I arrived in Pai on a few first day of October. Pai hug me with a warm hug after a long trip during 4 hours. This trip pass some zigzag slopes along the primeval forest. I’m felling very tired because of car sickness. So, on the way, I always blame myself for choosing where I go is Pai.
Even so, Pai made me fall in love at first sight!
I took a deep breath and then look around the piece of land that I just arrived.
Pai in my eyes is a small town, a few beautiful motorcycles, some cars travel. There is absolutely no songthaew and tuk tuk. The atmosphere is very fresh.
Walking around downtown, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, hotels, post offices, banks and police stations all decorated with “love.” The name of the coffee shop is Pai In Love. The name of the resort is The Heart Of Pai. The name of the hotel is Pai In Town.
I was surprised to stand alone to look at the gate of a police station designed like a park gate. That’s cute.
How can you dont love Pai?
Located about 135km from Chiang Mai, Pai was a quiet town of Shan people, whose culture was influenced by Burma. The town center has many cheap guesthouses, souvenir shops, restaurants, bars. Everything is essential. In the vicinity there is spas, elephant camp. Further, outside the town, there are several natural waterfalls and hot springs that change the temperature.
I stay 3 days 2 nights in Pai. The first afternoon I took a break, check mail, upload data. At night, my close friend wandering to find some small restaurants on the road to enjoy the true taste of the North.
My girl come from Hue (Hue is a ancient capital of Vietnam. Hue people like spicy very much) so she tell them: “oh wow, Son Tam not enough spicy, please add chili, and more”.
At the end of the dinner, we were almost full, at that time the spicy “soaked to the landing”. While my friend shook her head “Oh, true spicy” I smiled. OMG, my tears ran down two rows because of spicy.
Thai salesmen who doesn’t speak English laughing:
“We told you already, don’t try the Thai spicy”.
“No! So spicy but I loved it”.
Leaving there, we walk on the main road of the town. Pai at night is quiet, gentle, warm. Pai not shabby and not noisy as other tourist attractions. There are also bars, coffee shop, massage parlors, 7-eleven stores, internet stores, ATMs. However, like the nature of the people here, everything takes place in a pleasant and moderate atmosphere. Pai kept herself own as a young girl with gentle and a litte shy.
The most interesting thing of nightlife is Pai Walking Street. Along the two sides of the road is the bars close to the street. Visitors can go to bar and have conversation with backpacker on along the way. The bars you can go at Pai such as: Sunset Bar, Yellow Sun, Dont Cry Bar…
The Night market on Pai Walking Street also has traditional street food like Tom Yam, Son Tam, Khao Soy, baked goods, fruit… On the main road have massage street, make hair, drawing hena. In addition, night market also sells many handicraft products, ethnic clothing and many “alibaba” style. Surprisely, you will occasionally meet some ethnic people in border regions perform strange folk songs.
Pai in early October is the last days of the rainy season. In the morning, I get up early and walked around the town. The rain still left traces on the way, some dogs running around the town.
I looking around. I saw the architectural style of the Lana roof is black gray, stacked, alternating. Small alleys with lots of paper flowers surrounded. At the horizon, white clouds are falling down the mountain.
I walked a little and started jogging. After the rain, everything is as fresh. I realized that I had fallen in love with Pai. Everything – whatever at Pai in my eyes is also beautiful. In my heart vaguely arise a feeling like the first love, with the first love.
When the sun rise, at that time Pai’s start to a new day. You will see Pai with a lot of backpacker on the road. Someone find his way into the hotel, some people are saying goodbye to Pai. The other side, there are a lot of people who are preparing to rent a motorbike to be ready for a full – day of exploring.
Everyone must to rent the motorbike to travel because of sightseeing places are within 4 – 6 km or more. From Tham Lod Cave to Yun Lai View Point, Chinese Village, Pembok Waterfall, Hot Spring. From Pai Canyon to Memori Bridge, from Pai Tree House to Wat Mae Yen or Coffee In Love are not in downtown. Walking is only possible in the town.
Due to not having much time in Pai, we were decided to rent a car with a cute driver for full day. The total charge including the Master Card charge is around 1200 baht / 2 persons. We visit most of the places except for the Lod Cave. Yeah, because of Lod Cave this season have the water rises. The cave has a limestone structure so it’s very dangerous.
There is one thing I only know when I came to the Grand Canyon, in Pai, riding a motorcycle is not safe. I met three guys bandaged both head and legs look very poor. Therefore, many people choosen bicycles for safer.
Pai is also home to the strangers. It is where many writer come to nourish their soul. But most still is backpackers. They usually leave work for three months and then go travel around Southeast Asia, then they are stop at Pai. They will be become a staff or receptionists for the hotel while enjoy their own time.
The day I left Pai, my heart felt cluttered. I really don’t want to leave this peaceful place. I promise myself, one day back to Pai, I will give me more time to enjoy with her more than now.