As we arrived so late in Pai, the only logical option for the evening was a few gin and tonics and to check out the nightlife. It seems we were late to the party though and most people in the only late bar (Boom bar I think it was called) were already either wasted or very “happy”. I lost at beer pong to some Canadian frat boys, apart from that it was a fairly uneventful evening and I was back in the dorm around 2am. Unfortunately, my dorm was playing host to the King of all the snorers. It was like listening to seven pneumatic drills, then made worse by a very drunk Australian guy who was trying to video said snorer. Oh the joy of shared dorms, snorers, drunkards and farters – my faves!
So after a fairly rubbish nights sleep, I went to find the Chiang Mai crew and see what the plan was for the day. They all wanted to rent scooters and explore the area, but I’ve never driven one (and I don’t have a driving licence!) Also, most travellers don’t actually realise it is illegal for tourists without an International driving licence to ride a scooter in Thailand! But everyone does it anyway, and some of the injuries I have seen are horrific. The boys invited me to ride on the back, but being the sensible one I wasn’t willing to put my life in the hands of a 20 year old male who has the need for speed. I spoke to the really lovely bartender at my hostel, who told me about a local guy who gives lessons to beginners. He was fed up of seeing young tourists with cuts and bruises after skidding round corners and crashing into signs etc. His name was Allan and he made me feel very safe on the bike and was full of praise which helped to build my confidence. Now I know that riding a scooter isn’t rocket science and I have fairly good balance thanks to lots of rode biking, but he taught me a few things that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. Like how you shouldn’t use your front brake, only back brake. That’s why so many people go over the top or skid on rocks. After 45 minutes, he declared me safe to go on the road and I went to rent my very first scooter! Here she is, isn’t she pretty!
I decided to do a fairly easy loop that took me to the hot springs resort a short way up the mountains around Pai. I felt totally free as I navigated the windy roads, it was such a great feeling! I would never have been able to walk it or even cycle, so sometimes a scooter or motorbike really is the only way in South East Asia.
The resort was ghostly quiet, I pretty much had the pool to myself – heaven! I swam and then went in the excruciatingly hot hot springs – only lasted five minutes! Then I went to watch the sunset at the Temple on the hill, the Buddha statue is very impressive (see below):
In the evening, I decided I wanted a more sophisticated scene so I went to Edible Jazz for music and mojitos. The vibe was very chilled and the band were excellent. She had a very peculiar but awesome voice, a bit like Amy Winehouse but with a Thai accent!
I was very sad to leave Pai the next morning, I wish I had a bit longer to stay and chill out here. There really isn’t that much to do, but the atmosphere is very relaxing and it’s easy to make new friends there. If you are planning on heading to Chiang Mai, definitely visit Pai, it’s totally worth it. I also had the best meal there at Na’s kitchen – incredible green curry! Unfortunately, I had to leave but for a very good reason – tomorrow is elephant nature park day! I will be spending all day with some rescue elephants, it’s going to be incredible! I really want an elephant for a best friend, I hope I make a good first impression. Sleeping tonight will be a challenge!