These Pai days for days

Pai it turns out is exactly what I was warned about, incredibly dangerous…  If you have a time budget!!!

I planned 3 days, but knowing what might happen I budgeted for 5 days, I have ended up spending, 5 days, and 7 nights, as I arrived late, and decided to go to the monastery early in the morning rather than tonight (7th), yes I’m off to a monastery tomorrow, I will be there for a week of meditation, and at least part of it I will spend in silence, I figure it’ll at least be an interesting experience, I’ll be off the grid the entire time, and will do a write up about my experience in the weeks after.

Anyway, this post is about Pai, well its rather lovely here, I haven’t falling in love with it like so many people I met have, but still I liked, and it was well worth coming here.  I stayed at SpicyPai backpackers on an excellent recommendation, great spot, basic facility’s, and it’s a 10-15-minute walk out of town, but great atmosphere, cool crowd, and a fantastic BBQ once a week.

 

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Sunset from the Spicy Pai communal area

 

Day one was a planning day, so pretty chilled, spicy pai was nice to just hang out, if you can get one of the 2 good hammocks then bonus!!  Went to Fluid, the swimming pool, 60 baht entrance, great spot to hang out!  Rented a scooter, not really needed, unless heading out of town, but super convenient, as it is a 15 min walk into town, the walking street was great in the evening, its full of food vendors, amazing food, 40-50-baht Pad Thai, de-lich-ous!!

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Day two, BIG day! Walked 18 kilometres to Mae Yen waterfall.  Walking through the jungle was fantastic, though tough, particularly one bit right before the waterfall, very steep.  There was an awesome dog that joined us at the start of the trail, she led us all the way there and most of the way back, so amazing, a few times we were uncertain of where the trail went and we learned to just follow the dog! She had a collar, and supposedly belonged to the owner of one of the hotels nearby.  The waterfall was the best reward for walking nine kilometres, and refreshing for the walk back, needless to say I had sore legs that evening!..  The good thing, no the great thing was that the hostel had the BBQ on that night, so had the best meal! Actually I had two, It was all you can eat after all, and I am rather inclined to take that literally…

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The jungle trail, and our lovely canine guide

That night there was a huge tropical storm, loads of lightning, torrential rain, and the loss of all power on this side of the river for 24 hours!!  Needless to say the ambiance and atmosphere was fantastic that evening, but much less so in the morning, after the realisation that there was no Wi Fi or coffee… hehe

 

Day three, was chilled, after the trek the day before I was happy to relax, had an excellent vegan breakfast, I know this is a huge call but there’s this restaurant up the road called Earth Tone, and I think it’s possibly the best vegan, and vegetarian food I’ve ever had!!!!!!  Yep I said that…  seriously good, and inspirational! They do a lot of fermentation, very cool, super tasty.  After breaky I had my first proper Thai massage, ok but nothing I’m about to rave about, then I just hung out in a restaurant, had a Penang curry and made use of the Wi Fi in town, had a chilled evening sampled some local delicacies, socialised at the hostel, mostly from the hammock (I’m actually addicted), Pai time is definitely slower…

 

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Vegan Breakfast, Black rice pudding, fresh fruit, chia seeds, goji berries

Day four, another good day!  Early start for me, as I wanted to catch sunrise at the Pai canyon, lovely experience, despite getting lost en-route and only just catching the sunrise.

 

 

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Sunrise at the Canyon

 

Myself and a girl from the hostel rode scooters the 48 kilometres out to Tham Lod cave, very interesting, huge calcite formations, of various forms, the cave is enormous, and surprisingly cavernous, hahahaha, and has a river running through it, and a large flock of swifts that live and nest in the roof of the mouth of the cave.  The ride to and from was amazing, the roads up here are great, the corners are brilliant, so much fun on a scooter!  We stopped about half way back and climbed up 2 kilometres (in the heat of the day, ugh) to a great view point, I forgot to mark it on Maps-me so I’m not sure what it was called, good spot, though a tough walk.  Falafel for a late lunch/early dinner, quiet evening, more rain, more lightning, I felt cold for the first time in months!  Kinda weird…

 

 

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Tham Lod Cave

 

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The view from the view point…

 

Day five, started with uncertainty, I wasn’t sure if I was staying another night or not, I wanted to visit the white Buddha, though this didn’t happen in the end.  So more breaky at Earth Tone again, haha, then I decided I wanted to do a fermentation class, I saw a brochure for, extended my stay, found out afterwards that the class isn’t run on Sunday’s, sigh+sad face.  In the end, it kinda made sense to have a quiet day catching up of some planning, budgeting, and blogging, so here I am, blogging the evening away, half listening to the music and chatter behind me.

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There it is my Pai days…

Tomorrow I check out of spicy pai, and head to the bus station nice and early to catch the first bus to Mae Hong Son, which I’ll hop off early at the monastery, and commence my week of meditation…

Once again thanks for reading, goodbye Pai, cheerio lovely people, I’ll see you all in a week (maybe a little more).

 

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“with each sunrise we start anew”

 

 

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