a couple of days ago we took a van from chiang mai three hours north to the mountain town of pai (said: pie). immediately upon arriving we felt like we were in the thailand version of flagstaff. pai feels like your typical hippie mountain town, but in thailand. if you google images “pai, thailand” the main categories are: hippies, waterfalls, tree houses. it’s a pretty awesome juxtaposition and we’re so glad it was an unexpected addition to our itinerary.
originally, the plan was to rent a motorcycle and drive from chiang mai to pai since it’s a scenic and curvy (762 turns to be exact) road awesome for enthusiast drivers (ting). while researching motorcycle services, we stumbled upon “aya transport services” a bus company, and the reviews were terrible (read here). things like “if you value your life, avoid aya” and “we insisted the driver on drugs pull over and let us off on the side of the road.” we joked that motorcycling sounded safer than the aya bus.
well, when the motorcycle company didn’t pan out (our parents were not shy about jumping for joy), our guesthouse owner booked us a bus to pai ($6 for the 3-hr ride) — as ting walked up the stairs, he smiled at me and said, “we’re on the aya bus today.” shit. the good news? we survived and it wasn’t so bad. just some casual fast passing on the right & close calls ;)
we decided to “splurge” on a place in pai and we’re loving our mountain/jungle bungalow for $39/night. the pai street food is amazing, the bars are overflowing with hippies who look like they camp out here in between burning man festivals and the outdoors are absolutely gorgeous and filled with free activities like waterfalls and natural hot springs.
more to come on the final week in chiang mai, thoughts on long-term traveling & pai coming soon. xx
me with our Aya Van during a quick potty break.
and that’s the potty facility. it’s BYOTP.
my view for the drive… about 100 of these “curvy” signs the whole way. colbs – you would have died.
upon arrival in pai. dropped on the main street & we backpacked the 1/2 mile to our accommodations.
walking over the bridge to our hotel. this is SUCH a pretty mountain town.
actually acting like a REAL backpacker for once. this is the longest time i’ve worn my pack to-date.
our new & modern bungalow home at the awesome “Pai My Guest Resort”!
on the resort property.
night scenes in pai.
thai & western hippies everywhere.
a little bar we bellied up to for our first night. we spent the night chatting with “Boat” from Bangkok.
the cool thai kids playing jenga at a bar… not so different from home.
late night snack – pancakes! these were made with sugar & slathered with butter. oops, i ate all the pancakes in my stapled banana leaf boat! time to ride home. p.s. it’s CHILLY nights in pai.