Submitted my research proposal, finished up a manuscript, and can feel the toll on my back after hours of just sitting and writing and thinking. Bangkok’s heat is also just too much for me. Although I really like warmer temperatures, my liking ends when the thermometer reaches above 35 degrees C. Mid-day temperatures here now feel like 45 degrees C. Time to escape from the big city and to take care of my physical and mental well being: Yoga on the beach in Sam Roi Yod, biking, swimming and walking!
Sam Roi Yod is about 300 km to the south of Bangkok in the Province of Pranburi. It is a nice, laid-back place close to a big National Park and is still not overrun by tourists or has not yet experienced the hotel-at-each-spot-close-to-the-beach-building-boom. Sam Roi Yod can easily be reached by train or bus from Bangkok to Hua Hin, from where it is a 30 minutes taxi ride.
This time I took a train instead of one of the mini buses, whose drivers are among the most crazy, one can imagine. The train ride however is nice and fairly comfortable if one chooses the air conditioned express train. Breakfast and lunch (not the best though) is served, the train seems to be on time and it is possible to see parts of Thailand not just from the highways, but from an entirely different perspective. Not so much towns and cities and new buildings, and endless roads and traffic jams, but paddy fields, plantations, canals, small villages and also quite a few really shabby and poor dwellings. Arriving in Hua Hin is also a very pleasant feeling, a bit like stepping back in time, when trains were much more important than cars.
Jiaranai Aroka, a most lovely woman, runs a small yoga school in Sam Roi Yod close to the beach. She also rents out rooms in her big house (or her whole big house with swimming pool), has bikes for rent, makes yummy fruit shakes and prepares delicious food.
Since not many people had signed up for Yoga classes, I was often the only one – what a luxury! 6:30 am may also be a bit early for most people, but it is the best time of the day, cool, quiet and with beautiful sunrises over the islands. My days were thus filled with yoga once or twice a day, biking, swimming, and walking. And since the wifi connection was so good at Jiaranai’s place, I even managed to get quite some work done!