Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…saying bye to Pai

As you’ll remember from my very last post, I left Chiang Mai early because of some Thai female fighting. I headed off into the mountains to escape the feud, not realising until I got there that one combatant had come with me.

pai_dog

Pai, in the very north west corner of Thailand, is an odd mix of a place.

The town itself is small and is heavily visited by tourists. Not only those like me, but also Thai people — due to the success of the film Pai in Love. I’ve never seen it, but you can watch this trailer if you like.

Despite there being so many tourists in town, both white and brown, there were zero tuk tuk drivers hassling me for a ride when I got off the bus, no one trying to make me stay at their hostel/hotel and no one trying to push drugs on to me. For travel in Thailand, this is most unusual.

Pai_markets

My hostel was a short walk out of town, over a very rickety bamboo bridge and up a slight hill, which meant it had great views over the surrounding area. The hostel also had a circus theme and after a day’s lesson I was ready to play with fire. That is until, my partner in Thaime (?), decided she was too hungry and my newfound skills would have to wait. I also have no photographs of me twirling things during the day because while I was contemplating a possible new career, she was spending the day doing what most visitors to Pai do: smoking weed. This also accounts for her insatiable hunger come dinner time.

pai_circus

pai_circus_school

Outside Pai

Just outside the town there are a few things to do, and a few things I actually did. People love to ride scooters and motorbikes up there because of the ridiculous windy mountain roads, but I’m not a mentalist so I just organised a tour to go and see some nice things.

Pai_scenery

The first, like with most places in Thailand, was a big Buddha. This one was also white, which was a nice change. The second photo has some people in it so you can see that it is actually big and not just a weird camera trick.

pai_whitebuddha

People for scale

After that I went to Pai Canyon, which wasn’t very grand but was nice to walk/climb/scramble around. You can see my Buddha-sensitive trousers being put to good use.

Pai_gorge

pai_canyon

The drive to/from there also went through some countryside villages, which made our crappy accommodation seem a little better.

Pai_locals

Pai pie

Walking through the town I kept my eye open for a bakery or a coffee shop that sold pies. It seemed a waste not to try Pai pie, even though Pai is said differently to pie because of Thai sounds that don’t make any sense to my ears. The P is somewhere between a P and a B, which means foreigners call it either Pai or Bai, both of which are wrong.

Regardless, the pie was terrific.

Say aye tae a Pai pie

Bye, Pai

Leaving my mountain sanctuary I went back to Chiang Mai for a few days and rather than give you a bland ‘again, again’ post, I threw up violently on my first night (which I’m blaming on Pai cheese) and pretty much did nothing else until it was time to leave.

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One Response

  1. Dave says:

    Pai pie everybody, Pai pie.

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