Chiang Mai and A Slice of Pai
Trip Start Nov 16, 2005
38Trip End Jun 04, 2007
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After another unassuming flight with our old mates Laos Airlines we arrived safely back onto Thai soil from Laos and into the Northern Provence of Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai - 'The Rose of the North' - is Thailand's second largest city with 200,000 people residing in the city proper. Despite being 1000ft above sea level it's just as hot as Bangkok. But that's all the comparisons we could find. The truth is Thailand's two largest cities couldn't be anymore different. A lot less populated and polluted, Chiang Mai has a striking mountain backdrop, over 300 temples and a quaint historical aura
Our first week back in Thailand was spent propping up Chiang Mai's popular Ladyboy (those he/she's play a damn good game of Connect 4) bars with our new friends Gav and Jody, whom we met at the airport in Luang Prabang. This was pretty much the pattern until Karen and I enrolled ourselves onto a Thai cooking and traditional Thai massage course. Those of you that know us will guess that I chose to advance my already exceptional culinary skills while K roughed up the local masseurs with her Vulcan grip (K says thanks Mum & Dad for this as her b'day pressie).
Following our courses, we'd arranged to meet up with Jordan and Lindy (a great couple we met in Vietnam from Seattle), who have managed to restore all faith in our American friends across the pond. It was with them we travelled 4 hours north to Pai, a small, lively town where the dramatic mountains surrounding the town stand guard over the valley and meandering river. Pai means "go" in Thai, which is interesting because nobody seems to go anywhere once they get here. It's overrun with westerners who get caught up in the magic and forget to go home. Which is a bit of shame for everyone else discovering this beautiful Thai village for the first time. But the treks are first class, booze is cheap, vibes are good, and half the world is represented.
Our trek saw us bushwhack our way through thick jungle, up one hill, down another, for 2 days near the Burmese border
Pai is undoubtedly Thailand's premier location to trek, listen to live Jazz and do absolutely bugger all. Between the four of us, we managed to tick the boxes in all categories.
And so it went on, in a galaxy far far away, sipping Sang Som (Thai Whisky) and coke - listening to jazz at the Beebop Bar - days of hiking through the Jungle - one of The Curry Pot's Masaman curries - and you're caught in the Matrix too. Another set of victims who fell in love and just didn't want to leave.
Then a Jedi will you be..........