My friends and I rent out truck tire floats from our beach shop on the lake shore. We also sell towels and swimwear like long sleeve hooded tops and beach pants.
During public holidays, like Songkran Thai New Year, it gets very busy at our beautiful lake. People come from Chiang Mai and nearby countryside to have a picnic and splash around.
Most swimmers come in small groups, settle down for some food and splash around in the lake between meals.
It is a very colourful scene with all the different clothes they wear in the lake.
We take turns at the different tasks that serve our customers. Some tasks are dry, like renting out truck tires to visitors for a small fee. They then float on the lake or play around with their friends. This is very popular and great fun.
The other dry task is selling swimming clothes for sun protection. But when faced with sunburn, many foreigners (farang) come to us and ask for help. We sell them hooded tee-shirts and long pants, either jeans or the Thai Fisherman's pants which are very comfy in the water.
Swimming in clothes helps them avoid a tan or sunburn and keeps them cool in the hot air.
They also provide some modesty and look great as they glisten in the sun when wet.
Almost every hour we swap tasks because one of us has to go into the water to help customers or tidy up. That is always a refreshing break.
In the hot weather our clothes dry quickly. We keep cool by getting our clothes wet often. When I have time I go for a swim anyway to cool off when my clothes have dried out.
Our main wet task is to go and collect the tires once visitors have finished. Many people forget to return the rings and leave them on the beach or drifting on the lake.
Often we have to wade into the water and swim out to the tires, or collect them from the beach or shallow water.
This is good execise and keeps us fit.
For many foreigners swimming in clothes for sun protection is all new and unusual. It is the proper thing to do in South-East Asia, so they come to us for advice.
We go with them into the lake and show them how to swim in clothes safely. Soon they realize how easy it is and how good it feels.
Our clothes get wet many times during the day, so they have to fit well and must be easy to swim in. Polo shirts and jeans are our usual work wear in the mornings and late afternoons. They are very practical and look good both dry and wet.
Around midday we always wear a long sleeve top, like most Thai people who work outdoors, because we want to avoid sunburn and a sun tan.
During food our breaks we change into dry clothes for a while. They too get wet as soon as we return to work and have to go into the lake. That's why we have many dry clothes in our shop so I can dry off whenever I take a break.
I prefer to swim in jeans or Thai Fishermans pants made from lightweight cotton or nylon. They are very soft and dry quickly. I enjoy swimming in them and they look great both wet or dry.
My beach lifestyle is good fun. Come visit me some time and I show you how to swim in clothes.