Pai, Thailand

March 17
We took a bus to Chiang Mai from Chiang Rai, and then we immediately booked a bus to Pai from the bus station. We got lucky because we got the last two seats, which were two seats in the back of the van, where we had to squeeze in with two monks. This ride was known to be a very curvey ride. The first hour and a half is flat and straight and the last hour and a half has 762 curves through mountains. It was the curviest ride yet and somehow nobody through up in our van. We arrived at night right on the main road, called Walking Street. We walked to one end and found a nice bungalow place, so we booked a room for three days. We then went to eat at the restaurant at our hotel and sat on chill couches by the little fish pond. We then took a stroll down the neat Walking Street and checked out all of the locally made handicrafts. It was very chill and nobody was pushy. Pai is known as the hippie hotspot in Thailand and is filled with expats who just sit around, chill, and smoke weed all day and night. It has a vibe like nowhere else in Thailand because usually, there are tuk tuks everywhere and people getting in your face to buy stuff. It isn’t like that here, which is really nice for a change. There was this really cool tea drink that people had around here. You buy a piece of bamboo that is shaped like a tall cup. It costs about $1 for the first one and then you keep the bamboo cup to get refills for about $.30 each. The cup was very big so you get a lot of tea. I got one of them and had milk tea, ginger tea, regular tea and mint tea multiple times over the course of three nights here. It was annoying to carry around but worth it. At 10:00 pm, everything shuts down. Also, the three nights we were here, there was no power because people were trying to fix the power lines but apparently just screwed them up even more. The power lines aren’t like they are in the states. Here, it is a clusterfuck of wires, some of which are connected to something and some of which aren’t. They don’t seem to take down old wires, only add new ones, so many wires are dangling freely and you just don’t want to touch them because you don’t know which have a electric current going through them. We didn’t know the area enough to find out where people went out after hours so we just went to a bar on our street that was open for a little bit until the police, so they turned the music down a little. We finished our drinks and then just called it a night and passed out.

March 18
We slept in for once. It felt great to wake up naturally. We needed it after the strenuous Gibbons Experience. We got a late breakfast at our hotel and them walked around. To our surprise, the entire town was dead, all day. It was so strange. We were confused as to what people did here all day. We met people who stayed here for over a month and loved it, but when we asked what they did each day, they said, “nothing really, just chill I guess.” And that is exactly what people do. They chill in their rooms or hostel dorms all day and smoke weed or nap. Then at night, they smoke weed and drink some beer until like 10:00 pm, then go to bed and do it all over again. I get it, and it sounds very relaxing but one month of that isn’t my style. I get too antsy and want to get moving after a while. I need something to do, at least for a little bit each day or I would go crazy. Anyway, we walked the street for two hours and didn’t see more than 40 people out. We went into a coffee shop called Madame Ju’s and I had some delicious Carmel hot chocolate. It was so good! We then rented a motorbike and rode to a waterfall. The road was too bumpy and we didn’t really care about the waterfall because we have already seen a million. It is the only thing to do in most smaller towns in Southeast Asia, so we have seen our fair share or waterfalls. We instead just turned around and rode up to Pai Canyon. It was known to be the best place in the area for sunset. The canyon was really cool. It had a lot of tall, narrow walkways that were fun but dangerous to walk over. We walked around a little bit and then talked to some other travelers for a little. They said that the best sunset was on top of this random hill with a huge Buddha and said that they were going there soon. We decided to meet them there in a bit because we still had two hours to go until sunset and didn’t feel like sittings around. We rode to the hill, which was a 25 minute journey. We then walked up stairs and made it to the Buddha. We chilled there for like ten minutes and realized that there was too much smog to have a good sunset. The other kids who we met weren’t there yet, so we just decided to leave and go back to Pai Canyon. I’m really happy we did because the sunset there was very vibrant. It was over the mountains and the light spread across the valley. We took some pictures and then left to get back to town before it was dark. We showered and then got dinner at this Italian restaurant by our hotel. We them walked the streets and went inside a lot of the shops. There were some cool shirts and other clothing that was geared towards hippies. I really liked these watches that this one guy made so after talking to him about them for a while, I decided I would buy a leather one. I told him what I wanted it to look like and which style I wanted. He said that he wasn’t sure if he could do it exactly how I wanted it but would try. I said that I would come by the next night to buy it for $15. Once 10:00 pm struck, it was a ghost town again, and it didn’t help that there was no electricity. We went to a different bar on our street with a fire pit and chilled while listening to music. We met these two Americans a little older than us, one American guy in his 40s and one Australian girl in her 40s. The two Americans our age just finished up teaching English in a small Thai town. They were a couple and decided to do it together. She seemed like one of those bitchy girls who thinks she is more cultured than everyone else and likes to talk about how she understands locals more than other travelers. I hate people like that. The guy was really cool though. He should dump her ass once they get back to the states. I would. The older American guy was pretty cool. He was preoccupied with hooking up with the Australian girl who was the biggest free spirit I have ever met. She was extremely friendly and smiley. I asked her where she is living and she smiled and said, “I am where I am, and I am currently living in Pai.” I said, “oh, so you have a place here?” She said, “no, I live and work at a healing sanctuary on Koh Phangan, and have for the past 15 years.” I was like damn, this girl is like one of those hippie from the movies. I asked her a bunch of questions because I have never met someone like this and I find it very interesting. She had a lot of neat insight on life so it was fun to talk with her. Around 1:00 am we all went back to our hotels and called it a night.

March 19
We slept in for our final morning in Pai. It felt so good, once again. We ate the included breakfast at our hotel and then walked to Madame Ju’s for carmel hot chocolate again. It was so good! We walked back to our place and got our bathing suits on because we heard there was a free public poop nearby. We walked to the pool over a bridge and it wasn’t free but it was cheap so we went swimming and chilled there for a couple of hours. We met this Dutch girl there who we talked to for an hour or so. She was in Nepal not too long ago and did the Everest base camp trek. We wanted to do the sane trek, so we asked her a bunch of questions. It was very informative because finding information online isn’t the easiest. Some people who respond to questions are so annoying online. For example, if someone asks the question, “how long do I need to see Kathmandu and hike to Everest base camp in Nepal?” The first ten responses will be something like, “it’s impossible to know how much time will be enough. Everyone is different and there is so much culture in Nepal, that you cant possibly see it all in one lifetime anyway.” It’s so annoying. Eventually, someone answers the question with, “2 weeks for the hike, 4 days for the city,” but someone doesn’t always give a real answer like that. After talking to the girl, we laid out for a while, but it was way too hot to stay outside any longer, so we went back to our hotel. We ate lunch at this organic place across the street from our hotel that always had people in it. It’s was good. We napped for a while in our bungalow until around 4:00 pm, then we walked around and saw some of the shops that were already open. I really liked some of the backpacks but they were too expensive and not worth it. I just want a nice knock off. We ate dinner at this restaurant that was pretty terrible. Also, about ten minutes after sitting down, the power went out again for the entire night again. That didn’t make things any easier. We then wandered the street again, which was really neat still. We found the watch guy who I ordered from last night. He ended up custom making the leather watch exactly how I wanted it. That was really nice of him because he knew I would buy it anyway without that hassle. I like the watch a lot. It’s comfortable and looks nice. And he showed me which battery it takes if it ever runs out. Nice guy. We walked around all night until everything shut down again. I got one last tea in my bamboo cup and we called it a night to wake up early or our bus back to Chiang Mai. Pai was chill and fun but three days was perfect. We were ready to go.

mikepsilve'sPai album on Photobucket