Our escape into the countryside!
30.10.2011 25 °C
We took a short 3 hour mini van ride to Pai. We had heard great things about beautiful countryside so we were both excited about getting out of the city and seeing it! We met 2 great guys on the bus Simon and Antone, we shared laughs, traveling stories, life histories and chocolate digestives!! The route up to Pai was windy and breathtaking, the mountains were beautiful!
We followed Simon and Antone to their guest house - Paddy Fields - it was a great place the only way I can describe our room was a small tree house! We paid $3 each which was a total bargain including internet.
Pai has apparently changed a lot over the years. there is a few main streets full of restaurants and bars and shops. It has a small town feel and once you meet someone you continually bump into them! I ate my signature green curry, while Kate got excited about the availability of mango sticky rice and the animal hats that were available to buy from the many street vendors!
We relaxed into Pai and its pace quickly. The next morning while Kate went to yoga i headed out for the most breathtaking run - it takes less than 10 mins to get out into the mountains and paddy fields of Pai. I ran past so many butterfly, remote guest houses, reggae bars up and down the hills. I turned round after a rather aggressive dog decided he did not want me to run past his house! I got, nicely, lost on the way back and ended up running for 1.5 hours across paddy fields the scenery was so nice I didn't care about being lost or how long I had been!
We hired a scooter that afternoon, we were both super excited about having wheels, and we went in search of the sites.
First stop was the canyon which had some fantastic views across the valley and countryside. We met a random Thai women picking mushrooms, she was scaling the cliffs to get them!
Back on our bike and now in search of the waterfalls, we were pleased with what we found, waterfalls in the forest. It was too late to swim but we went for a paddle in the first one and left exploring the other two tiers for another day...
That night we headed out with Simone and Antone to a BBQ and camp fire at their friend Ga's house. It ended up turning into a really amazing night with jamming sessions by Bos a friend of Antone's from home - he was very very good! We got lost on the way home with Simon, Ga lives in the middle of nowhere and had to stop a few times for directions.
The next day we all headed out together to explore a waterfall, but after a few mins Antone and I lost Kate and Simon so decided to go in search for them at the waterfall we went to on the first day. they weren't there but we had a great time anyway. We got up to the second tier, it was paradise and there was no other tourists there!
All too soon it was time to go back to Pai and find Kate and Simon.. on the return we saw an amazing rainbow an end to a perfect trip! We found Kate and Simon and then bid farewell to the boys who were heading to Laos.
That night we went on a beautiful sunset ride into the countryside to see where Kate and Simon went before we had to reluctantly hand our bike back.
We then went to look at the street vendors, Kate fell in love with some shoes - she has it worse than me with shoes!I sat on the side of the road while she deliberated. then a girl with a guitar stopped by, Britney, and ended up having an impromptu jamming session with Kate on the side of the road! We later went to see her play at a bar she was excellent.
On our last day I headed out for a long run in search of the elephants Kate had found on her ride with Simon the day before, I finally found the 3 elephants 7 ks away on the side of the road in a farm where tourists can pay to ride them. They were all chained up and looking miserable, I am sure they are well looked after although I hear that people who keep elephants for work whip the elephants and they are always pretty miserable being chained up 90% of the day..
We ate our last meal in our favorite restaurant
And then jumped on the bus back to Chang Mai and then on to Nong Khai in search of the Naga festival...