at the posterior fontanel, where the 3 parts of the skull converge on top of our heads) to vishuddhi where it is purified and processed for further use throughout the body. The jalandhara bandha throat lock prevents the amrita nectar from falling into the jatara agni (digestive fire) and instead holds it within visuddhi.

Many traditions call amrita different names - ambrosia (the food of the gods), soma (nectar), madya (divine wine), sweet wine, and blood of Christ. But the meaning is the same - indescribable feeling of bliss.

For concentration on this chakra, visualize a large white drop of nectar. Try to experience icy cold drops of sweet nectar falling down to vishuddhi, giving a feeling of blissful intoxication.

Fountain of Youth
When amrita (nectar of immortality) flows down from the bindu down to the lalana chakra where it is temporarily stored until it finds it way down to the vishuddhi chakra and all the way down to manipuraka where the digestive fire consumes it, amrita is lost and the aging process takes place. However, with viparita karani mudra, the inversion also reverses the flow of amrita and consequently reverses the aging process. Preserving the amrita can be called the fountain of youth.

Another segue into maintaining the fountain of youth is by doing maha bandha mudra - 3 bandhas at the same time. When mula bandha is engaged, apanu vayu is pushed-up to muladhara chakra. When uddiyana bandha is engaged, prana vayu is pushed down into muladhara as well. Apana vayu and prana vayu in the muladhara generate intense heat in the jatara agni and cause the essence of amrita (which have previously flowed into the digestive fire from vishuddhi), to rise up back to where it came from. Once back on the bindu, the jalandhara chakra (throat lock) locks the amrita before it comes down again. By preserving the amrita, the aging process is reversed and youth is sustained.

Lalana Chakra
The lalana chakra is a minor chakra that is closely associated with the vishuddhi chakra. It is located at the roof of the palate at the back of the mouth. After the nectar leaves the bindu, it is stored in the lalana chakra before reaching vishuddhi chakra. Lalana chakra is sometimes called the kala chakra - the centre of division, because it is the centre where the amrita (nectar) from bindu divides into either good or bad experiences in life. When vishuddhi chakra, combined with lalana chakra, is not awakened, life tends to be painful and unhappy. The nectar becomes poison. But when the vishuddhi and lalana chakras are awakened, then the nectar remains in the form of bliss. Life becomes a source of joyful experiences. Such is the importance of the vishuddhi-lalana chakras. Incidentally, the purpose of the well-known practice of khechari mudra is to stimulate and awaken this lalana chakra. Though it is a physical technique it induces more subtle changes on a psychic level.

Udana Vayu and Levitation
Interestingly, the visuddhi chakra is the seat of the udana vayu - the pranic wind in the throat that optimizes the vocal cords, voice, gives roundness to body, and controls intake of air and food. Activating the visuddhi gives rise to these gifts.

Additionally, opening up the udana vayu by performing Samyama Meditation [meditation on Dharana (single-pointed focus of the mind), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (a state of oneness)] also triggers one of the siddhis of yoga (super-human abilities) - laghima (levitation). Because udana vayu (meaning up-breath) provides the lift as the vayu moves in circular motion within the neck and head, one can essentially neutralize the effect of gravity and levitate.

Supernatural Gifts (Siddhis)

  1. occult competence - there are two types of occult: muladhara type of occult and vishuddhi type of occult. Realization does not require occult proficiency, therefore, vishuddi can be skipped if the object is enlightenment. But one desires to explore the wonders of life, then vishuddi opens up other unworldly dimensions to play with
  2. revelation of nature's secrets - repeating patterns of life are revealed, hidden natural laws are learned, Easter Eggs are stumbled upon
  3. knowing (being in the) past, present and future - science already hypothesizes that time is not linear. The past, present and future are part of a singularity. In vishuddhi, one realizes this.

    I'm not there yet. But I speculate that at this level, one has already dissolved his gross solidity and reached the subtle realms of reality as a speck of consciousness. That being the case, he can have the properties of light - similar to that of a photon. As one nears the speeds of light, time slows down (time dilation). But when he reaches the speed of light, time stops altogether (E=MC2). This is profound. This means that you are not heading into the future because time stopped. It also means you are not leaving the past because time has stopped. If the future is no longer in the future and the past is no longer in the past, they can only exist in the present. So, in this theory, all elements of time - past, present and future all exist at the same time. Trippy! If I can be one thing, I would like to be a photon and experience this.

    Another profound ramification is space itself. When one nears the speed of light, mass increases (E=MC2). But when one attains the speed of light, mass becomes omnipresent throughout the whole universe. Essentially, you become the universe. Your consciousness pervades all.
  4. communication - vishuddhi chakra is the centre of speech, because of its location in the throat region. One begins to articulate complex ideas into a cohesive, elegant and fluid verbal narrative
  5. enhancement of artistic virtues - musical and poetic abilities are enhanced
  6. attraction by ganas (disembodied beings) - ganas are distorted entities, looking very different from humans. They have limbs without bones coming out of odd parts of their bodies. Although they may look hideous, a person with an activated vishuddhi will not be frightened of these beings. It is said that Shiva prefers the company of ganas more than anyone else
  7. freedom from disease and old age - vishuddhi distributes amrita throughout the body to perform essential functions instead of going to the manipuraka into the digestive fire. This delays the aging process
  8. destruction of dangers - the universe looks after your well being

What We Feel is the Choice we Made
It is the centre where Shiva consumes the poison and the nectar, meaning that all experiences, good or bad are seen as part of an integrated whole. It is the centre that purifies and harmonizes all opposites. This chakra is at the level where poison and nectar, good and bad, are united into a common experience of bliss. At this level, we begin to see all phenomena as neutral. There is no good and there is no bad - just sensation. It is the value we put into sensation that makes it pleasant or unpleasant. Ultimately, what we feel (sadness, joy, exuberance, confusion, etc) is the choice we made. No one made us feel that way but ourselves - so stop blaming anyone for how you feel. If you still tell someone, "Why are you making me feel this way?", then obviously, you still don't get it.

The Shiva Legend
Legend about the vishuddhi has it that the suras/devas (angels) and asuras (demons) were in a continuing war, trying to dominate and destroy each other. Eventually, Vishnu (one of the 3 most important gods in the Hindu pantheon - the Preserver) tried to resolve the conflict by suggesting that they stir up the ocean to obtain amrita (the nectar of immortal life) which will guarantee their immortality. Many things arose to the surface including a poison (halahala) that pervaded the universe with its choking fumes. Vishnu approached Shiva (one of the 3 most important gods in the Hindu pantheon - the Destroyer) who was in deep meditation and asked his advice about the poison. Shiva merely picked up the poison and drank it in one gulp. This caused his throat to turn blue, but did no harm. This action is very symbolic and very meaningful. It indicates that at vishuddhi chakra and higher, even poison (the negative aspects of existence - bad, evil, war, destruction, etc.) can be integrated as part of a whole. All aspects of existence, whether poison or nectar, are part of the total scheme of being.

Another version of the story weaves a different and perhaps a more popular narrative. The story goes that in pursuit of the amrita, (nectar of immortality), the devas and the asuras churned the ocean using a serpent (Vasuki) as a churning string, Mount Mandara as a churning pole while it rested on the back of a great turtle (Kurma, from which the asana Kurmasana was named). Many riches turned up until a poison (Halahala) floated up and caused much harm to them. They went to Mount Kailash to seek the help of Shiva. Shiva, in a heroic feat, drank the poison but his wife Parvati quickly choked Shiva by the throat to prevent the poison from being ingested - thus Shiva is portrayed as having a blue throat. So, this particular version has nothing to do with visuddhi. But it makes a fascinating story. Makes me ponder too. If Shiva is a god, then how come poison can kill him?

Following your Bliss
The initiate tends to follow his bliss where his actions and thoughts are in accordance with his individual nature. He may realize that the rat race of the corporate world is not for him and may take the bold decision to leave his career behind and follow what excites him - poetry, cooking, music, flipping hamburgers, etc. In my experience, people who follow this route experience 3 things without exception (me included):

  1. they make less money
  2. they are happier
  3. they will not come back

Chakra Kshetram
The swadhisthana, manipuraka, anahata and vishuddhi chakras are also regarded as having physical counterparts on the front surface of the body. They lie directly in front of the corresponding chakras and on the same horizontal plane. Each of these frontal trigger points is called chakra kshetram. They can be regarded as reflections of the original chakra trigger points. The reflection of the swadhisthana chakra is called the swadhisthana kshetram. The same applies to the other three chakras - manipura, anahata and vishuddhi. These frontal centres or kshetrams are essential in kriya yoga techniques.

Sattvic Guna
Mooladhara and svadhisthana are generally tamasic (inactivity, dullness, lethargy). The manipura and anahata are associated with the qualities of rajas (passion and activity). The vishuddhi and the ajna chakras are sattwic chakras (purity, understanding, peace, goodness). It is an expression of both inner harmony and harmonious interactions with other people and the outside world in general. The initiate understands and feels that the universe and everything in it including himself are an integral part of this seamless singularity - the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the pleasant and the unpleasant.

Meditating on Visuddhi Cakra
If meditation on the visuddhi is done (I would add jalandara bandha and nabho mudra):

  1. with krama (right sequence) - benefits can be experienced to the extent desired (sankalpa)
  2. with the citta (mind) - the practitioner will lose all thoughts of this world (lose consciousness) and will be able to see the paramatma (divine) in all his glory through the light of the self.
  3. with ujjayi pranayama (breath control by restricting air passage through the throat) - caitanya (consciousness) is achieved and the practitioner gets svara vignanam (knowledge of sound)
  4. with the citta (mind) with the strength of kumbhaka (breath-hold) - he will attain a steady state of youth and enthusiasm

Asanas that Aid in Developing Visuddhi Chakra

  1. SarvangasanaSarvangasana Asana (shoulder stand) - Sarvangasana is the primary asana for the visuddhi chakra. This exerts a strong pressure on the thyroid gland in the throat region, which activates the vishuddhi chakra. The thyroid is given a good massage and its functioning is greatly improved.
  2. UstrasanaUstrasana (camel pose) - As a counter-pose from sarvangasana where the throat is compressed, ustrasana opens up the throat wide.
  3. buddhasanaBuddhasana - it will cure hunchback and will create proper blood circulation in all the nadis. It will clean the svadhishthana, anahata, visuddhi and brahmara guha cakras and gives complete assistance for kevala kumbhaka. buddhasana
  4. KapilasanaKapilasana - it will maintain the muladhara, svadhishthana, manipuraka, anahata, and visuddhi cakras in the proper sthiti (remaining stationary in a position or state). kapilasana
  5. gandabherundasanaGandabherundasana - the visuddhi and brahmaguha cakras will function correctly and this will take the mind to the state of savikalpa samadhi. gandabherundasana

My Pranayama and Meditation Practice
Because Vishuddhi gives rise to levitation, this becomes my intention (I know, this is not an ideal objective, but I'm a kid who needs to put his finger on the electrical outlet). On padmasana (full lotus), I would be on gyana mudra. On the ujjayi inhale, I focus the breath going into my throat, visualizing that the blue chakra is getting a much more intense blue radiance. When the lungs are full, I hold the breath (antara kumbhaka). I then engage the maha bandha mudra - squeezing my anal muscle (mula bandha), tucking-in my tummy and pulling all the organs up (uddiyana bandha), and taking my chin close to my chest (jalandara bandha). I then visualize that the blue radiance is expanding beyond my body until my body is a glowing blue light. I keep holding my breath and feel the blue radiance permeating everything inside and outside of me. On the slow exhale, I would feel my body lightening and lifting up, completely impervious to gravity. When the lungs are fully empty, I pause briefly to acknowledge the bahya kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale). I repeat the cycle for 20 minutes.

Ending Thoughts
There are many elements of the vishuddhi that mirror how I see things - the most compelling being that the 'good' and the 'bad' are really one singularity or two sides of one coin. One is an instrinsic part of the other. They need each other to make the whole. And the whole in its purity is really blissful. There are no more shitty things in life - because they all need to happen to realize a bigger picture, one in which everything is harmonized as a unity.

Example: When I got fired from my job (for telling my boss she was incompetent), I was in the middle of a nasty divorce. Not only was I broke but also had a 4-year $22,000 loan from the bank. I thought the world crumbled upon me. It was shitty!!! But then, my employer, by law, ended up giving me a severance pay of $22,000 because they soon realized they couldn't fire me for cause. Thus my 4-year debt was miraculously paid overnight by almost the same exact amount as my loan! So, I realized the shitty thing had to happen first to pave the way for the beneficial things to take place. If I wasn't fired, I would still be saddled with my loan, still work for an incompetent boss, and still be stuck in a work environment I already detested. I could not have scripted the way events unfolded. Indeed, the universe has a permeating consciousness that is so much greater than that of man - even beyond man's comprehension.

There have been so many instances where in hindsight, the shitty thing was actually a blessing in disguise. So, knowing what I know now, I appreciate all phenomena - the good and the bad. Even if the purpose of the bad is yet unknown to me, I take comfort knowing that it had to happen to manifest my bigger desire for a greater good. I no longer have any aversion to whatever is 'bad'. In all phenomena, good or bad, the balance of the mind is sustained and it remains collected and equanimous.

Am I now at this heightened level of awareness that I'm operating at the vishuddhi level? Yes and No. The fact that I experience elements of vishuddhi tells me I'm there. But there are episodes when I feel on survival mode - which means I'm at muladhara. I am therefore drawn to conclude that chakra activation is not linear. You experience chakra activation (in varying degrees) at the same time on all chakras.

I would also like to comment that even if the chakras do not fully get activated, the fact that you are working on them already provides many benefits - you get strong, don't get sick, don't get angry and perhaps even the aging process slows down. With slow and unrelenting practice, if and when the chakras open up, you are probably ready. This is a lot better than forcing the chakras to open up when you are not ready - and you freak out at all the things to begin to hear, see and perceive. All in good time. Work on deepening the practice and not on any esoteric goal (easier said than done).

--- 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

*** I would speculate that amrita is the same as adrenochrome, but they seem to originate from different sources. Amrita comes from the bindu chakra while adrenochrome comes from the pineal gland.



Kundalini Yoga for Vishuddhi Chakra by Lisa Grail



Kundalini Yoga for Vishuddhi Chakra by Dawn Rabey

Kundalini Yoga for Vishuddhi Chakra by Dawn Rabey

Musical Frequencies and Vibration - Meditation for Vishuddhi Chakra



Guided Meditation for Vishuddhi Chakra



"HAM" Chanting for Vishuddha Chakra



Reader Comments:

Kristijonas KlimaitisKris Lithuania
(Feb 19, 2022) Yoga Makaranda for Vishuddhi Chakra this would definitely unblock my Throat Chakra! 🙂

Jason RoblesJason Philippines
(Sep 22, 2020) Ito pala ang secret mo Git! Forever young!

TheLoneRiderTheLoneRider
(Sep 22, 2020) ...maraming (many) secrets. Calling my attention to the fountain of youth, I added this to the article:

"Another segue into maintaining the fountain of youth is by doing maha bandha mudra - 3 bandhas at the same time. When mula bandha is engaged, apanu vayu is pushed-up muladhara chakra. When uddiyana bandha is engaged, prana vayu is pushed down into muladhara as well. Apana vayu and prana vayu in the muladhara generate intense heat in the jatara agni and cause the essence of amrita (which have previously flowed into the digestive fire from vishuddhi), to rise up back to where it came from. Once back on the bindu, the jalandhara chakra (throat lock) locks the amrita before it comes down again. By preserving the amrita, the aging process is reversed or youth is sustained."

Happily forever young 🙂 Maybe I write a full blog just on the Fountain of Youth 🙂

Jason RoblesJason
(Sep 23, 2020) So the compression creates the heat and pushes it up. Pretty similar with Ahmad's duduk nafas breathing. But the missing link was jalandhara bandha for the retention of the amrita. Fascinating! I'll experiment on this today. Thanks Git 🙂

Ayn LatonioAyn Philippines
Vinyasa Krama by Srivatsa Ramaswami
(Sep 22, 2020) I feel like you’re that close to levitating Git. Well, after all Patanjali said that by mastering the Udana, the body levitates.

TheLoneRiderTheLoneRider
(Sep 22, 2020) Udana Vayu resides in the Vishuddhi. Hehe, I'll let you know when it happens 🙂

Ayn LatonioAyn
(Sep 23, 2020) Git exactly! Hahaha! Video please! 🙏🙏

Leave a comment?

Sources:

  1. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya - Yoga Makaranda
  2. Neeta Singhal - Meditation to Heal your Vishuddha Chakra
  3. Sadhguru - How to activate the Vishuddha Chakra
  4. Swami Satyananda Saraswati - A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya

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