Our final stop in Thailand was Pai our trip here was unplanned and last minute but when our new backpacker friends said they were heading there for a couple of days we didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to see more of the country.
However, the road to Pai was not smooth there were 762 bends to be exact and as someone who suffers with a bout of travel sickness, I was less than excited about this journey! But we made it in one piece and without any need for the sick bag (it did require 3 hours of fixing my gaze to one particular spot out of the window and repeating the mantra ‘in through the nose, out through the mouth’).
We had heard that Pai was a ‘backpackers paradise’ and upon arriving I could easily tell why, there was an abundance of restaurants and bars and all of them had a distinctly western vibe. There was even a stall selling jacket potato cheese and beans, so that says it all I think! It was definitely nice to know that we would not have to wander far to find food and drink that we would like, but you do lose that feeling of authenticity.
Pai was very much a relax and re-charge couple of days for us, especially after the hectic few days we had in Chiang Mai. However, we still managed to get out and see a few of the local sights.
Okay, so it’s no grand canyon! But it is a pretty nice walk and you are rewarded with some really nice views. It’s a really easy climb too, once again we were less than prepared with our choice of footwear and were in flip flops but thankfully the walk wasn’t too challenging. There’s various different little walk ways you can take once you have made it up the canyon but these really depend on how adventurous you are as some of them are very very narrow!
Mor Paeng Waterfall
Located in a forest west of Pai centre, there’s three tiers to the waterfall the first two which can be accessed by stairs but the final tier requires a bit of imagination and rock climbing. Although, it’s probably not the safest thing to do, but we’ve spent 4 weeks driving around on a moped in shorts and t-shirts for 4 weeks so I think our sense of danger was probably slightly off at this point. However, the real fun part of the waterfall is the natural slides that have been carved out of the rocks over time. A natural waterpark if you will!
Sai Ngam Hot Spring
Sai Ngam Hot Springs are crystal clear springs located just outside of Pai, the water is so lovely and warm and Shaun and I went there with two of our friends from our hostel and spent the whole afternoon chatting and relaxing. It cost 20 baht to enter and it was money well spent and we desperately needed some relaxation after the journey to the springs. Shaun had learned to drive in Koh pang an and driven almost every day since then, so we were both pretty confident on the bike now (note: by confident, I mean as a passenger – there was no way I was driving that thing) so we were happy to take the bikes to the hotsprings. But, this is not a journey for the faint hearted or for a crappy bike, the route to the hot springs is full of very steep hills, to the point that our bike could not get me and Shaun up the assent, we stopped midway and I had to get up and walk the rest! So, all in all a lovely place to visit, but make sure you’ve got a bike with a bit of juice!
Land Split Pai
The Land split is located on a local farmers piece of land. After an earthquake in 2008 and again 2009 and 2011, the previously normal farm now has a gaping crack down the middle. In all honestly, the crack itself is not that impressive. However, the hosts are so amazing and so attentive and generous. Shaun and I were offered some Roselle juice which was made on the farm and a seat in the shade. The people at the farm are so lovely it’s worth visiting just to chat to them!
In general, Pai was great and just what we needed following on from our busy few days in Chiang Mai, one of our favourite things about Pai was the selection of food and drinks on offer. It was the first place we had come across with an equal mix of good quality Thai and western food and at various price ranges! Whilst it wasn’t as activity filled as some of the other places we have visited it was perfect for a chilled few days and after reading this, I realised that we actually got up to a lot more than I initially remembered.