Pai is a cool hippy town in the hills north of Chiang Mai in Thailand. This place is a hippy haven and the journey to get there is lush.
Pete, the American cousin who we met during the Sapa Valley trek in Vietnam (if it is not on your South East Asia itinerary, add it!) told us about an unusual place where people hang about in hammocks amongst the shrubbery. This sounded like a nice contrast to partying in the cities of Singapore, Phnom Penh, and Hanoi – Pai was to be much needed downtime.
My driver (that’s Craig)
Chiang Mai to Get to Pai, Thailand
You need to hire a moped for this and ask a few locals which direction to set off in. An Aussie guy was baffled that we’d take this journey but we met lots of other travellers who loved it. The road takes about a 3-5 hours to ride and is winding – you must fill up with petrol. Blink and you’ll go past the ‘petrol stations.’
Olive Oil? Here is the future!
Hot for Hot Springs
Although 5 hours, legs akimbo, on a bike sounds painful there are hot springs for you to ease those muscles (they get hotter as you go through the park), there’s a small price to pay but it’s worth it as well maintained. Watch out for people boiling their eggs…
Pai is small town with relaxed bars. There are people who came to Pai and never left. There is also a homeless guy with a really tanned bum which he displays for everyone. We stayed in the mountains at Darling View Point, the views were stunning.
I was afraid of sleeping on the bed (bed bugs?) It did have a hammock outside though! The communal rooms looked like heroin dens. Choose your accommodation wisely, or not. Jokes aside it does get a good write up with travellers and the owner is a ‘darling’.
Pie Eyed in Pai
We did a bit of bar hopping, favourite was Hi 5, ladies night cocktails = 2-4-1. Bingo! We hung out on the hammocks and listened to the 90s r’n’b mash up on the stereo. As the bars close, the crowds migrate to the last two open one called Bamboo (again, like Chiang Mai police close the place down), it was a bit ‘gap ya’ central so we hit the hay. Managed to sleep on the bed after 2-4-1 drinks (so much for downtime). I bought a terrific kaftan from a vintage shop called Hippie Pai, the owner was fun.
Hippy threads from a happy place
Pai was Craig’s favourite part of our month away and we wished we could have stayed longer but Koh Samui was calling. So we hopped back on the bike, hit the road but not before stopping off for a drip in this raging waterfall, and we had it to ourselves.
Like the hot springs? Well here is a waterfall…
Where is your haven in the hills?