Songkran is one of the three occasions that Thailand celebrates as New Year. And I had a plan. It was to be a legendary road trip. I had gotten a hammock with mosquito net and fly sheet, so that I could sleep anywhere where there are trees trees—which is everywhere in Thailand. I had my motorbike loaded up. I had weeks off work. The vision was big: ride as far south as I could, perhaps spending half of each day on the bike, and maybe even get as far as Malaysia.
Except it didn’t go according to plan. It was April, which is the hottest time of year here. It’s exhausting to spend even half a day on a motorbike, in the blazing sun, blasting down the roads which only get hotter as you move further south. So instead of finding some pristine spot of nature to pitch my hammock camp, I went looking for a cheap guesthouse. A cold water shower can sometimes feel like all the luxury you would ever need. After reading a novel on my Kindle, getting a good night’s sleep, and then breakfast, I got back on the road, and wondered where I would be sleeping the next night.
When I got near Cha-am, which is under 200 km from Bangkok, I headed for a small national park that I had already researched and marked on my GPS. It was almost deserted, but the few staff left said it was fine for me to stay there in my hammock. I dumped my stuff and went for a walk around this small park.
And that was it. No more! Sometimes we’ve got to toughen-up and be strong, but sometimes we have to go with the flow, which is always towards the sea, and find somewhere comfortable to lay low. I found another guesthouse, parked my bike inside and decided to stop trying to be a hardened woodsman and start enjoying things the Thai way.