chiang mai to pai
“we actually survived beautiful bangkok! we have a few more things to do there but were going to wait until stacy’s mom arrives. after our overnight bus ride, which was a shitty bus with old uncomfortable seats we arrived in chiang mai.
the bus company has this little scam when you show up in town. they say that the bus can’t go into town so they need to drop you off outside and they will have their truck taxi take you into old town….so we all get out and load up into the taxi (around 10 people per) and they take us to a guest house where they offered coffee or tea. its a good offer since it’s around 6:30 in the morning.
minutes later, after we woke up from our travels, they brought out a picture board that shows all the treks they offer in the mountains. 3 days, 2 nights, one day you hike then the next you ride an elephant through the jungle then you finish by riding a bamboo raft down a river – sounds pretty cool! they sweeten the deal with a one night free room if you book it.
stacy and i are trying to get off the standard backpacker scam trail so we left for our guest house that we already arranged. i never thought i would be traveling with a cell phone but i have to say it makes thing easy in se asia.
once we were settled we went out to see chiang mai, the town everyone is talking about. a lot of the backpackers stay in the old part off town which is surrounded by a moat, and on the interior of that was a large wall around the city (now only the main gate is still standing). we search for what everyone has been talking about, but we only found a cool reggae roof-top bar and the night market where everyone goes to buy their gifts. stacy found some cool silver jewelry and a dress, as I found a chang wallet.
after we decided we weren’t really diggin on chiang mai, we fled and went up to pai, about three hours northwest on a windy road. finally, a great place! chiang mai was just too much of a city still for us. pai is just the opposite.
hardly any cars on the road, maybe more motor bike, if even that, and bicycles. it was described in the book as a little hippie town and that it is. a little more touristy than in the past i’m sure, but still a great feeling all around. now we’re staying in a killer little bungalow on the river just across from downtown, very cheap too!
the food everywhere has been excellent, all organic, some even vegan. even the western food is great, though the thai is beyond excellent. and of course, being the hippie town it is, lots of wheat grass shots, tons of different teas for every ailment out there, and then there’s the crystal wand therapy, reiki, yoga and good ol’ meditation… almost a little berkeley in the hills!”