Rainy Days and Mondays

Trip Start Jan 23, 2006
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Trip End Ongoing


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Friday, May 12, 2006

Monday morning we found out that our "changeable flights" couldn't be changed until early December. Our Oz visa dictated that we had to be in Cairns by November so we would now have to leave Asia in June and miss out on Cambodia and Vietnam. Just to rub it in we had purchased guide books for both places days earlier. We could also only afford 5 days in Pai before heading south to the islands.

Pai had been recommended to us by a number of people, so we took the local bus 120km north west of Chiang Mai to "chilled out hippyville". Although a fairly short distance, the road circled many mountains and after 4 hours we were finally at our destination. Our first choice accommodation was The Blue Lagoon Hotel and after successfully bartering 5 nights for just 35 pounds we went for a bath in its generously sized swimming pool.

The Blue Lagoon is run by a Scotsman named "Bobby" and his wife Kaew. Bob is your stereotypical Scottish bloke, never a sentence without swearing, never sober, and always a barrel of laughs. He had built the hotel himself a few years ago intending initially just to build himself a house with a pool. It is no doubt the best value for money in Pai, although lacking in the Thai rural character that would maybe class you as a "real traveller".

We hired a motorbike the next day and visited waterfalls, hot springs, elephants walking along the country roads and whizzed around the tiny village numerous times. Then typically it rained for the rest of the week, so we couldn't make use of the pool. The rainy season was approaching us, but luckily there was billiards, ping pong and Bob to help pass the time.

Pai was amass with backpackers, a few which entertained at different venues around the village. Live bands kept the Blue Lagoon alive until midnight and then it was on to Be-Bop for overpriced Singha and even more live music. We never did make it to Fubar, the after party club which progressed to the early hours of the morning, maybe because normally we were "Fubar-ed" on Sang Som before it even opened! Nothing that a full English at Chez Swan wouldn't cure, black pudding, the works.

Next stop, the islands. Not sure which one but after 5 days of partying we need to relax!
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