Before heading off to the next destination we had heard mixed things about Pai so wasn’t sure what to expect. We got a bus ticket with Green Terminal Travel for about £4 each, it was about a 4-hour journey and we were pretty nervous to step foot on the minibus when we had read many negative reviews about the route we had to take. The journey has around 720 bends in the space of 3 hours (I know this from research, I didn’t sit and count every bend), so if you suffer from travel sickness like I do then it’s not the most enjoyable journey.
We arrived in one piece without being sick and made our way to our resort and it was so peaceful we felt like we had to whisper and tiptoe around. It felt like a meditation resort. There was a decent size pool with a slide where we could release our inner-child.
Unfortunately, our hotel was 7km out of town because the agency we booked with lied to us. However, our hotel offered a free shuttle bus but the times weren’t brilliant so we had to schedule our day around the shuttle time, we waited until 6 pm and went to check out the small town of Pai.
We headed straight for the street food which was delicious and a friend of mine recommended to try the Lasagne which was lovely although not overly traditional. At that point of time, I really didn’t care because it was glorious. It reminded us of our mum’s dish (not as good, obviously).
We walked around picking at different food stalls; Pai would not be a good destination to visit if you are on a diet. Our first impressions of Pai were that we loved it, it does, however, give off a ‘hippy’ vibe and there are many people with dreadlocks and walking around without shoes. The final time for the shuttle to get us from the town was 9 pm which isn’t very late, especially for nocturnal youngsters like us. We got picked up and taken back to the resort.
We woke up and went for breakfast and it was the most amazing breakfast we have had!
With a beautiful view overlooking the rice fields and munching on honey waffles and fruit, all we could think about was you, poor souls, soon to begin your day at work (sorry). We rented a moped that day and drove to the Land Split which is crazy. You don’t have to pay to enter but there are locals that give you food and drink and ask for a donation. We gave them some money as they gave us a drink which was called Roselle juice. It’s a juice made from a flower and has many health benefits, it tasted like strong cranberry juice. We chilled in hammocks and enjoyed our drinks before hopping back on the moped.
We then drove to Pam Bok Waterfall which was filled with travellers swimming and playing music.
The next day we had booked a day tour to go and see some popular attractions (Kiu lom Viewpoint, Lod Cave, Sai Ngam Hot Spring, Mor Pang waterfall & Pai Canyon). It was an incredibly long day but very enjoyable with fantastic company. We got talking to a couple who lived in Sheffield and they made the day tour even more enjoyable. We drove 2 hours up the mountains to see the viewpoint only to be greeted with nothing but fog. There was no viewpoint but at the time we just laughed it off.
We then made our way to the cave which is a story to tell. We had to be paired into groups of 3 (me, James and another man) and we were taken through the cave by an older lady carrying a lantern. It was a great experience but required a lot of energy which we didn’t have because we were woken up at 4 am by inconsiderate morons (I would use foul language but I’ll keep it PG). We were led to a Bamboo boat which didn’t feel overly sturdy especially for us when we have been eating toastie after toastie. I thought it was a great accomplishment that we managed to make it on the boat without falling into the water, we sat down and I heard a splash. I turned around, glanced at James and his face just dropped. I hoped and prayed it was just his cheap Primark sunglasses and then he said, “it was my phone, I’ve dropped my phone”. We started to drift away and James just said to me “it’s okay I’ve lost it, it’s gone”. I shouted at the lady and told her to take us back basically performing sign language because of the strong language barrier. We started to go back and they began searching for his phone in the shallow water and someone handed it to us…. still working perfectly fine just slightly smelly. I will never let him live it down because I constantly nagged him not to keep his phone in his pocket. And now I can proudly say “I told you so”. But back to the cave, it was fantastic.
We carried on down the waters and saw thousands of bats flying up in the cave and as any living creature needs to poop, they had to do their business somewhere, that somewhere happened to be over us. I grabbed a towel from my bag and sat with it over my head whilst James sat there with our bag over his. The people that drifted passed us laughed and how we looked, but they didn’t realise that they were about to be pooped on like there was no tomorrow!
We had finished in the caves and drove to the Hot Springs which was rather pleasant. The water was like bath water although not overly clean.
We chilled in there for about 30 minutes and then dried off and jumped back on the bus ready for the Pai Canyon. We drove about 1 hour to the Canyon and the views were incredible.
We took a spot and waited for sunrise but it was too cloudy for us to see any sunrise so we all agreed that we would just call it a day. Sunrise or no sunrise it was still worth seeing the Canyon. We got dropped off at our resort and agreed with our new friends Ollie & Lauren that we would meet up that evening and grab some dinner together. They were also heading back to Chiang Mai the following day so we agreed that we would book the same bus ticket and hotel.
It got to 7 pm and we met up with them and walked into town, we grabbed some food, booked our bus ticket (only cost us around £3.30pp) and then wandered around. We went and sat in a bar and played some pool. We played girls vs boys and they were so overly confident and cocky that they were going to win but they lost!! Not just once, but twice. I & Lauren were obviously over the moon and made sure we rubbed it in their faces A LOT. Girl power! It got to 9 pm and we had to catch the shuttle bus back to the resort (they wound us up saying we actually had a curfew). We had a great day and were so happy to have met them, another great couple. We were looking forward to spending the following day with them on our journey to Chiang Mai.