Side trip to Pai
Now I’d never come across the town of Pai during my research, I obviously didn’t research too thoroughly? But from the people I have met both foreign and locals this is a really awesome place to visit.
Pai for those of you that were like me, is another popular chilled hangout even further north than Chiang Mai. In fact it takes about 3hrs by private bus to get there, and from what I’ve been told this can be more heart racing than a theme park attraction. The road is steep and windy and the bus drivers seem to treat it as a sort of race track, each trying to achieve a better time than last. There are plenty of people in Chiang Mai who will attest to how crazy a ride this really is. The bus costs 150thb.
For me this didn’t really seem like a lot of fun and a few folk suggested riding the journey on my scooter, this seemed a lot more fun and safer. Obviously scooters don’t have masses of space for luggage, but the nice folk at the bus station will stick your bag on the bus for a small fee and you can collect it at the other end. Sounds like a plan Stan.
A few years back Pai was a simple sleepy village, visited by a few daring backpackers and nothing much happened up here. However recently there has been a mini boom in tourist numbers, all thanks to a new small airport and a much improved road (I dread to think what is was like before?). Now the village/town attracts a lot more visitors than before. But nowhere near the numbers of Chaing Mai or other popular towns.
There really wasn’t much to do in Pai, it’s just a smaller version of Chaing Mai. Nice scenery, rolling hills, a little cooler and few nice restaurants, I can see how the town appeals to some, but for me I prefer the options that Chiang Mai offered me. There I could relax and be on my own or if I felt I needed something more that was also available. Here all you have is a slow pace of live and pure relaxation. But I’m glad I came here and had a look.
After nearly 7 months here in Thailand, most of which has been spent up north chilling out and relaxing, I was starting to get itchy feet, and I felt it was time to look for a little more action and fun. I didn’t fancy heading all the way south to visit and island, so after a bit off looking around I decided on heading to Koh Chang, which is in the northern gulf.