We have mooooved! My bold move has evolved, I’ve also have plans of not moving – at least for a while so I hope to see you at my new website.

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Inspiration – Out of the Comfort Zone

“Out of the Comfort zone,
is the incubator of dreams.
It’s that uneasy anxiousness,
butterflies in your gut,
and pounding heart;
that is the alchemy of hope,
the watering of seeds,
and the prelude 

to the harvesting of fruit. 

Leave the comfort of inertia,
and the languid pools of thought
not ripening into action,
and move into the turbulence. 

A turbulence that rearranges rocks,
and creates a new landscape
chiseled by storm. 

It is here that creations emerge
that will delight your spirit,

and move your heart into contentment.”

– Bill E. Goldberg

How to get from Chiang Mai to Laos

So I just got back last week from backpacking about Laos, after feeling a bit unwell I think now I can really get back into gear and catch up on some post ideas that I’ve been having!

I guess with all the travel experience I’ve been getting I might as well share this wealth of knowledge. =)

So how does one get to Laos from Chiang Mai? Especially for those that are backpacking around South East Asia or even need to do a visa run and are up in the North of Thailand. The closest border town in Laos so happened to be Ban Huoay Xai which we would then stay for about a week doing some volunteering at Daauw Home.

For one thing it’s great to be back on the road and going someplace new but before we got ourselves to Laos my friend wanted to stop at some places for temple seeing.

In Chiang Mai there is only one bus company that goes to Chiang Rai, Green Bus which has a bus every hour or so (with varying bus classes from the cheapest being 140 thb and the more expensive one being almost 300 thb).
FYI: I recommend trying to buy tickets either really early or the day before, since we perchance had to stay an extra night in Chiang Mai since for a bizarre reason all tickets were taken! We did however meet some interesting people as we waited on standby.

The bus ride is about 3 hours and it will stop at two different bus stations. Bus station II is the new bus stop and Bus station I is the old one located at the centre of the city.

If you have the time you can make a few stops on the way to Chiang Rai…here were some of the things we did:

  • See the clock tower do its performance either at 7pm, 8pm or 9pm (actually we didn’t have time to do the clock tower since we left on the same day to Chiang Khong)
  • Visit the White Temple
  • Visit the Black Museum aka Baan Dam

From Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong

There are buses every hour from the Old bus station in Chiang Rai, first one at 8:30 and last one at 17:30 and it costs 65 baht and it’s about a 2hr bus ride to the border town.


bus from chiang rai to chiang khong
Our ‘swanky’ bus from Chiang Rai to Chiang Khong


The interior of our swanky bus FYI the bus door didn’t close the entire way

From there after some online hotel research we opted for a guesthouse called Namkhong Guesthouse and Restaurant which had a twin fan room w/shared bathroom for 200 THB.

From Chiang Khong to Laos it’s pretty simple, it’s a quaint little border town and if you need anything else before getting into Laos I suggest you go to the 7-11 since everything in Laos will be slightly more the morning we took the hotel’s van to the Friendship Bridge.

Also if you cross the border after 5pm they charge you an extra 2USD processing fee. We crossed early in the morning (around 8-9am) which was also good since there aren’t that many people crossing as well.

For the VOA (visa-on-arrival) everyone will get 1 month validity and the cost depends on what country you are from. For my case mine cost me $30 USD but if you are from the US/UK it is $35.

After you do the border bit on the Laos side they charge you 20.000 KIP to take the bus over the Friendship Bridge and from there you can take the numerous tuk tuk’s into town or over to the pier at Huay Xai for the slow boat.






A thought to myself

I feel sometimes during this life trip of mine that I’m trying to reach back within myself for that essence that thing which makes me pretty unique.

I guess a better way to exemplify would be that for example I’ve always enjoyed photography, done a few classes back in high school and university along with having memories of my dad tinkering with his old school Nikon and making me take part in a Taiwanese community photography events. For my photography I guess in more honesty is that I have an idea of a what would be a beautiful shot, an interesting angle or even a effect but I still somewhat lack that unique stylistic edge that would make my photos come out as a viewpoint that could be easily identified as mine.

I guess we travel at times to also “re identify” who we are, going for someplace unfamiliar to. See that if it stirs our inner forgotten familiarity. 

It is quite amusing – at least to myself how the more that I seem to travel the less I know except for the fact that I’d like to keep going at this pace. Though tiring it is enriching and so soul gratifying as you transverse outwards and inspire the forgotten within.

So what’s “radical chic” exactly?

With Chinese New Year holiday finally ending not only have most of the Chinese tourists left Chiang Mai but with it the expats that work in China. A couple of these expats are great friends and made Thailand part of their short holiday itinerary to visit yours truly. This of course is grand considering that one of the things I miss the most from living in China are the friends I made over the years living there.

One of these friends, Giulia was actually my ex-co-worker and I’m very glad to have stuck out in China for that final year for she is practically a 4th culture kid. I’m only 3rd so she’s way ahead of the curve! Though it was unfortunate that when I was Norway I did not have the opportunity to skip over to Stockholm and visit her over the Christmas holiday – we managed to catch up in Thailand!

So funny thing, there we are sitting around and just chatting then she suddenly calls me radical chic. Sounds interesting enough..borderline hipster I would guess so what is this actually?

She explained it to me but of course I beat her to punch and saw what wikipedia had to say…”Radical chic is a term coined by journalist Tom Wolfe in his 1970 essay “Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s,” to describe the adoption and promotion of radical political causes by celebrities, socialites, and high society. The concept has been described as “an exercise in double-tracking one’s public image: on the one hand, defining oneself through committed allegiance to a radical cause, but on the other, vitally, demonstrating this allegiance because it is the fashionable, au courant way to be seen in moneyed, name-conscious Society.””

Now that’s a bit extreme and off a completely different tangent..let me try to use the pic below to illustrate the humour and possibly what I understand radical chic to be.

Mr Coconut & I
Mr Coconut & I found a connection of our own at Phi Phi Island (he’s also radical chic with his Ray bans)

Being radical chic is being a bit of a oxymoron in your lifestyle, that you are leading a somewhat unconventional path.

Giulia’s example:
I’m currently on ‘professional transition’ and haven’t found out exactly where I am going to set down my roots but though I more easily considered to be a backpacker (amazingly fitting all my belongings for the at least 3 months of travelling into a 60L backpack), staying in cheap hostels and trying to live at a cheaper standard I have a iPhone & Macbook with me to work on as I try to take the day by day instead of over planning what to do next with all this sudden free time that I have.

And in spite of that all I’m going to continue onwards on my bold journey, zagging instead of zigging. Travelling forth until I find my “WOW”.

Hope this explanation makes sense and that others are also fellow radical chic travellers!

A thoughtful and beach bumming

I have so many posts in my mind that I want to put out and share with this vast web but I think for today I will hold the reins and let out the many thoughts that seem to preoccupy my mind. So bear with me for the upcoming unconventional zag and zigging of my thoughts.

I’ve been going through a bit of a emotional roller coaster in a more introspective sense, I guess my transition from a solo backpacker into a group backpacker kicked up some dust. My first month I dived into Chiang Mai doing most of what I wanted to do and didn’t have the time for in the past along with trying out things that I’ve never done before. 

To which the most valid point was the trying out things I haven’t done before, such as my meditation retreat, doing DIY craft short courses, the intriguing classes at The Yoga Tree. It has become a special little place for me, where I not only met but also connected with like-minded individuals. Not only did I begin my yoga exploration there I’ve been trying out other forms of getting back in touch with my essence with Dance Mandala (a dancing meditation) and perhaps the one that was most impacting was the Biodanza 3 day festival. 

So what exactly is Biodanza? Well the way I would put it that is another type of dancing meditation though you act individually and also as a group. The objective of it is actually to help harmonize but also creating a better link to oneself and how they can relate to others. It’s all feel good emotions that are guided by a facilitator and the music tracks that are selected to tap into different emotional & physical aspects of one’s life. No words are used, the connection is created via physical contact, spontaneous cues and lots of hugging. 

Perhaps it’s the part of me that grew up in a Taiwanese household, the losses and emotional scars that I’ve had in life that had hindered my natural ability to connect through touch. Reminds me of two different occasions where two great friends joked about how tense I would get when touched.  I don’t know what happened along the way because if I look back I do recall being terribly affectionate or at least being someone who was willing to give it away but again I guess one that losing my father will be one that seems to define me. I know I shouldn’t let it but alas, 10 years later the wound remains – just a tad achy.

  1. My high school best friend, Michele who was/is a massive hugger and has a very united family used to always come up with massive hugs or just linking arms which for me took a while to get over for her parents would do the same to me.
  2. Martin who would often joke that the act of putting his hand of my shoulder would just make me instantly tense up.

Perhaps it’s a culmination of all that I had been doing the month and then building up but after 3 days of intensive dancing, bonding, eye contact and physical contact I came out the other end pleasantly surprised to be comfortable in my own skin. Something that perhaps I haven’t felt in a long time. The feeling that I got of being comfortable in my own skin is that there are no judgements, no critique, no overthinking but just enjoying the present moment as it came to me. I noticed that this mindset liberated my mind into “just being” instead of always going off loose and examining everything. Wait, to be more precise it’s all more of my mind going into the past or darting far into the future instead of just taking it step by step.  I will be eternally thankful and perhaps connected to my fellow “Biodanzers” for the soft moments and sharing our energies because they promoted to me a sensation of lightless, letting go of worry.

With that feeling I then moved off hugging adieu to the like-minded souls and ventured south to Bangkok and then the beaches of the Andaman Seas.

It was a warm reassurance that the years that I spent in China weren’t all in vain because I have such great friends that I hope I can keep for life that had the time and the ability to come visit and experience Thailand with.

These are just some tidbits of things that I have added into my being (or is it actually things that have always been within me and are finally blooming?)

on a voyage of rediscovering personal bliss

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