Sunday afternoon brings yet more good news for us, we've decided to stay longer in this awesome town of Pai. We were warned/told/advised that we would definitely want to spend more time here than we originally planned, and now I see why. It has something for everyone, and has a rural yet faintly urban charm. There is plenty to do here in the day, and also the night. There are a couple of clubs or dancing bars that stay open until the early hours if that's your scene. Bamboo (literally on stilts above the river Pai) and Don't Cry are those party bars if that's your scene. Most street bars stay open until 12, and food finishing around 10ish.
This town seems to attract the hippies, and most of all the people who have chanced the 3 hour drive into the mountains, only hearing how magical this place is. It's strange, as there are plenty of westerners who almost claim ownership on this place as they have been coming here for years, and spin a yarn of when there were only 7 westerners in the town. They shouldn't have drawn a map, like in The Beach.
As I said there are mainly 2 types of people that visit/live here(talking about westerners only). Firstly those who have taken the gamble to get off the beaten track and see this place for themselves, and soak up the slow cultural ambience with a Chang and a local curry in no rush at all, and love to meet new people and laugh till the early hours. Secondly there seem to be many types that saunter round with dreads and matted beards who look like they need a good wash and drink organic tea and then eat the bamboo cup it's served in. They also like to moan that Southern Thailand is rubbish and no point going there. If I'd have known that I would have just gone to Glastonbury or Totnes instead and saved a lot of money... The third kind I suppose is a mix between the two, but they tend to be in their late 50's and tend to be off the wall. Way off the wall!
Last night we had Mexican food, and it was very tasty. The place was run by a Deniro lookalike from Southern Texas who luckily let us eat at his place just as he was closing up. He was a very polite and friendly man who served us some great food. I had a massive Burrito 'pregnant with twins' which i suppose is like a supersize meal. Very tasty.
We have moved accommodation now, and have gone further up the river to somewhere cheaper called Baan Pai. We have got a double room with hot water, mozzy net, hammock, balcony, and most importantly-a toilet!
It took me a while to work out how to use budget accommodation toilets, as anyone that has been here before will be able to empathise as there is no chain flush; You have to manually flush it by throwing buckets of water down until your satisfied it's all gone!
After the turbulent walk home from the waterfall yesterday with butterflies dancing around your feet, dragonflies putting on a waterskiing performance for you and wild dogs showing you the way home, we managed some beers in a hammock, which now is the only way to properly consume an ale! Forget beer gardens or cocktail bars, 30 degrees celcius enjoying a jazz guitarist horizontally is the way forward!
Tomorrow we are splashing out on a 16 quid a night bungalow in the hills with a local family that owns it. Nobody is staying there as it's currently low season. It looks heavenly! They have even offered to come and pick us up in their psychadelic VW Golf from Pai, and drop us back the day after!
One thing I haven't mentioned so far is the sheer presence of Canines. There are so many dogs roaming the streets, but are so tired all the time they just sleep in the street. Becky and I have named most of the dogs in Pai already, including Pai dog with magnificent posture, Pai Dalmation, Bruce and there are many more
. In our current guesthouse, the bitch that resides there has just given birth to 10 puppies. They are unbelievably cute. Will watch out for the mother though, as she might have beef wiv me.
Ciao for now.
p.s Booked our 2000 km trip to the island of Koh Phangan today, whats that about 1600 miles? It cost just over 55 quid each for a combo of Flights, trains, buses and catarmaran. Mental isn't it.
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