Keeping a promise he made to his deceased girlfriend, a Thai man is taking a 1,541-kilometer journey, on foot, to spread her ashes on top of Doi Inthanon, the country’s highest peak — while making three unlikely friends on route.
Thirty-nine-year-old Sakchai Suppantamat, a native of Udon Thani province, has never been to Doi Inthanon, but after hearing of it, promised his girlfriend he’d take her if they ever had enough money to travel the country.
The fact that she passed away in October 2016 or that Sakchai still can’t afford transportation, hasn’t stopped from undertaking an epic journey to fulfill that pledge.
Maybe here is as good enough as anywhere to explain that he is headed to Doi Inthanon on foot.
When, local reporters encountered him wheeling the modest cart that holds his belongings yesterday in Chiang Mai province, Sakchai told them he started his journey from the Southern province of Trang in January last year, according to Komchadluek.
Yep, he’s been walking for a year and a half. And if you’re doing the math like we just did, yes, that suggests he’s traveling at a relatively leisurely pace.
He reportedly camps out wherever he finds himself each night — whether the side of the road, a temple or a cemetery. Occasionally, locals from villages he passes through offer him food or water.
Along the way, he’s made friends with three stray animals that joined his trek, according to multiple Thai media outlets. The first is a dog he encountered in Samut Prakan Province, which he named “Krachow,” Thai for basket.
The second, another dog discovered in Phitsanulok named “Namo,” a semi-religious name that reflects how many Thai buddhist prayer starts.
And finally, a tiny black kitten he reportedly found just yesterday, abandoned in the grass on the side of the road. Sakchai told Thairath he simply had to take the cat along because … who else would take care of it?
When asked about his deceased girlfriend, the tears flowed quickly.
“My girlfriend and I were never apart,” Sakchai said. “We worked together and even took a break at the same time. One day I’ll probably stop crying.
“I don’t know if love can be measured. I keep on thinking about it as I walk. Maybe it’s my way of making merit for her.
“All I know is, I want to do this for the person I love.”
Taken alongside yesterday’s love story between a model and a moto-taxi driver, this is quite the week for restoring our faith in love, huh?
Editor’s Note: The earlier version of this story mistranslated his name as Suksit Suppantamat.