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Published: November 24th 2012
This blog is to update you on our journey into the upper most parts of Thailand. A place of beauty, encapturing sights, and one of the last known hippy freelands out there.
In the north, life is not governed by tourist police and pad thai vendors. No. It is floating on a river of satisfaction, flowing free and easy. The lack of ping pong shows, and umskur ridden walk ways allows one to observe the beauties, rather than just avoiding the nasties.
Dont get me wrong, i love Bangkok, in all its rush hour glory, but the ability to seek silence when you need it, and a party when you feel like it, is a luxury only felt in the higher realms of Thailand.
We stayed in Giant guesthouse 2 in Chiang Mai. A family run business, Giant is now three strong, having one more in Chiang Mai, and another in dreamy dreamy Pai *sigh...
Giant 2 is fronted by a rather cool looking cat named Jo Jo. He cruises around nodding at his particlars, and spending his evenings in the Reggae bar next door. A place in which his rainbow coloured flares can atlast find camoflauge.
The Giant 2 is a generous accommadation, providing guests with free bottled water, free tea and coffee, and free bicycle rental. We of course took gracious advantage of all these delights, and after filling up on liquids, decided to take the bikes for a spin...
Now, i have never had trouble riding a bicycle, my stabilisers were removed at the age of four, but by god how i wanted them back this day!!
My bike was a special kind of bike. One that should only (in this day and age) be viewed in a museum. Not ridden on highways filled with drivers who quite frankly, have no idea you are also on the road!! After about an hour, i had mastered the horse shoe shaped handle bars ( aslong as i didnt have to turn) , and the lack of gears turned out to be interesting when pedalling down hill, where i matched the speed of a NASA x43 fighter jet! One has never swallowed ones own tongue, but by god it was trying to pass tonsils on a few rather ropey descents.
Despite this wreckless rolling, the day out was joyous. We stopped for japanese tea at a small bistro, and spent the rest of the afternoon getting lost, and stumbling upon chosen destinations completely by accident! Note to self.. Maps that have been drawn manually, and that are given out by sticky rice ladies (as lovely as he dears are) should not always be used.. As once you have wiped off the grease, they look more like peg leg joes treasure map than a tourist guide.
Following our Chiang Mai adventures, we decided to travel up to Pai. This a mere 3 hour journey by mini van. Now, i have never before experienced travel sickness, but there is a first time for bloody everything, and this van was to end me!
To say the van was uncomfortable would be an under statement! My seat was not infact attached to the ground, and i spent the whole 3 hours bouncing around, whilst holding a stack of rucksacks at bay on my right hand side. Now, ive always been a fan of green, but not so much when it describes your current complection. Getting off that death vessel was one of the happiest stumbles of my life! 😊
Pai is the place where dreams are made. A bohemian wonderland, sedate bubbling brooks, sunsets of pink,gold and purple, lush mountain sides a million shades of greens and yellow, secret hidden waterfalls which seem to fall from the very edge of the vacuous wonder of space, steaming hot springs, elephants wandering the streets, with both people on their backs and un-mounted, beautiful foods at cheap prices, scooters for £1 a day, a multi cultured society of hippies, freaks, thai rockers, tattoo artists, young and old travelers, all together to enjoy the delights of this place. Pai truely is one of a kind.
We stayed at Giant house 3, the sister house to the Chang Mai residence, which was run by a lovely old lady known simply as mama. Mama was gangster, she spent her days smoking joints and doing the books for the guest house, nothing got past her, every penny was accounted for, then in the evenings she would join the guests and cruise the bars, gargling down beers and receiving knowing and thanking nods from the locals.
The bar was ran by an aussie fellow called Nick, a lively chap who'd been tempted into staying in pai and working at the guesthouse for five months now. His days were spent drinking and cracking sarcastic jokes, good fun. Nick had a birthday party whilst we were there. There was a free BBQ. I ate lots. Cheers nick, feel free to gain another year before we leave, that BBQ was some of the best trough iv had this trip 😊
Yes Pai was a true delight. We were tattoo'd at Cross tattoos, and i would thoroughly recommend Mink to anyone travelling through, and needing ink!
True to the above we spent our time in a Pai haze. Wandering the natural delights, and meeting some absolutely wonderful people along the way.. Thank you Pai, see you again soon. Xx
As much as we could of stayed in Pai's loving grasps for eternity, my peanut butter addiction was leaving 7/11s all across the world in a nutty state, this along with the fact that we had been in this one place for over two weeks now, and were beginning to look like dirty furniture.. A new destination called.
Next stop Laos
Peace and love to all
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