a seeker in search of Easter Eggs

Slice of Life

On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light


I already have money. I'm not fishing for charity. This blog is about the benevolent nature of our universe and about trusting the process to harness that. (But if you thought about lending me money, love you - it's the thought that counts)

Jun 21, 2021

On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light

Location Google Map: Chiang Mai, Thailand

GOOD SAMARITAN - a good soul who willfully comes to help whether solicited or not. Orlana was my Good Samaritan.

ENABLER - a Good Samaritan who comes out of the woodwork and thinks he/she is acting out of his free will but is unknowingly doing things in compliance to the will of the universe - what Einstein labeled, "a consciousness manifest in the universe that is greater than that of man." They are sent. They unknowingly come with a divine mandate.

Running out of Money
The last time I was problematic about money was the entire 2018 - that was a very trying year. Since that time, there was always money in my pocket - never a whole lot, but enough for the next few months. This year, it has hung precariously low. This June, it got worse - I didn't have enough money to buy even the basics like coffee and laundry detergent. When I ran out of underwear, I had to use a dish-washing detergent. I usually fast one day/week, so that came in handy when food in the fridge got scarce. When a friend invited for lunch, I feigned having to run errands. Another friend invited to lunch but was quick to say it was her treat (she didn't know), and all I could say was, "Well, if you insist" LOL!!! On top of all that, I had to have B1900 for my visa extension in a week's time. What the hell do I do now?

On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light
egg-tomato-onion lunch

NO Charity
Except for a few trusted confidants, I didn't tell anyone. It's not because I'm embarrassed - this is my self-induced roller coaster ride. My friends are all well-meaning, and they may not be able to help themselves in extending assistance. No matter how pure their volition is, it's still charity - and that's not the point. I don't subscribe to charity.

I was never comfortable with charity...not even from my family. I'd rather starve than make that phone call. Yes, I'm well aware it's pride - yogic or not. If I really want money, I can always go back to the private sector and get a real job. But this lifestyle is my choice. I take ownership of it.

Pushing the Limits
I'm doing this because I'd like to push the limits. At what point will my universe come to the rescue? After missing one meal? Maybe for the first time, never? It's a privilege to dare fate or surrender to the bigger forces at play in an all-or-nothing gambit. Not even rich people enjoy this privilege.

It's no different from pushing the limits of the Wim Hof breath-hold. How long can I hold my breath before my instinct overrides my will and involuntarily activates breathing?

Worried About Not Being Worried
Weird, but running out of money never got me worried - not one bit. People around me who know are probably more worried for me. And that's what I find worrisome - that not having money doesn't worry me when it should. Why? Because my benevolent universe has always been bailing me out without fail in the last 9 years I had been traveling with hardly enough money. It does so in the dying seconds and gives exactly what I need - no more, no less, as if to toy with me.

Going Down the Wire
When my money got down to B25, I couldn't buy a meal anymore. I tried looking for B5 inside my backpacks and drawer - I need at least B30 for a meal. I found some loose change in one of the rooms, but it wasn't mine, so I didn't touch it. I still had 2 days' supply of food in the fridge anyway - mostly eggs and onions/garlic. I figured it would still take 3 days before I completely run out of food. That's when intervention happened.

MikeAnd Then Mike Came Along
Mike showed up at the hotel. When he asked, I told him I haven't gone to Immigration yet for my visa extension. He is sharp and perceptive. He pulled out his wallet but I told him, "Mike, let me wait until my B25 and food run out. I'd like to take this all the way. But after missing one meal, I won't be shy coming to you for a loan." I wanted to find out if my universe will send the proverbial ENABLER who will come to save the day for me.

But Mike could not be dissuaded. He gave me some money and I accepted on condition that he will accept my money when I pay him back. The money is nothing to him, but he will accept my money because he knows I need to save face.

Mike blogs:
  1. 2022: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2022
  2. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Oct 10, 2022
  3. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Jul 31, 2022
  4. April Chronicles 2022 Apr 30, 2022
  5. February Chronicles 2022 Feb 28, 2022
  6. 2021: A Year In Review Dec 31, 2021
  7. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  8. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  9. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  10. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  11. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  12. 2020: A Year In Review Dec 31, 2020
  13. Shifting Peoplescape Of Chiang Mai July 2020
  14. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  15. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24-Mar24, 2019
  16. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  17. Overnight in Pai with Mike Jan 1, 2019
  18. 2018: A Year In Review Dec 31, 2018
  19. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Dec 12, 2018 - Jan 1, 2019
  20. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  21. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  22. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  23. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016

When It Rains, It Pours
The day after, I received a 4-figure amount from a yoga class I teach (unsolicited), and 3 days after that, I received a bigger amount from yet another source, as an English tutor (unsolicited). Now I can breathe. The trial is over. I have enough to sustain me for a couple of months.

Why the Song-and-Dance?
But the question begs to be asked:

If my universe was going to save the day anyway, why even subject me to that cliff-hanger predicament in the first place?

Knowing the benevolent nature of my universe, I speculate the following:

  1. to keep me lean, alert, nimble and healthy - in our human history, our ancestors lived as hunters and gatherers where they experience feast and famine. There was no guarantee of food supply the way we live life now...just opening up the fridge and there's food! It's very easy to fall into a lethargic complacency.

    By restricting money and food intermittently, it lets me go through the famine phase. In my own parlance, "a hungry goldfish is a healthy goldfish". It's a wake-up call to snap out of my rut. Perhaps I was getting too comfortable in my lavish hotel-living (thank you, Mike).
  2. as a reminder that it looks after my well-being - seriously speaking, when there is no struggle, abundance feels like an entitlement. I needed to be reminded abundance is a privilege. I'm just the lucky one. When I know that the power that created the Big Bang is looking after my well-being, there is simply no reason to worry about anything....nothing at all!
  3. sense of humour - my universe has an unmistakeable humor in toying with me. This is one such with its signature. I've seen it too many times to not see it this time.

Ending Thoughts

Even though my intention was to endure hunger until an ENABLER reveals himself, and this was seemingly thwarted when Mike gave me unsolicited survival money, an epiphany just hit me. He did not intervene in the process. He was an integral part of the process the entire time, as he has always been. He is the ENABLER - I was casting my sight far and wide, somehow oblivious that The One was right in front of me.

I also realize that by accepting his money (and no one else), I waive my 'precious' pride. I cannot do that with family or siblings - but I feel at ease putting my guard down with him. He is one of the rare few whose kindness comes with no strings.

The Abyss
It has been 2.5 years since I came close to the edge where I see the abyss when I look down. The blood rushes, adrenaline is triggered, and excitement fills the air. And I'm not afraid. My mind remains calm and equanimous - like finding bliss in the eye of the storm. Very few people get to experience this rush and keep a balanced mind. I didn't realize just how much I miss it.

--- 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

Reader Comments:

Angry FriendAngry Friend USA
(Jun 25, 2021) This morning I read this blog and immediately I was filled with anger, which I wasn't feeling before I read it. I acknowledge the anger I was feeling, the many reasons for it, and asked myself what I should do instead. It might not be well received, but I have to clear my head and heart.

What was your intention behind writing this piece? Was it to show that the Universe is always benevolent to everyone? Or was it to show that the Universe is always benevolent to Gigit? Was it to show that Abundance is always all around, or was it show that the Universe eventually bends to Gigit's will?

Gigit - my intention? That I have nurtured an intimate relationship with my universe. I am at one with it. I now understand the language it uses to communicate with me (aha-moments, excitement, a flash in my mind, sending ENABLERS, etc.). That this universe is benevolent, it is playful, it has a compassionate tough-love and even a sense of humor. I would even go as far as saying that its reason for being, is to look after my well-being (and yours, and everybody else's) - but only if I let it. It means doing my due-diligence - e.g. if I want to win the lottery, I have to buy a ticket first (an oversimplified analogy).

"Universe eventually bends to Gigit's will?" - I have to give that one a chuckle. It's the same consciousness. When that is realized, you begin to co-create and architecture reality. No forging or bending required. All you have to do is put your intention into it.

Yes, these are some of the things that came up for me as I read it. And I feel you've missed the "lesson" you're perhaps trying to impart.

Gigit - You just said you don't know what my intention is, but you already know what lesson I'm imparting. Moreover, you already passed the verdict that I missed it. Hmmm...I find your judgement interesting indeed!

Yes, Mike was The Enabler in THIS case, and yet so are all the other people in your life if you just let them be. You don't write about what you would do differently in the future. You just tell the story of what was.

Gigit - exactly! I'm only talking about THIS case and no other case. I envisioned 2 ENABLERS, but MIKE jumped the line (of course he didn't know he was already part of the process) to be the first. I find that compelling. At the end of this episode, I had 3 ENABLERS.

As an example, let me remind you that you were there for me when I needed someone. You didn't know that I needed help until I asked for help. But I had to ask. I had to swallow my own pride, stretch beyond my own inadequacies and insecurities, and ask. You came to my aid without question. Yet, you yourself don't ask and in this case, didn't ask. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see anywhere in your blog that you're willing to ask your friends if it ever happens again in the future.

Gigit - 2 things about me asking for help.

1) my bad, I should have defined what an ENABLER is. I added the definition now...above. Had you helped me because I asked, then it disqualifies you as an ENABLER - you would instead be a GOOD SAMARITAN (big distinction). An ENABLER does not even know he is part of my karmic process. He doesn't know he was sent by my universe to come to my aid and look after me. He just thinks he did things from his free will. And my point in this episode is to identify who these ENABLERS are. They were 'sent'. And because of that, I know who are the people I am karmically entangled with - because they had been filtered from many possible ones.

2) it's just not in my nature to ask (Mike is the only exception). Call it pride, arrogance, ego. As I mentioned in this blog, I'd rather starve than make that phone call. When my cliff dive failed a few years ago and I thought I might die, I looked for a cave to self-heal or not come out at all.

In fact, to the contrary, I see the exact same pattern - Gigit is going to push the limits, which is the opposite of humility - already playing out in your remarks in the comments section when you reply to your 'friend'. What, and where's the lesson here?

Gigit - humility is not the moral lesson in this blog - it's my intimate relationship with my universe. Let's not talk about apples when the subject is oranges.

Since you assert that I have ego (opposite of humility - as you say), I implore upon you to introduce me to one who does not. I acknowledge that I have ego and make no apologies for it. I am in this existence where ego is part of my survival tool. In measured dozes, with full awareness, ego is in itself an ENABLER. Of late, I come across 'conscious people' who cast people with ego to burn at the stake not knowing they are drowning in theirs. It's a concept the self-righteous ones throw around from a moral pulpit. Enough with this ego hypocricy. If I evolve any further, I will come to a point where ego would no longer be necessary. But at this point, I'm not there yet - ego is part of my grounding. I'm still on my ABC.

Your words: "Except for a few trusted confidants, I didn't tell anyone." How many people in your life have you just told that they are not trusted confidants? Well, me for one. Is this something to be proud of?

Gigit - they were told for 2 reasons: a) I trusted them and b) I was already physically with them. I would have told you too if you were around - but you know why you couldn't be around.

You write that "when struggling, abundance feels like an entitlement", and that you "needed to be reminded that it's a privilege". From my perspective, it's neither. If it "feels like entitlement" when you're struggling, it's because you already feel at a deep level that abundance comes with entitlement. If you need to be "reminded that it's a privilege", then you're re-enforcing the "entitlement" mindset.

Gigit - please read the line again. It says, "when there is no struggle, abundance feels like an entitlement" - exact opposite of what you thought you read.

The truth is that Abundance is our birthright, accessible through our state of mind and our feelings. We might not always think or feel Abundant, yes that's true, but that's the invitation to remember who we truly are and change the way we think and feel. When we think any different, other than it's our birthright, we're already out of alignment with our true nature: We're fixating our attention on limited-ness; whereas we are already unlimited and unbounded.

Gigit - I agree that abundance is accessible but you need to work on that access. It's not served on a silver platter - so I won't go as far as saying it's a birthright. Working on that access is like putting saddle-time when learning how to ride a bicycle. But once learned, you cannot unlearn it.

My intention here, is to remind you of who you truly are.

Gigit - had I forgotten that, I would have panicked when the fridge got half-full or I would have panicked when money dipped below a king's ransom. On the contrary, I have supreme confidence in abundance that I am playing chicken with my universe (it's actually a playful dance). And all that is done with a calm and balanced mind. I'm pushing the limits by completely running out of money and skipping a meal in eager anticipation of what its next move will be. It's a chess game with playful banters on the side.

By not accepting the small change you found, you're saying No to what's already there... you're saying to a benevolent Universe, "No, not that, I want it a different way", when in truth the Universe has already provided. Who do you think put the change there for you to find in the first place, especially when you had asked?

Gigit - those loose change were in someone's private room. I was looking for the can opener which I knew was in that room - and I have full authority to enter that room. Had I taken even Baht 5, it would be called stealing. But you were not aware of that part.

Your response to the 'friend' who offers to loan you B2000 for the visa extension is a missed opportunity that you again push away, instead of simply acknowledging and thanking, and perhaps saying with humility, "Maybe next time". Instead, you emphasize in red with 3 exclamation marks that they "didn't read the blog", and that "it has powerful lessons". Your 'friend' IS the lesson. Your 'friend' is someone, disguised as the Universe, reaching out to you, and again you've thwarted its attempts by saying "No, not that, I want it a different way'. What's more, how does this 'friend' end up feeling? Do they feel more involved, more caring for you? I don't know who that 'friend' is, but I will speculate no. I will speculate that they feel hurt. As do I. I don't feel more involved, or more caring. I'm feeling angry.

Gigit - When she offered, I already had some money - which made my refusal moot and academic. Having money is also the reason why I went live with my blog. If I were still struggling, I wouldn't go live with the story. When I wrote, "You didn't read the blog", I actually had a big affectionate smile on my face. That gesture was sweet and touching. That's why I also added "LAB-U ". I didn't mention this, but when I saw her this morning, I asked to give her a hug and I went on to squeeze her hand. I told her, "You look after me!"

Even the blog photo you used to capture attention - i.e. influence someone to take notice of your blog - your egg-tomato-onion lunch - is a declaration and reinforcement of limitation... not Abundance. What's the message that you're sending? To me, to others, to the Universe? That's not the look of someone who has experienced Abundance. That seems to be an attempt at manipulating the feelings of others, contrary to what the message is. How different might this declaration of Abundance be if the photo actually reflected Abundance?

Gigit - that picture was simply to depict that I was on my last few meals as I was eagerly awaiting what my universe would do next. It was NOT to showcase abundance. I was willing to wait (while doing my due diligence) until I miss one meal. When that happens, I would already call Mike for a loan - which makes him a GOOD SAMARITAN. But as it happened, MIKE instinctively showed up at the hotel and provided assistance without me asking or even hinting - which makes him an ENABLER. Big distinction between GOOD SAMARITAN and ENABLER.

The trial isn't over. It's only over for now. The lessons haven't been learned. The speculations you write about are not it. True Abundance begins with Appreciation & Acknowledgement for what already is. Look around you at the real Abundance... friends who are waiting in the wings to help however they can, if only you ask.

Gigit - you are too quick to pass judgement that I haven't learned the 'true' lessons and that my speculations are all wrong. At this point in the game, abundance is already a given. This story is not about abundance or its absence - that is a red herring at this point. Again, it's about the ENABLERS, the tough love, the presence, and relationship. Who will be sent? Who are the knighted ENABLERS? This concept is abstract to most people.

Here's a completely left-field thought I just had: Did you know that I have over $500 locked up in PayPal that I can't easily move? No, you didn't know, because you didn't ask for help. What if by you asking, I could have helped you out by transferring some funds to you, funds that are just sitting there right now, and perhaps you had a way to convert that to cash for yourself, and then pay me back in cash when you were feeling secure again? That way we all win. We never know how we are all connected until we explore the possibilities. Your "trial", could have been my opportunity. We could have helped each other. And I'm sure that I'm not the only one affected by these threads of interconnected-ness. Can you see what's possible, the possibilities lying behind the scenes, all of the time?

Gigit - I never doubted for a second you will be there had I asked. I find that reassuring. THANK YOU !!! But again, it's not about asking for help. I won't. I am not desperate as I can always go back to the private sector and get a job. This is about pushing the limits on how my universe re-architectures reality (or as you put it, 'bending the universe to my will' - that really gives me a chuckle), knowing who will be 'sent', getting a validation it's still there.

The Universe is Always saving the day, all of the time. It's you that stops the flow; and now, possibly with a friend too. Yes I'm angry. But I can change the way I feel. The gift you've brought me is the opportunity to declare my own stance on what Abundance truly means for me. You've invited this response by writing what you wrote in your blog. My hope is that the invitation to 'point out your blind-spots', and my carrying through with it now, doesn't get in the way of all the lessons that could be learned here, together, as friends.

Gigit - Bottomline? I know you were hurt that I didn't tell or ask you. If you were around, I would have told you about my predicament, but I would never ask - I just don't. And I know, beyond any doubt, that you would be there for me - the same way I was there for you. We have a special friendship that I treasure, perhaps more than you realize. Why am I talking with the gloves off? Because at this point, that is the language you will understand. When you ever find your way back to Chiang Mai, let's paint the town red. Nothing but love, Bro

Suzi SuchiSuzi USA
(Jun 24, 2021) So happy it worked out....once again

Karen Shoujun XuGood Samaritan China
(Jun 24, 2021) I am asking whether you need me to lend you 2000B for the visa extension fee?

(Jun 24, 2021) You didn't read the blog !!! Read has powerful lessons. Lab-U

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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
  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:
  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
  4. [an error occurred while processing this directive]
  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 Chronicles 2022 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. March Chronicles 2022 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. February Chronicles 2022 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. Wicked Game: Anger and Pain August 19, 2019
  236. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  237. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  238. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  239. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  240. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  241. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  242. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  243. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  244. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  245. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  246. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  247. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  248. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  249. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  250. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  251. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  252. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  253. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  254. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  255. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  256. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  257. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  258. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  259. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  260. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  261. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  262. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  263. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  264. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  265. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  266. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  267. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  268. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  269. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  270. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  271. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  272. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  273. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  274. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  275. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  276. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  277. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  278. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  279. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  280. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  281. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  282. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  283. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  284. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  285. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  286. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  287. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  288. 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

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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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