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Published: August 11th 2009
As the bus wound its way around the mountains on its journey to Pai, we were both trying to hold off the feeling of wanting to throw up. When we did finally arrive in Pai, we quickly found somewhere to stay that was really cheap, really clean and really friendly. Perfecto! The people that we saw in Pai all seemed really cool and there was a relaxed, hippy feel about the place.
We decided to enroll in a cooking class called, “Let's Wok, with Tee”, and it was loads of fun. He was a cool guy and played tunes as he taught us. In the morning we learnt about curry pastes and made our own, and in the afternoons lesson he pulled out a couple of bottle of whiskey for us to share with him as he showed us how to make salads, soups and stir fries. Despite being a little tipsy, the food that we made all tasted absolutely amazing! There were six people in the group and they were all really cool, which made the cooking lesson an even better experience. He also had a dog called Ginger who helped with the lesson by getting under everyones feet.
We decided that Pai was the sort of place that you can come to for a few days, and then decide to stay there for a really long time. There were a few hippies that seemed to have been there since the 70's, and spoke in new age terms about breathing and “being at one with your spiritual self”. All in all, a sleepy, spiritual kind of place that sold wheat grass shakes.
By chance we ran into Old Greg from our trek in Chiang Mai, and together the three of us went to a restaurant that put a barbeque on your table, and there was a buffet where you collected as much raw meat and noodles as you wanted. (Although when we asked someone who worked there what the meats all were, he said they were all squid.) You cook the food yourself on the table, and the juices from the meat sort of run down into some boiling water at the bottom, to which you add noodles and it's supposed to be a tasty soup at the end. The entertainment value of this concept seemed to us was probably a lot better than the food itself!
After this we went for a few drinks in the town, which felt remarkably like the Northern Quarter in Manchester, there we met a man from Holland, who was visiting and never left, who gave me the best quote of our travels to date;
“McDonald's is the international language of the world....so......choose a Happy Meal”!
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