I spend a lot of time stressed. Sure I am living in a Buddhist country with a devil may care attitude but coming from a Christian background and being agnostic makes it not so easy just to slide into the Thai way of life. I thought after 10 years here, I would be able to say Mai Bpen Rai (It does not matter in Thai) and just be able to kick back and enjoy things. This weekend Fhon and I went to a Temple Wat Pha Lat so I could relax and listen to the Waterfalls near the Temple. I had not been there before so, it was a new experience for me.
The only thing I do not like about these areas is that to find something that is quiet, you really have to march off the beaten pathways to find something that is not just populated by tourists. I really need to go to very out of the way places these days to find something that is peaceful. I find just showing up to a place that is packed with tourists difficult so most the time my wife and I do not go very far from our village as everything is very local and quiet in this area. When your mental health is not good, going into areas that just make you feel uncomfortable is not a good idea. With China now bringing in millions of tourists, it is hard not to find somewhere that is quiet not far away from the city. With our village being quiet and away from it all, it brings me much peace.
So this weekend was the first time in several months Fhon and I went for a long ride away from our village. We went to the Temple first and then we did the Samoeng Loop that takes about two hours to ride and about halfway around it starting to pour down rain. Still, it did not stop us from having a good time (at that point). Fhon likes to sing on the back of the motorbike and I like to enjoy the feeling of the sun and the open road to give my mind a rest. It is a way I destress going for long rides. Nearly every afternoon of the week, Fhon and I go for a 30-minute ride just to get away and enjoy the day.
I left Australia a long time ago to get away from the fact I was stressed and my illness was not getting any better and I thought that in the future I may not be able to travel. Now a long way from home, one thing I have found out is you cannot run from your past as it always follows you. I am just 10 years older and the same problems I had before are still with me. I have just found that I need different ways to manage them and what has been a lifesaver for me has been these afternoon 30-minute motorbikes rides as it gives me a chance to get myself together and I think that is something most of us do not do. Give ourselves some time every day just time to relax away from the daily grind and let our minds rest. Our mental health is very important. We look after that and in many ways, other things are taken care of.
During our ride, we stopped at the Royal Rose Garden
We had a barely average cup of hot coffee there but the food looked good as there were many tables full of Thai people having a break away from City for the weekend eating there. There were hundreds of rose bushes here and it was pretty to look at. It has started to rain again so we had to make a rush for home as we still had about an hour of riding left. The rain just got heavier so we had to stop for half an hour at a truck stop. At the truck stop, we met a Motorcycle group that was also waiting out the rain by drinking a few beers. It seems the drinking and driving message is not really listened to and everyone was riding a very big, very expensive bike. I only ride a Honda PCX 150 and it is very small but I need a automatic bike for heavy traffic. One day I will put up GoPro footage of our traffic in town.
Another foreigner stopped at the truck stop on his bike and he was only a very young, very good looking man. Some of the Motorcycle club riders were female and they were all commenting in Thai how ‘yummy’ this guy looked. It was really funny to listen to.
By this time we were both getting a little cold from the rain and I was looking forward to getting home. So much for it being a stress-free afternoon. The rain on the road was making it slippery and I had to slow down a lot and it made the trip home a great deal longer.
When we got home to San Kamphaeng, the rain was still following us and today it is dank and overcast with a lot of heavy rain. It was in the end, not a very relaxing weekend drive due to the weather. I would recommend most people to do the Samoeng Loop when they come to Chiang Mai just to have a look at the Mountains if they have time. Just don’t do it during the wet season as it is uncomfortable riding in the wet. The funny part to this all is I went away looking for a bit of peace and quiet over the day and in the end, I just stressed myself due to the weather conditions. Today I am at home very tired from yesterday doings and the fact that it is dark and rainy, has not made my mood any better. Still, I did enjoy the Temple and the peace that did bring.