There is a saying in Minnesota that they only have three seasons: Winter, Spring, and Construction. It makes sense that with the harsh weather that this part of the world experiences, they would need a couple of months a year to rebuild the roads that get destroyed. I would like to say that this is the case for many of the places in the world. They take those months of nice weather to make sure that they fix the roads. In Thailand that is basically all year. It doesn’t matter if it is the dry season or the monsoon season, it is always construction season.
This is important to recognize when going on a road trip in Thailand because you will run into road construction somewhere along the way. In the United States, this will just cause a little delay as the cars line up and wait their turn to make it through the construction. But it Thailand, it could mean the complete rerouting of the road, and if you do not pay close attention you could be taken off of your path and onto a windy mountain road.
This happened yesterday. We were directed off to another path that took us on a loop that added another hour onto the drive. The reason for this was because the right turn was completely blocked off and we were only allowed to turn left. As soon as we did this, Google Maps instantly redirected us to take this loop to get us back on track when all we need to do was take a U-turn to get back on the path that we were supposed to go on. It is a common occurrence to have to take a U-turn while driving in Thailand. I have to take two of them when I go to work every morning, but if you are not aware of this fact, it could cause some serious problems and get you lost.
It wasn’t until we were driving by the same big mountain for the second time that we recognized this problem or we might still be on the road right now looking for the right direction. All I’m trying to say is that if you come to Thailand and think that the best way to get around will be driving, make sure that you have someone keeping an eye on exactly where you want to go. Technology is great, but it does not hold the intuitive reasoning of humans that are needed to get around in Thailand. It is just looking for the quickest path to get you where it thinks you want to go, and it is getting faster at doing it. This is where your problems may arise.
Despite the fact that we got turned around for an hour, it was still a beautiful drive, and though it is not for the weak of stomach because of all of the winding, it was fun to see this rare part of the country. Luckily, it is more of a straight shot today, and I should not have to encounter the same problem that we did yesterday.