Hanging with the hippies in the mountains!
11.12.2013 - 14.12.2013 22 °C
After spending a week or so in Chiang Mai we heard that Pai was a must..... a perfect getaway in the valleys of the mountains. So we booked ourselves a hut just outside town and caught a bus to joins the western hippies, Thai Rastas, and Muslims in the mountains!
The bus ride to and from Pai is not really designed for people with travel sickness..... the 3-4hr minibus trip through the mountains has the most U-turns and bends ever - and the bus drivers zoom round the corners as if to see who can drive the most dangerously! If you can stomach it - Pai is well worth the drive - or better still take your own motorbike for the views!
Pai seems just as popular among Thais as foreigners and during peak season (now) thousands of Thais from Bangkok crowd the town, making it hard to get find accommodation! We were glad we booked ahead - otherwise we would have been forced to hire a tent!!
Despite the town's popularity and vibrant art and music scene, Pai seems to retain its chilled atmosphere and picture-perfect mountain valley.
View from our hostel...
Our hut.... literally a bamboo hut up in the mountains. The bathrooms were the most basic and you shared your cold shower with a million spiders but it was all part of the fun.... and expected as its the cheapest place in town!
Our Bamboo hut..
Reception and chill out area...
The resident / pet cockerel who didn't like anyone to sleep in past 4am!
Right next to our hostel was a circus hostel and so we could go and chill there for a couple of hours watching them practice, fire juggling, trapeeze and other cool stuff!
We hired a scooter for the 3 days as we wanted to explore and we were too lazy to walk into town each night for dinner! It was also useful for Terry to get to his Muay Thai training each morning!
The scooter worked out to be a great investment - we picked up a free map and over the 3 days explored the countryside...
Waterfalls.. (too cold for swimming - boo)!
Relaxing in the hot springs... the springs temp ranged from 38-24 degrees....
Pretty dragon flies..
and then here were the extra hot ones - definitely too hot for bathing.. (at 80 degrees the locals were boiling eggs in them)!!
Feeding the elephants at Tom's elephant camp..
Budda Temple on the Hill
View point of Pai...
Strawberry @ Pai..
And of course, like anywhere is Thailand - hundreds of temples...!
The night markets were fantastic - providing a wide variety of good food - Indian curry, Jacket potatoes, Kebabs, all the usual Asian dishes and Corn on the cob!! No need for restaurants!
There were also some really cool bars along the riverside...
Unfortunately we had planned to go to the Tod Caves (55km out of Pai) on our last day in Pai.... however the weather was not on our side, the heavens opened and it poured all day long!
Nevermind... feeling relaxed (well Becs was relaxed from chilling and Yoga, Terry could barely walk from his 3 morning sessions of training) we headed back to Chiang Mai!