Leave your watch and worries in Pai
“Welcome to Pai..If you plan on staying a couple of days, rearrange your trip to stay a few weeks.”
If one person could describe the essence of the town Pai, the dreadhead, barefoot lady we met upon arrival would be it. A former New Yorker who traded in her high heels for muddy feet greeted us upon arrival and gave us some tips.
1.) Explore the beauty of the mountains
2.) Stay longer
We heard the rumors before, and I can see how people easily get sucked in and wind up spending the rest of their holiday in Pai; a sleepy, bohemian mountain town where everyone is on “Pai-time” and its better to leave your watch, and worries, at home.
We arrived after a 3.5 hour winding, nauseating bus ride north through the mountains from Chiang Mai. Our group of three recruited five other travelers from London, Canada and Colorado after spending a week together volunteering with elephants at Elephant Nature Park.
Our first night we wandered down the dirt road that our hostel was on after seeing a sign for Roots Bar, a reggae bar that upon first appearance looked like a broke down shack. But we followed the music that was coming from behind the shack and it ended up being the coolest place we found in Pai. It had an amazing ambiance with a bonfire, firespinners, amazing reggae music and free chicken drumsticks for all customers.
The rest of our time in Pai we rented motorbikes and spent our time getting lost in the mountains in search of waterfalls, hot springs and the white Buddha that sits atop high in the mountains.
At night the town came alive with the street market and had some of the best street food I have ate in Thailand so far. Music flowed endlessly from bar to bar and we wound up at some awesome hole-in-the-walls with live jam music.
Our three days in Pai was not enough, and I would have loved to stay longer, but the rest of Thailand awaits me. If I ever come to Thialand again, I will come and spend the whole time in Pai and getting to know more of this beautiful mountain town.
Now, off to Bangkok as we sadly say goodbye to Pai and the friends that we made and journeyed with.