After Chiang Mai I went up to a little place called Pai. It’s not exactly off the beaten track but it still is a nice place to go see. Some people have gotten totally stuck there and it isn’t that hard to see why.
Pai is a 3 hour roller coaster of a ride by bus from Chiang Mai. The ride is very windy and the drivers are equally as twisted. However it’s survivable and you know they are thinking about your safety as they go into the wrong lane doing 60 around a corner. I was told the trip used to be 2 hours but since there were too many accidents the drivers were told to slow down. So now we have a 3 hour ride, much safer!
Pai itself is basically a small hippy town. It is really relaxed, things move slowly here. There are more tourists with dreads here than there are roads.
Pai was once a quiet market village inhabited by Shan people (ethnic Tai) whose culture is influenced by Burma. Today, Pai primarily thrives on tourism. Well-known among backpackers for its relaxed atmosphere, the town is full of cheap guesthouses, souvenir shops, and restaurants. In the environs of the town are spas and elephant camps. sauce
|The real magic of Pai is whats outside of it.
There is not a whole lot to do in town except walk around and check out the random markets that pop up during the day or the night market that’s always around. Or you could check out one of the many cafes around if that is your thing.
However, being what it is, Pai is very relaxed. Time moves very slow and the people are all relatively nice. It is an easy place to just do nothing for a few days. Which is great because I got sick and was glued to the room for the better part of 3 days.
The real magic of Pai is what is outside of it. Jump on a bike and just drive.
The countryside is extremely pretty and peaceful. There is just a lot to see. Fortunately, I had all the time in the world to see it. There are a number of waterfalls in the area and since they are free, they are all worth seeing. There is a viewpoint that goes through china town that is also worth seeing too. The road up is a pretty narrow one that winds its way up through an intimate small town on a hill.
There are also a few hotsprings but they charge for them which is lame so they’re avoidable. The coolest place was probably Lot cave. At least the travel to the cave was sweet. It was about an hour long. The road went through the mountains and got pretty windy. The drive was actually really fun and scenic too.
Unfortunately, the cave was partially closed due to rain. There are like 3 caves total but 2 of them were closed because the water basically floods them. Because of this I could only see one of them. The best part was jumping on a bamboo raft and being pushed to the other side of a pool. The cave itself was massive. Like very huge, it was crazy how much space was there.
On the way back from the cave my bike got a flat tire! So I had to spend what seemed like a helpless time trying to flag down trucks to pick me up. Luckily one did and they helped me load the bike on the back and drove to town. They also stopped by a shop and in a few quick minutes it was back to normal. So mystery thanks to those people who helped me out. I have no idea how I would have gotten down without them. ♡
There are not many places I have found with the same atmosphere as Pai. It is a great place to get stuck in, and many have.