18 June 2012

Pai Love

I had every intention of staying in Pai, Thailand for 4-5 days.  I ended up there for nearly two weeks.  It’s that kind of place for someone like me.  It’s full of hippies, mountains, good food, tiny restaurants and bars, a great pool with an awesome dj, events to help raise money for creating a city recycling program, organic food, dreadlocks, cool tattoos, fire dancers, a guy who can balance and levitate two crystal balls on top of each other, hippie, erotic hula hoop dancers, very pregnant women dancing their heart out in a performance of a didgeridoo hip-hop artist, Thai guys dressed like hippie rock stars and jazz hipsters that play in awesome cover bands where jazz meets reggae, muay thai boxing lessons, motorcycle rides all over the mountains to watch the sunset, a place where you can rent a motorcycle for $3/day, an awesome mixture of backpackers and hippies, freak rain storms, mysterious gorge/ridge cliffs, meeting an Australian who hopes to one day be a shaman, bungalows in the low season for $4.50/night, a great night market that has some of the best food I’ve had in Asia (like the lasagna!) and has a huge variety of food for every taste, a place where locals start to become your friend and you ask how their day is going and updates on any new news in their life while playing with their baby, getting massages from a Thai woman who is built like a wrestler and prays/chants before giving you one of the best massages you’ll ever have, going on trips to find passion fruit juice for cocktails, and finally, relaxing up in the mountains at the Pirhana Fishing Farm chatting with friends over an English breakfast and enjoying the sunshine, and so much more.  I realize I don’t have a whole lot of photos of Pai itself as I got sucked up in the super chill atmosphere that I didn’t even feel ambitious enough to take photos of it.  While other places boast tht they have a relaxing atmosphere, Pai truly takes the cake on chilling.  I think I want to move there.  Can one get bored of too much chillness?  I think I should give it a try.

If you ever find yourself in Pai, these are some places to check out, stay, and/or do:
- Stay at the Riverside Bungalows
- Hang out at Fluid (great public pool for swimming and for their potato wedges and huge bowls of beautiful, tropical fruit salad)
- Eat some Lasagna/Pizza with the lasagna lady (that's what she's known for) at the night market (except for Sundays)
- Go to the temple on the hill to watch the sunset
- Hang out at Bamboo Bar for after hour drinks and one of the funniest lady boys that does promotions there
- Just take a motorcycle in any direction
- Get one of the many flyers being passed out daily to some local party or concert and sample the local life

In lieu of pictures of Pai, I'd like to start introducing you to some of my friends along this road I'm on.  Should you ever run into any of them, stop to say hello, and have a beer or two with them... then again, with this crew, don't drink Laos Laos or Sam Song or they could be picking you up off the floor if you're not careful.  It's the great people I meet along the way that really make any place more special... like this crew.  They've got a big heart made of gold and the best sense of humor.

Going to the waterfall (John)

The boys frolicking in the water

Goofy John
Esther, Dean, and Alex - watching the sunset

Don't try this at home, kids!
(LtoR: John, Dean, Fred)
This pretty much sums up what one does in Pai, watch the sunset
(Pictured: Alex and her gorgeous blonde hair)
Dean releasing the catfish he just caught
Lazy days while fishing
Fishing at sunset
Vegetarian pirhana?  Um, I'm not gonna test those teeth.

Watching the sunset from the temple on the hill
Inside the temple on the hill, these are used for prayer,
each color for a different day of the week you were born on

Home sweet home for two weeks!  One bungalow away is the river.
John, a kiwi with a great sense of humor
Dean, a Brit with a great sense of humor
At another waterfall, though this one you can get opium at
Part of the crew... John is off somewhere being John -
like going down a rock slide with a very shallow bottom at the end

And on the train to Chiang Mai - Pai...

Esther, she's got the loveliest British accent, so posh!
John, one crazy kiwi!  Hasn't gone a day without a drink since the day he started drinking.
Fred.  Don't even try to drink this guy under the table.  At 6'5" and muscles to go with it, you're not gonna win.
But he's a big ol' teddy bear!  

Pai, Pai, Love!


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