After a few days of Chiang Mai, I felt I wanted to explore somewhere else, and my two options from here were Chiang Rai or Pai. After doing research, both seemed like an interesting option, so I went to see how I could do both because they were both in the north.
What I found is Chiang Rai had just suffered an earthquake and had damaged roads, along with the main white temple being damaged as well. They were also experiencing aftershocks, so I figured it was best I stay away. Pai sounded just perfect. A village in the north of Thailand’s mountainous region where I could reset, relax, and just be for a bit.
So I paid my $5 and booked my seat on a minivan that would drive me for almost 4 hours and 762 curves through the mountainous terrain to get to my new adventure, Pai, Thailand.
The curves in the minivan just about made me sick, and I was sitting at the window, and unfortunately was seeing a great amount of sun come in which was giving me that heated feeling while having the cool feeling of the AC on me as well. Luckily, I didn’t get to nauseated, but I was definitely glad the ride was over.
We were let off at the bus station in the middle of town, and it was really quaint. There were two main roads and I headed to find the place I had found out about called the Baan Tawan Bungalows, located near the river. It took me through the town which was filled with restaurants and street food, along with all sorts of Pai souvenir shops.
That evening I had a nice quiet dinner and watched the sunset as the village lights started to dim down like a candle. When walking home, it started to rain, and I got to sleep in the little bungalow with the sound of rain falling on the rooftop.
The next day, I went to rent a scooter to go see the local sights. When checking out the prices of two different scooter shops, I met a girl named Shania, from Israel. She and I hit it off and decided to scoot together and find the places like the Waterfalls, canyon and big Buddha. We used the map to head out and get gas to start our scooter journey.
And a journey it was. Super fun, but with the lack of English speaking natives, and inability to read I guess English letters of specific places, we were pointed in one direction to a waterfall until we finally saw a sign for a waterfall. Winding through the tiny paths through the countryside, we soon saw after about an hour that we were not getting nearer to our sought for destination. We decided to turn around and on our way back, we found shelter from the scorching sun in a little thatched roof hut. Here we had water, snacks, and talked about our backgrounds.
We then headed back to town feeling a little defeated from not being able to find what we had been looking for, but enjoyed the adventure together anyway.
The next day was a better success with a better map that did not have North pointing to the left of the page :( We made our round to see the canyon, then on to the hot spring, elephant park, up to the Buddha which we skipped as we were coming back for sunset that night.
We then headed for the waterfalls, and when we arrived, we saw a lot of people enjoying the water and sliding down the rocks to the pools below. It was fun to meet everyone, and we ended up spending the entire afternoon there. We were finally hungry and went back into town for a late lunch. After lunch we got ready for sunset at the Buddha temple on the hillside.
At the hillside we saw our friends from the afternoon and shared a beautiful sunset over the Pai valley. Suddenly after the sunset, this beautiful orange glow came out from behind the Buddha, which surprised us because the sun was in front of us.
In the evening, we hung out with our new friends and enjoyed another dinner–my type of eating schedule :)
Overall Paid was a great little excursion with beautiful scenery, nice people, nice food, and a cool spot to recharge for a few days.