My wife and I have traveled to both the northern and southern regions of Thailand, but this holiday season it was decided was to explore locally. Our home is called D&G Resort and it is located in central Phitsanulok province. The plan was to head as far north in the province as possible near the Laos border for a couple of nights of camping.
Soon we are close to our destination.
Having lived in Thailand for many years now, there is not much that makes me say wow anymore. Actually, I don’t get excited much about anything. My wife says that I am getting old. I am and it’s fun.
“Holy shit!” is what I first said. Seeing the above scene at Phu Soi Dao National Park immediately reminded me of my time with Uncle Sam as a paratrooper and then walking seemingly uphill for miles with a ton of gear. Now, I am glad that I am getting older and don’t have to do that for a living anymore.
After these Thai porters were loaded up, they begin the trek which normally takes about four hours. They get paid B30 per kilogram. Once the recycled rice bags are packed the loads can weigh up to 50 kilograms. When asked why they don’t wear any shirts the response was that shirts get too sweaty and causes the bags to slip down while walking.
One guy in his 40s said that he tries to get as many trips as possible throughout the month to help supplement his farming income. It depends on the weather he said.
Look at the shoes these teenage boys are wearing. Right off the bat it shows me that they are poor. One is in flip-flops and two of the porters are wearing brown school shoes. Many families can only afford one pair of shoes for each child and just buy the shoes that is part of the local school uniform policy. All these boys would be wearing trendy sneakers if they could.
Along with his girlfriend’s name tattooed on his chest, this young porter also wears a Buddhist amulet for good luck.
There are job opportunities available. $45 for only working ½ day. Enjoy Mother Nature on the 4-mile stroll. Strong back and knees required.
The Thai bearers did not have to worry about carrying our equipment as we were definitely not going to do that trek. Instead we found a spot in a different national park where no one was around and setup the tent. Laos can almost be seen in the cloudy background. We tried to sleep but the cold wind almost collapsed our tent several times throughout the night.
After only one day we headed back to D&G Resort,
which luckily was only a couple of hours away.
Which was a good thing as per usual,
the roads in Thailand were still dangerous…