Published: February 20th 2011February 15th 2011
Pai and Chiang Rai
It’s been a VERY busy week and we’ve bounced around quite a bit, visiting Mae Hong Son, Soppong, Pai, and Chiang Rai. First off, we’d like to answer some of the questions we’ve been getting asked on a fairly regular basis; Yes we are still wearing the same clothes we brought with us, Yes we are still having fun, Yes we are actually UNDER budget, and No we don’t want to kill each other. In fact, we just got to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Thailand! How awesome is that? Oh, and our presents to each other? While many of you were out to a nice dinner, maybe getting roses, jewelry, or chocolates, we had our laundry done by a machine instead of us hand washing it. Happy Valentine’s Day sweetie! We needed a break from scrubbing our dirty, stinky clothes by hand anyways. Now we don’t even want to wear our clothes because they smell so fresh and clean! By the way, we DID have a Valentine’s Day dinner… one dollar per plate of some yummy Pad Thai on the street. Isn’t that romantic? Haha. It’s so hard to believe we’ve already been on the road for
a month and we have to leave Thailand. We can’t wait to come back to Thailand and do some island exploring!
We can’t even tell you just how sweet many of the Thai women are here. It’s funny that many of them stare and smile at Nate, while some of the others prefer to feed Jessie. As we were waiting in Soppong for our bus to Pai, there was a Lisu tribal woman sitting next to us who offered her some of her sticky rice roll. Jessie graciously accepted and took a piece. Just like a typical mother wanting to make sure her children aren’t hungry, she made her take a couple more bites before she was satisfied. When we arrived in Pai, it was time for Jessie to sit with our bags at one of the restaurants while having a coffee as Nate went searching for a guesthouse. We originally wanted to stay at Happy House, which was a guesthouse we heard great reviews about. Unfortunately, they were all booked up, and so were about 10 other places Nate checked out unless we were willing to spend twice what we had been paying so far in Thailand.
I guess coming in on Saturday night without pre-booking a room wasn’t the smartest thing in the world. After 2 hours of sweating, walking, and looking for a new home, Nate finally found a room at a little place called the Yellow Sun Bar and Restaurant. The front looked really fun since they had a reggae bar and were playing some good music. The room Nate found was dirty, but little did he realize just how dirty it really was. Once we had already paid and moved our things in, we started to do a little more inspecting. We closed the door, only to find a dead cockroach tucked in the corner. As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was another huge one wrapped in a tissue that someone had killed under the bed, and 3 more dead in the bathroom. Guess how many times we showered there? Yup, ZERO! Ya gotta love a room with dead cockroaches, a nasty floor, and a sink that literally drains right onto the floor in front of your feet so you get all of your dirty water splashing on your toes. Ummm, that almost defeats the purpose don’t you think? It’s kind of
like washing your laundry in a tub and then bathing in the same water. Yup, that makes PERFECT sense. We didn’t sleep for more than an hour that night for a few different reasons. First of all, we wouldn’t turn the lights off for fear that other cockroaches would find their way in by us in bed. Nate really didn’t want to catch an elbow to the mouth if Jessie got freaked out by a cockroach crawling on her. The random stray dogs barking all night and the music blaring didn’t help much either, and neither did the rooster letting out his cockadoodledoo at 4:00 a.m. We were like, are you f***ing kidding me? The sun’s not even up yet dude!!! Luckily we were able to move to Happy House the next day. Pai definitely caters a lot to tourists, whether western or Thai. Many Thai people come to visit in order to see a Yellow House that was used in the Thai movie Coffee in Love, which made this town very popular. We weren’t really loving the hordes of tourists around, but at least by Sunday night and Monday morning, they were gone. We had spent some time at
the local street markets looking at a lot of the same things we’ve seen in almost every town, except for one of the guys who had a little shop full of handmade jewelry, which Jessie was in love with! She spent a good 45 minutes in there the first night, and about an hour the next night, wishing she could take everything home with her. On Valentine’s Day, we rented a scooter from town to go do some sightseeing. For 180 baht, we got a scooter with accident insurance on it for 24 hours. 6 bucks for a day on a scooter? Deal! We spent some time driving the loop around town to check out some hot springs, Pai Canyon, the yellow house, and a waterfall. The hot springs were more fun because of the people than the actual springs. Don’t get me wrong, they were very relaxing, just like sitting in a hot tub. It was funny to see some of the locals bagging up their eggs, tying it to a long stick, and boiling them in the springs. One of the signs literally said, no boil eggs. You couldn’t help but smile at all the little naked kids
running and jumping into some of the cooler, deeper water down the river a bit. The yellow house really wasn’t anything too special for us, but Pai Canyon provided a nice spot to watch the sunset. The paths were a little bit scary though. Many of them were no wider than a foot in some places with a 50 ft straight down drop on each side. Let’s just say we took our sweet time going across those areas. At one point, we were riding down the road and the only other person on it at the time was a local man walking a wheelbarrow of crops down the road. All of the sudden, to our surprise, he turned toward us as we passed him, pulled his shorts down to expose his monster size pubic patch and rub his little penis while looking at us (well, probably more like at Jessie). What the hell?? Are you kidding me? Did that really just happen? Go ahead and try NOT to laugh at some random Thai man flashing his manhood at you while you’re out for a leisurely ride. Immediately we both said, “Oh that is SO going in the blog for Pai!”
The waterfall we went to see was ok but nothing more than what we’ve already seen. We stopped back in town to drop off the bike, grab a bite to eat, and book our tickets for a 7:00am ride to get back to Chiang Mai so we could get a bus to Chiang Rai. We were anticipating a good night sleep that night, but we were sadly mistaken. The people at the bar were loud as hell until about 2 in the morning, which…whatever…we knew the bar was under our room when we took the room, so not that big of a deal I guess. However, there were dogs barking off and on ALL…NIGHT…LONG, and of course, what bad night sleep would be without the rooster going off before 5 am yet again? When you have 5 nights of very, very little sleep, you start to get a little irritated with those things. For those of you that are animal lovers, please don’t take any offense to this. In fact, we are both animal lovers, and Nate has always loved dogs. Having said all that, he’s pretty sure that if we have one more night like that, there may be
some dogs catching an ass whoopin'! Aaahh…memories, Haha!
When we left Pai to head back to Chiang Mai, we were automatically put on the “farang” bus with the air conditioning, even though Nate asked for the regular bus. Too bad the tourist bus really didn’t have any air conditioning since it wasn’t working, and the ride was bumpy as hell! As kids we always loved the back of the bus but the older we get (and we know we aren’t old!) we will do everything we can to sit near the front since literally everything jiggles each bump we hit. You guessed it, we were in the back and it was a rough ride! We actually enjoyed the ride more, once again, on the regular bus from Chiang Mai up to Chiang Rai. We lucked out a bit with Chiang Rai since we were thinking it would be really easy to find a guesthouse with it being a fairly small town. Again, Jessie sat with our bags at a restaurant while Nate went and found a room. We quickly found out that many places were full already, so we opted for one of the ones he had
found earlier. We really can’t complain. We stayed at Orchid’s Guesthouse for 450 baht (about $15), and had a big clean room, cable tv (not like we need it), air conditioning (not like we need that either), a hot shower, and free wifi right in our room. Nate to Jessie: “I think some of these Thai women have seen a lot of American TV.” Jessie: “Why do you say that?” Nate: “Because when I was looking at rooms, there were 2 Thai woman smiling at me and saying, WOOOOwooooo. Ya know, like the stereotypical whistle a man makes when he sees a good looking woman? They kept asking me, ‘Where you going?’ ‘Hey, where you going?’ and then laughing and smiling at me.” It was definitely good for a laugh between the two of us. Although Chiang Rai tends to be a resting stop before making a jump across the border to Laos for a lot of people, we enjoyed the one night we stayed here. We visited a hill tribe museum, which was very educational. We found out that the Karen tribe that has the women with the long necks with rings around them, were actually imported from Burma.
That’s just not right. Oh, and how about the payment some of these people are forced to use? Many of the families run a tab with traders in order to feed their families. Unfortunately, if the tab gets too high and they can’t pay, they might end up selling one of their young daughters as payment, who most likely will end up as a prostitute or working in a brothel. That really made us sick… After our time at the museum, we were glad we hadn’t visited some of the hill tribes we were planning on. We stopped downstairs for a cup of coffee at a restaurant called “Cabbages and Condoms”, which is dedicated to fighting against STD’s by making condoms as available as cabbages. They had a lot of really funny key chains and signs, and even a Santa Clause and a super hero covered in condoms! Nate’s favorite was the keychain that showed a cartoon looking penis pulling a condom down over himself, and saying he was safe! At night we went to a little night market, which was one of the better ones we had been to as it didn’t cater to western tourists as much and
had a really good outdoor food court. Afterwards went back to our room for a good night sleep, finally! Laos, here we come!
Xoxo Nate and Jessie
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