When dark 30 rolls around...

Trip Start Dec 01, 2009
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Flag of Thailand  ,
Friday, December 11, 2009

The road from Chiang Mai to Pai has 762 curves up and down a mountain. We rode in a 12 passenger van for 3 hours and unfortunately had the most obnoxious man we've met (okay, actually the second most obnoxious as Sarah still hates Wayne more) in our van. He was American, in his 40s, had a smokers voice and a thick lousianna accent. He took it upon himself to be our own personal tour guide, and did not shut up for the entire 3 hours. He literally did not stop talking for 3 hours. Some of his gems:

"See this here highway? you know who built it? The Japanese. When I started coming to Pai 5 years ago, this wasn't even here. Then, it was way more rustic. Whooowee way more rustic. You don't even know rustic. See that bridge? You know who built it? The Japanese did. When I started coming here it wasn't more than bamboo sticks."

"See that there? That's a bus [yes, actual quote]. Thats how the locals get to Pai. I did it once. Everyone's got to do it once. Everyone's got to do it once. Just to say you've done it. I did it 3 years ago. Now thats being a travel warrior. A regular travel warrior. Whoowee Travel warrior. Those seats are so small. You all probably wouldn't even fit in them"

However, his favorite topic was the Pai weather. We heard this following speech 4-5 times.

"I tell you what, when dark 30 rolls around and the fog rolls in and the wind starts whipping down the river and it cuts right through those bungalows on the river. If I can give you one piece of advice about Pai, its don't stay in the river bungalows. Because when dark thirty comes and the fog rolls in, Whoowee son you're going to freeze your ass off. You're going to hear horror stories tomorrow morning from people who stayed in those bungalows. Horror stories. People gonna be shellshocked at breakfast..."

Naturally, everyone else on the bus instantly bonded over their hatred for this man. Once off the bus, we sort of aquired 4 other people who wandered around with us looking for a place to stay.  Pai is located in a valley in the mountains of northern thailand, it is a small place with lots of bars and restaurants and has a very laid back vibe. Pai is not only a vacation spot for foreigners, but for thai people as well.  The place was packed because it was a Thai holiday. We finally found a bare bones prison cell with sheets fit for a kindergartener at the low low price of $6 a night.

That night we went out with our bus friends- 2 Australians and 2 Isrealis right out of the army. We introduced them to the infamous Thai Bucket (a bucket with as many straws as people filled with a fifth of thai whisky, coke and red bull).  Pai does indeed get cold at night (one might even say dark thirty) so most of the bars have firepits that everyone sits around. We ended up at a bar called Ting Tong with a roaring fire and an interesting, mostly dreadlocked crowd.

The next morning we rented motorbikes and ran into our Canadian friends Dan and Gina. They were planning to head up to a nearby waterfall so we went with them. Dan Gina and Lindsey were brave enough to swim in the freezing cold water. Then we hopped back on the motorbikes and headed to the hot springs. The scenery around Pai is breathtaking, and we enjoyed driving around on the motorbikes. The hot springs reeked of sulfur, but they were a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

That evening our New Zealand friends Rob Phil and Ash also arrived in Pai, so once again reunited we hung out with Dan and Gina at the night market, hit up C-Bar (everyone was excited we had found 180 baht buckets) and then went to Bamboo Bar, another location with a firepit.

We had rented the motorbikes for two days, so we spent the last day exploring some of the other waterfalls, and then went to "Coffee in Love" an apparently famous coffee house. We knew we had to stop because there were about 20 tourbuses full of Thai people and they were all taking pictures. Once we arrived, we were slightly confused as to what the fuss was all about. No one seemed to be drinking coffee, but everyone was taking pictures of the various things around the place. We I decided we had to get in on the action, so we took pictures with all the various items, especially (and most inexplicably) the mailboxes. You can check out our photo shoot!

 Then we headed to Pai Canyon to watch the beautiful sunset over the mountains. We ate at the street market again and met up with our friends for another night at Ting Tong.

The next day we headed for Fluid, a pool with fantastic fruit shakes. We hung out in the sun and read all day. That night we went to the market again and bought all of our favorite Pai paraphenlia. Everything in Pai says "I love Pai!" or something similar. We had a quiet night and packed our things so we would be ready for the bus to Bangkok the next day.
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Comments

jdn86
jdn86 on

he just sounds like a helpful guy who wanted you to make the most of your time in pai.. and i like really the way you captured his "whoowees", i couldn't help reading it with a southern accent in my head

marco on

SOUNDS LIKE LINDSEY LOU SHOULD WORK WITH KIDS AFTER HER "TOUR" ENDS,

acain
acain on

Hahahaha I have to say that I kind of love that the most annoying person on your trip so far has been from Louisiana. Aren't the accents charming? haha

Tracy on

Hey there ladies! We met in Turkey (Tracy & Jason from Olympus) and I ran across your blog doing research on Egypt a few months ago. I was wondering if you have any India tips. We are heading there and to Myanmar in January or February. Did you make it down to Kerala?

kickthrough
kickthrough on

yeah we moved through india soo quickly that we didn't have a chance to update our blog. Kerla was amazing. really laid back. we went to fort cochin and did a homestay, and then we did the houseboats in alleypey which i would recommend. then we went to the beach in varkala. its a little more pricey then goa but its a cute town on the cliff overlooking the beach and the waves a fun to get a boogie board. Hope the rest of your trip was good! have fun in india its AMAZING

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