If you go to Thailand, you have to go to Pai. We adventured with awesome people and had unforgettable experiences up in this middle of no where town in northern Thailand.
Go to Pai!
So Pai was a pretty random choice. We did some day tours, rode around on our motorbikes and visited some street markets in Chiang Mai. Then we wrapped up and took a mini van up to the northern town of Pai. It was a crazy drive. The driver sped through the mountains like a scene out of Tokyo Drift.
After three hours of twists and turns we came up to Pai. Walking up a small hill, we arrived at our… Cottage? Called D2, it was a gathering of small huts lined down the hill. We stayed here for our whole time in Pai and I highly recommend it to anyone who is going. The hotel manager was very helpful and the cheerful old couple there, although not knowing much English, also offered amazing service. Each cottage has full glass doors, a bed, a bathroom and amazing view. We truly enjoy our time here.
Ok so let’s rewind a bit first. At the night market in Chiang Mai, Lucy and I were getting dinner one night and this American couple seeing us confused by the lack of menu, recommended us a fried noodle dish. It was delicious. After dinner we got there contact information in case we met again.
So here we are in Pai day one, sitting at a restaurant grabbing lunch and this couple suddenly passes us. What are the odds. Taking advantage of the happy coincidence, we decided to explore the unknown little town together.
The four of us hopped on our scooters and took our first stop at a white Buddha on the hill. It was a breath taking site. The Buddha itself sat on top of about 100 stairs and faced all of Pai. The view was amazing.
Next on our way to the WWII memorial bridge, we stopped by a tree house resort. Although man made for tourists, the tree house was intricately designed and a resort worth exploring. Here we also came face to face with an elephant and even watched it poop…
The memorial bridge wasn’t much of an amazing site but more of a momument built to represent the history of Thailand. We learned about the Thai’s involvement in WWII here.
The Pai Canyon. A truly amazing site and one of the coolest places I have visited in Thailand. The canyon was made of giant slabs of rocks and faults which spread itself out like a spider web across the vast forest beneath. Here we climbed down a the nearest stretch and caught a beautiful sunset.
Calling it a day here, with our new American friends Joey and Katie, we drove back into town, grabbed some beers and explored the night market and night life of Pai. I met someone from Waterloo who traveled to Pai, fell in love and is me working there full time!
Having agreed to meet the couple at around 2pm on day two in Pai. Lucy and I got up and raced down to a nearby waterfall. In the hot season, the waterfall was small enough to act as a slide down to small pools of collected water. Here we swam and hung out with the local Thailand kids.
After bathing in water and sunlight for the morning, we drove into town, grabbed some and awaited the couple. We had some delicious pineapple fried rice before heading down the Lod Cave. 45km out of the city. We got on our scooters and drove an hour through the long and windy roads on the mountains. I had never understood the appeal of motorcycle riding until that day.
Having arrived at the cave just before sunset, we met two American girls and split a raft and tour guides inside.
A dark and earie cave of hanging rocks, coffins and steep wooden stairs is by far the coolest place I’ve experience in Thailand. This one definitely topped the Pai canyon for me. I literally felt like I was in the bat cave at the exit. A massive opening with birds fluttering furiously around. So freaking cool.
We got out just as the sun was setting and with new additions to the crew, we raced down the mountain in the dark. Although driving in the dark was refreshing and calming, the amount of bugs that pelted my body sucked. One of the girls go one in the eye and the other in the ear.
Just like the night before, we got back to stuff ourselves with delicious night market food and having a long day we called it I’m early and crashed back in our cottage.
Day three wasn’t so successful. We got up to see a view point somewhere in the mountains and having driven for a solid hour, it didn’t seem like there was a view point. So the next best thing to do was to stop in the middle of the road down the valleys of Pai’s mountains and have a photo shoot of us on our motorbikes!
Then we headed to what ended up to be an even less water filled waterfall. The water was still, but the falls still offered a great site for pictures. Having met up with our newly made friends, we decided to test our bikes and drove up a 10km mountainous and dirt road for a view point. The roads sucked. Really sucked. The girls having fallen off their bikes multiple times, the couple having trouble going up hill on the little bike and eventually hearing thunder near the top, we gave up our journey and decided it was best to get to the bottom in case of rain. The way down was even worse than the way up. But we made it down slowly and steadily having stopped on the way to check out a land split. Literally the land split at this spot due to seismic activity.
On our way down, we met some Canadian engineers and a Dutch traveler and now having grown the crew to 9 people, we all biked down to together. On the way to town, we stopped by “The Container” and although it was closed, we all sat on the these hanging chair made from metallic bars and enjoyed a great view of the farmlands.
Then, knowing it was our last night in Pai and having had a tough ride down the mountains, the whole crew stuffed themselves with street food and enjoy a great night out on Thailand rum and cokes. Being drunk, I really put all the French I learned to use and really learned to appreciate all the years I spent in French immersion. Pai was truly a great city with great people and I have left it with unforgettable memories.
Having slept at maybe 2am, we got up at 6am to catch our mini van back to Chiang Mai. Wow I have never had such a bad bus ride. The heavily winding roads did not boad well with me being hungover, feeling nauseous for most of the ride I eventually fell asleep and woke up gladly knowing we arrived in Chiang Mai. After Dropping our bags off and grabbing some food, we finally got a chance to explore of Chiang Mai itself.
After having seen so many temples, these ones were cool, but nothing out of the ordinary anymore. Now sitting on a plane to Krabi, I had a great experience up north and am super excited to relax on the beaches and do some island hopping to wrap up my trip to Thailand!