5/08/2008

Do nothing in Pai

From link::roryseiter.blogspot

Four hours North of Chiang Mai lies the small village of Pai. It consists mostly of guesthouses and restaurants. A few years ago there were no ATMs, dirt roads, and sleepy locals. Then people like us arrived. We arrived by the thousands. Walking down the streets was like walking through a small Hawaiian town. There were stalls selling anything that you could want. Music was playing out of everywhere, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Marley, and Jack Johnson.
Every morning, Pai is blanketed in a cold mist. The people of Pai dress as if they are living at Everest base camp. Nepalese looking hats, scarves, gloves are all common in Pai. As the sun makes its entry, it slowly burns off the mist and the days get pretty warm.

Little did we know that we would be arriving in Pai for the biggest event of the year, the “Pai Music Celebration”. This was a festival that was a Vans Warped Tour, country fair, and swap meet all in one. Entry fee = about $1. There was a small stage with a local band playing Thai rock music. Then there was a big stage of a Thai band playing Bob Marley covers.





There isn’t much to do in Pai, but that is the appeal. The most popular things are trekking, elephant riding, and white water rafting. The trekking consisted of overnight camping for a couple days and we were only there for one night. The white water rafting was in a river that looked toxic. Brown and slow moving wasn’t appealing, so we opted for the elephants. Very happy that we did!








From link::roryseiter.blogspot

Other links::Nina the Lone Explorer!
About Pai - Thailand

Party Of Five

From link::In The Land Of Smiles

We had a couple days to kill in familiar Bangkok before the girls arrived. After re-aquainting ourselves with the over-stimulation that is Khao Sarn Road, we dropped off a couple kilos of excess backpack weight & had an amazing Italian feast at Chatree's place, got to know modern Bangkok downtown at the malls, & lay out at Lumphini Park in front of a pond full of massive lizards that we initially assumed to be either anacondas or snakes (hey, you never know in Bangkok).

An era ended & a new chapter began when the girls joined us on the other side of the world- we officially went on a vacation from our vacation. Conveniently we decided not to acknowledge Tara & Mindy's jet lag & on their first day we dropped them at the Royal Palace, took an hour long cruise of the canals, squeezed all five of us into one tuk-tuk across town where we weaved our way through hectic chinatown, explored the uber-modern central world mall, & then head to the train station where we hopped on an overnight train bound for Chiang Mai.

Immediately after checking into our hotel we called up the same massage parlor we'd visited during our first whirl through town & arranged for them to pick us up ASAP. After being chauffered, we all changed into those same orange pajamas & sipped pandanus tea in a row while our feet were scrubbed clean. The former-inmates/current queens of massage lay us out on floor cushions & introduced Tara & Min to what Thailand really has to offer... tiger balm & all. We spent the rest of the day & into the evening perusing the Sunday walking street that had erupted outside the salon unbenounced to us. Every street inside the moated area of the city had closed down & been completely taken over by vendors offering up a unique selection of food, art, & souvenirs. It seemed nearly every person in Northern Thailand was floating through the maze.


The next day Lauren, Jenny, & I separated for the first time in months. Tara, Mindy, & I went off into the suburbs for a 7 hour intensive cooking class while Lauren & Jenny head to the Chiang Mai Zoo. While we learned & successfully made everything from heavenly mango sticky rice to drunken noodles, the girls got up close & personal with hippos & giraffes. We met up later for a cruise through the Night Bazaar & a couple St. Patrick's Day beers at an Irish Pub.


Next stop: Pai. Lonely Planet's description of this Northern expat haven sucked us right in.
"The hippie trail is alive & well in Pai"
After a long, overcrowded, winding trip through the mountains of Mae Hong Son we found ourselves beyond perfect accomodations at the Golden Hut Bungalows where from the benches surrounding our patio you could see the bright orange robes of monks (who we could also hear chanting at dawn) through the palm trees at their nearby wat. The town was quiet, bohemian, & fully enamored with it's own unique vibe. Small galleries sold postcards & other souvenirs baring cutesy recognition for Pai's Pai-ness...
"utoPAI"...
"insPAIration"...
"Pai in the sky"...
"Do nothing in Pai"....



We spent our first day poolside & surrounded by mountains before heading out into town to scope out the perfect spot for Jenny's birthday celebration. At the edge of town we stumbled upon Ting Tong Bar (which means "crazy... but in a good way"), a huge open air bar ran by a lively bunch of locals who promise nightly fire shows & live to entertain. We dropped word of Jenny's birthday to this fun loving bunch & extraordinarily the next day employees donning customized Ting Tong shirts passed out flyers inviting the entire town to join in the celebration of Jenny's 23rd. Strangers were actually stopping the herd of us on the street to wish Jenny a good one. While the girls found a new pool to spread out at, Tara & I spent that afternoon playing alone in a nearby river with a couple loveable elephants. We rode bareback through the countryside & got repeatedly dumped into the river as our new friend plopped himself over repeatedly. Tara had been waiting a long time to hang out with a real elephant & the experience could not have been more ideal.

0 . 2 . 8 . 4 . 0 .



That night, after a candlelit pregame with appetizers on our bungalow patio, dinner at a local restaurant, & a quick bar crawl for some cocktails & live music, we made it fashionably late & spent a memorable night at Ting Tong. Another unique 23rd birthday in Southeast Asia!




Are you Ting Tong?



The next day we left Pai behind & took a bus all the way back to Bangkok where we've been wandering for the last couple days. After a final Thai experience in the Red Light District last night, Tara flew back to the US & now the four of us have only a few hours until we get on a bus that will take us back down South where we'll spend our final weeks on the beach :)

Yet another chapter begins....

From link::In The Land Of Smiles

Other links::Hippyland, Thailand
Living with Lisu Hilltribe

UtoPai

From link::2headedturtle.wordpress


They’ve got Bird Flu in Vientiane: a woman and a young girl died recently. Chickens are generally to be avoided there: Much of our time in Laos was spent barely avoiding them as they dashed across the roads.

The presence of Bird Flu may in fact explain the psychology of the suicidal road chicken, a common phenomenon across SE Asia. These silly birds dart across the road as traffic approaches, usually barely avoiding rubber in their determination to get to the other side. Why? Are they sick, depressed?

How bad, I wonder, is the incidence of suicide among Burmese chickens, now that Bird Flu has again broken out in Myanmar?

The chickens were healthy and not the least depressed in Pai, in northern Thailand, where we spent a few days (too few) before returning to Bangkok. A much greater concern in Pai is the Westerner on a motorbike.

The sidewalk eateries of Pai’s main streets are lined not with chickens awaiting the worst moment to cross a crowded street, but with wounded white people nursing bandaged heads and arms in slings, trying with difficulty to see their breakfasts through puffy, bruised eyes. A reminder of the dangers of navigating the roads and alleys in an alien driving environment – if we needed any reminder after six weeks in this motorbike-crazed part of the world.

It is said, though I don’t believe it, that five accidents a day occur in Pai – a town of little more than 4,000 – caused by Westerners who can’t handle their Vespas.

There are some mishaps, certainly. But the pathetic wounded notwithstanding (or standing at all) I figured there was no better time to learn to ride: Pai is a small, chilled-out town and the roads are generally open, and wide enough, all things considered. Also I’m very safe on the roads, as all who know me will agree. So we rented a motorbike one day and tooled around town, a first for us both, and had no mishaps besides once almost falling sideways off a bridge.

The countryside around Pai is normally dry this time of year, but this season the aridity has reached drought proportions. Dust and the smell of burning are everywhere. We buzzed up to a waterfall several kilometers outside of town: only a trickle of water spilled over the edge of the rock. Rafting trips, one of Pai’s chief industries, have been cancelled until rain comes – supposedly in April, but no one is confident anymore that that will happen. To the south, Chiang Mai is in a state of emergency because of the health-hazardous dust.

Zooming haphazardly around the sidewalk-like roads of Pai, ignoring the dust, was the most we accomplished in six days. We also mustered the energy to get a massage. It’s a nice town, admittedly overrun by touristic types but ideal for lazing around and eating well – and cheaply. Also for improving your talent for haggling: but all of SE Asia has honed that ability in us.

Not everywhere afforded us a chance to learn to pop wheelies down main street while scattering chickens, roti vendors and crippled Swedes.

Ha, ha. Kidding. About the Swedes.

Pai was a great place to relax after Hanoi, Land of Honking Horns. In an upcoming post we’ll tell you all about our adventures in northern Vietnam, mostly on four feet. In the meantime keep your wheels on the ground and your knees in the breeze. Like they do in Pai.

Places we recommend in Pai: Breeze of Pai Guesthouse; Na’s Kitchen (best food in town); Phu Pai, for coffee and great music nightly; and Bebop, for great atmosphere, and music, nightly.


From link::2headedturtle.wordpress


Other links::Chang Mai- Pai (Thailand)

Pang Mapa, Thailand - Cave Lodge

5/07/2008

Hilltribe village tour around Mae Hong Son

From link::cactuschild.blogspot


I decided upon a tour of the surrounding hilltribe villages for today, which i booked through Nam Rim tours. The company were recommended in the Lonely Planet, and the guide, Dam, seemed a very funny and knowledgeable guy with a fantastic grasp of the English language. He also knows a lot of the various Karen languages, and as he has a Kayan (longneck) girlfriend and used to work in Myanmar (where the Karen people have migrated from), we (me and a French lady called Francoise) did get a little bit of a more intimate and personal view of their lives.

Nai Soi Village

It costs 250THB to gain entry into the Karen village of Soryolay (or Nai Soi as it's more commonly known), yet only 10% of that goes to the Karen people themselves and the surrounding refugee camps. So they make their money selling handicrafts, which did give the village a very tourist-orientated feel.

The Kayan (longneck) people wear their rings from the age of around 5 or 6 years old. Some wear them on their limbs as well but most solely on the neck - hence the name 'longneck'. Contrary to belief, the rings do not stretch their necks; they depress the collarbone and ribcage, which gives the impression of the neck being unnaturally stretched. The rings around the neck can weigh up to 14kg but the normal weight of the ones worn by an adult woman is 5-6kg. The rings are only taken off 9 times in the women's lives : to change them as the collarbone and ribcage become more depressed.

The rings are worn for 3 reasons :

1.
To make the women look beautiful
2.
To warn off the interest of Thai men
3.
To distinguish them from other hilltribes

Also in the Nai Soi village live Kaya (red Karen) and Kayew (long eared Karen). There is a school in the village where the children learn Karen, Thai, Burmese and English languages. The villagers are a mixture of Buddhist and Christian religions so you will see both temples and churches existing side by side.

A great deal of time on the tour was spent in Nai Soi but we also visited a nearby Shan (Thai Yai) village which is part of the Royal Project for the King and Queen. The Shan cultivate coffee and tea and avocados in place of opium and the women spend their time making embroidery. The King and Queen have instigated the supply of electricity and fresh water to the village so that these projects can be undertaken more successfully.

Hmong Village of Huai Mae Korsom

After lunch and the best cup of coffee i've had in Thailand at the Shan village, we visited a local Hmong tribe. Their houses (made of wood or thatch) sit on the ground. Their belief system is Animism (taken from the latin word 'anima' meaning 'breath' or 'soul') and is a belief that a soul or spirit exists in every object, even if it is inanminate. Pologamy is also poermitted in the Hmong tribe, so some men have up top 4 wives.

Mae Aw
Mae Aw is 22km north of Mae Hong Son, on a mountain peak at the Myanmar border. Mae Aw is it's Chinese name, as it's a Chinese KMT settlement, but it's name has recently been changed to Ban Rak Thai (Thai loving village). There's not a lot to do here other than drink lots of tea (we tried Green, Jasmine & Udong) but the surrounding scenery is stunning.
Tham Pla (Fish Cave)

Tham Pla is a water-filled cavern in the Tham Pla National Park, where hundreds of Soro brook carp thrive. They grow to 1 metre in length and are found only in the provinces of Mae Hong Son, Ranong, Chiang Mai, Rayong, Chanthanaburi and Kanchanaburi. There's also a shrine centered around a statue of the Hindu rishi called Nara, said to protect the holy fish from danger. Just at the start of the walk up to Than Pla are several (it's difficult to tell how many as they're all entwined together) Monkey Ladders, which - until now - i never knew existed other than as a strange and interesting product you could buy from The Pier back in the UK!

Photo is of a Kayan (longneck) women with baby, Nai Soi, Nr Mae Hong Son।

From link::cactuschild.blogspot

Other links::The life of Pai
Lovepaihome

5/06/2008

The life of Pai

From link::cactuschild.blogspot


There seemed to be more people eager to leave Pai than were arriving : had a struggle finding my way off the bus through the crowds getting on! I also had a struggle finding somewhere to stay within my price range : i must have wandered around Pai's traveller-filled streets for about an hour and asked in about 20 guesthouses, all of which were full. I finally settled upon one (The Swan guesthouse) a little over my budget of 200THB per night but as i basically have my own apartment (missing any kind of furniture in what should be the lounge!) then 250THB isn't bad considering!

Once i had settled into my accommodation, i took the east road out of Pai, to reach the temple on the hill (Wat Phra Tat Mae Yin) in time for sunset. There are several guesthouses, eateries and quality handicraft shops you pass on the walk out, which are well worth checking out. The view from the temple, of the surrounding valleys, is pretty awesome, especially if you catch it just at the right time as the sun is disappearing behind the clouds, giving the sky a wonderful orange hue.

Today i decided to make the 8km (i'm sure it was more than 8km!) journey up to Nam Tok Mo Paeng waterfall, and stop of at a Lahu and Lisu village on the way back. I'm very relieved now that i decided to hire a bike for the experience, as although it was all uphill on the way there (i ended up pushing my bike for much of the time!), it was a breeze on the bike on the way down! I had to keep my hands on the brakes for the majority of the journey to prevent myself from tumbling rather violently into the nearby rice field!

I'm not sure the waterfall was worth the physical effort it took to finally reach it, but it was a pleasant place to do a spot of sunbathing (you can also swim in the pools if you remember your costume, which i didn't!) and the scenery along the route up was beautiful : lots of rice fields, banana trees and sugar cane plantations in lush green valleys. I failed to locate the Lahu village and there were more Lisu people in Pai than there were in the Lisu village! Moreover, it wasn't the kind of village prepared for tourists so i didn't feel comfortable playing voyeur and snooping around in these people's lives. So i returned the bike and spent the remainder of the afternoon perusing Pai's art shops.

This evening there was a powercut in town so all the streets were candlelit, creating a lovely peaceful atmosphere. However, businesses continued as normal : shopowners served by candlelight, restauranters cooked by candlelight, the only traders made redundant were the internet cafes! I had a delicious meal, eaten by the light of the oil lamp on the table before me, at Ginger's house, a vegetarian restaurant just off Ratchadamnoen Road. The only sounds around were the odd motorbike passing at the top of the street and the quiet conversation between travellers at the tables beside me. After my meal, as i wandered down to Edible Jazz to savour a nice cold beer Chang whilst writing a few postacards, the power was briefly re-instated. I say briefly because after about an hour the skies opened and it poured with rain! It hasn't rained in Thailand since September! Subsequently, this downpour knocked the power off again, so i continued to write my postcards in candlelight while i waited for the rain to stop. It didn't, and the ground was still wet this morning . . .Pai RecommendationsPai corner. Owned by a Thai/German couple. Cool, chilled out atmosphere and the best green curry i've tasted to date. Perfect consistency, perfect spiciness, perfect almalgamation of flavours, and they serve it with sliced banana which compliments the spiciness of the dishGinger's House. Owned by an Australian guy. It's a vegetarian restaurant, all dishes served with brown rice (which makes a refreshing change), the veg/fruit juice mixes sound really tasty (unfortunately i couldn't try one due to the powercut), and the food is delicious. The place has loads of character and all seating is on the floor Japanese style.Edible Jazz. Lovely setting just off the road and surrounded by bamboo gardens. Chilled out staff, chilled out atmosphere, chilled out tunes.All About Coffee. Huge variety of real Thai coffee, as well as teas, the iced variety of both, and fruit & yoghurt shakes.Mitthai Art Shop. Quality and unusual postcards and prints and customised handmade t-shirts & pants. The shop next door (the name escapes me) sells much of the same, and both are well worth a look.Final thoughts on Pai

Pai, in my opinion, isn't the place to come if you want to do anything particularly constructive (the treks offered are pretty much the same as you'd get in Mae Hong Son and Mae Saraing but with many more tourists (so i'm told!)). However, if you want to spend your days perusing art galleries and sipping coffee (and it's real coffee, none of that nescafe s**t!) or fruit shakes and watching the world go by, or sampling some of the tastiest food in Thailand and soaking up some real music (Pai has an excellent live music scene) then pay Pai a visit and you may end up staying longer than you'd planned.

Photo is of the sun setting over the valleys outside Pai, viewed from Wat Phra Tat Mae Yin


From link::cactuschild.blogspot

Other links::Pai In The Sky
Pai - Riverside Lodge

5/04/2008

Thailand's most relaxing town, Pai, Thailand

From link::Thailand's most relaxing town, Pai, Thailand

Pai is a sleepy little town nestled in the mountains in the far North of Thailand. The Northern area is famous for its hill tribes, spectacular scenery and relaxed way of life. On the day I arrived it was pissing down and covered in cloud so I didn’t really see much in the way of scenery, but the friendliness of the locals was immediately apparent.

Floods(the picture does no justice to how fast and powerfully the water was moving)

Wil had already been in town for over a week and was more or less settled into a guesthouse already. There was a spare room so I joined him there. Ting Tong guesthouse is quite small with only four rooms, a shared kitchen, and a living area complete with TV and DVD player. The others in the guesthouse were Chessy, an English travel writer in Pai for a few weeks already, and Francesca, and Italian photographer for Armani in Thailand to photograph local and traditional fashion (or something like that). The owner of the guesthouse- Tu, and his brother Chuwawa were possibly the nicest people I’ve ever met. They also owned a bar across town where we spent most evenings.

Straight away I fell in love with Pai. The feel of the place is so laid back and everyone (foreigner and local) are so cool and friendly. Just about every Westerner I met there had come for a week and stayed for a year!
My contribution to engrish.com
In the week I spent in Pai I mostly sat around watching episodes of Oz, or cruised around of the scooter I hired. In the evening we’d go out for a drink at Ting Tong bar or to one of the Thai Whiskey bars across town. Then retire with a few beers at home with a DVD.

In the last few days there were torrential rains in North Thailand that caused widespread flooding and did a fair bit of damage. Only weeks earlier there was a serious deluge in the region that Pai was only just recovering from, so fresh floods were the last thing they needed. But is the spirit of the Thai’s the whole community got stuck straight into the clean up and repair job and after 2-3 days most of the work was done.

As our time in Thailand was drawing to an end we forced our selves to say a sad goodbye to Pai and all our new friends there, and made the trip back to Chiang Mai to prepare to cross into Laos.

Laters

Roh
From link::Thailand's most relaxing town, Pai, Thailand

Other links::Pang Mapa, Thailand - Cave Lodge
Just chillin in Pai, Pai, Thailand

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Just chillin in Pai, Pai, Thailand

From link::Just chillin in Pai, Pai, Thailand

Richie messin about again


Travelled up north of Chiang Mai today for about 4 hours to a little village called Pai.Its lovely we hired out a moped for afew days because theres loads of places to see.
We went to a place called spa exotic, which was like a really warm swimming pool,ah bloody lovely it was. We then just walked through the village at night which was lit up and looks really romantic.

Day 2
Today was spent travelling round from place to place on our moped it was great fun and we loved it.We had a Indian on the street at night which was o.k but we`ve had better,then we wondered round the village, most the the little bars are converted vans and small trucks they look really cool.
We stopped at one and everybody seemed to be smoking what looked like a bong,after asking we tried one it was just flavoured smoke nothing to special but unsual.After afew beers we strolled home to our hut by the river.

Jans favourite banana rotis(like pancakes)

Day3
Today has been spent chillin out, we treated ourselves to an all over oil massage which was really relaxing.We will defiantely be investing in some more of these.After the massage all we wanted to do was soak up the sun and read our books.
Pai is definately a cool place to spend anything from afew days to alot longer.They was more than an ample amount of what one of our friends(paul) would call banana pancake munchers here(really hippy travellers with dread locks etc..)

Local bar

Day 4
Another day just spent chillin,and walking around trying food from all the different street carts, i love it, trying as many differnt food groups as i can and it hardly costs a thing.
We are going over to Loas tonight at 10pm so have been wasting time all day really.We should arrive at the border for about 4.30/5am.

From link::Just chillin in Pai, Pai, Thailand

Other links::Hippyland, Thailand
Pai In The Sky

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Amphoe Pai - Wikipedia

Amphoe Pai

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pai (Thai: ปาย) is the northeasternmost district (Amphoe) of Mae Hong Son Province, northern Thailand.

Geography

Neighboring are (from west clockwise) Mueang Mae Hong Son, Pangmapha of Mae Hong Son Province, Shan State of Myanmar, Wiang Haeng, Chiang Dao, Mae Taeng, Samoeng and Mae Chaem of Chiang Mai Province.

The important rivers are the Pai and Khong River.

Symbols

The district slogan is Pai River, worship Luang Pho Un Mueang, spread good kind of garlic, surrounded by lush forests, way of life evenly between hot and cold.



Amphoe_5803.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Province:
Mae Hong Son

District office:
19°21′31″N, 98°26′24″E
Area:
2,244.7 km²

Inhabitants:
29,526 (2005)

Pop. density:
13.2 inh./km²

Geocode:
5803

Postal code:
58130

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PAI INFORMATION

PAI INFORMATION in Pai Maehongson Thailand

IMPORTANT CALLS IN PAI DISTRICT in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Pai Police Station 191, 0 5369 9217-8
Pai Tourist Station Police 1155, 0 5361 1812
Pai Hospital 0 5369 9211
Pai District Office 0 5369 9196
Shuttle Bus to Chiang Mai 0 5320 7134
Bank 0 5369 9029
Tourist Information 0 5369 9385

HOTEL/RESORT/GUEST HOUSE 01 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Abodaya 0 5369 9041
Amy’s Earth House 0 5369 9899
Baan Krating 0 5369 8255
Baan Mai Kon Muang 0 5369 9499
Baan Nam Hoo Bungalow 0 5369 8172
Baan Nam Pai 08 1930 1161
Baan Nena 0 1289 6408
Baan Pai Charming Home 0 5369 9796
Baan Por Kamnan 0 5369 9382
Baan Sang Heaun 0 5369 9859
Baan Tawan 0 5369 8116
Baan Tayai 0 5369 9579
Baan Visarut Resort 0 5369 9400
Bamboo Housse and Trekking 0 9953 3605
Banana House 0 5369 8149
Bell Garden 0 5369 9762
Belle Villa Pai 0 5369 8226
Best Bee House 0 4804 6934
Big Guest House 0 5369 9938
Blue Lagoon Hotel 0 5369 9998

HOTEL/RESORT/GUEST HOUSE 02 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Blue Sky 08 1881 6056
Blus House 0 5369 9401
Breeze of Pai Guest House 08 1998 4597
Brook View 0 5369 9366
Bulum Buri Pai 0 5369 8302
Cafe` Del Doi 0 5369 3230
Charlie’s House 0 5369 9039
De Pai Resort & Spa 087-015-3525
Duang Guest House 0 5369 9101
Eden House 0 5369 9112
Evergreen Guest House 0 4048 6294
Family House 08 9700 2362
Family Hut 08 1028 0843
Farmer Home 08 9953 3617
Gasalong River Lodge 08 9999 1235
Golden House 08 9854 3058
Golden Hut 0 5369 9949
Good View Guest House 08 9852 5792

HOTEL/RESORT/GUEST HOUSE 03 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Hut Ing Pai Resort 0 5369 9781
is am are 08 1208 8410
John Bamboo Hut 0 5369 9886
Kanravee Guest House 0 5369 8122
Kenter House 0 5369 9362
Lanna Guest House 08 6911 7086
Lemon Grass Hut 08 9755 3211
Lisu Inn & Guest House
Love Pai Home 08 9138 8961
Mae Yen House 0 5369 9321
Michel Bungalow 08 6118 6999
Misty View Guest House 08 9070 1031
Mounjtain Blue Guest House 0 5369 9282
Mr.Jan’s Guest House 0 5369 9554
Muang Kon Guest House 08 9266 0041
Muang Pai Resort 0 5369 9988
Noon House 0 5369 9383
P.P. Orchid Guest House 0 5369 9159
Paddy Fields Guest House 08 9507 6765

HOTEL/RESORT/GUEST HOUSE 04 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Pai Buree 08 7189 3151
Pai Cabana 0 5369 9190
Pai Guest House
Pai Highlands Resort 0 5369 9316
Pai Hillside Resort 0 5369 9189
Pai in The Sky Guest House 0 5369 8145
Pai Lanna Resort 08 9635 7556
Pai Mountain Lodge 0 5369 9995
Pai Na Home 0 5037 7188
Pai River Corner 0 5369 9049
Pai River Hill Guest House 0 5369 8230
Pai River Lodge 08 1439 4490
Pai River Mountain Resort & Spa 0 5369 8105
Pai River Park Darling Guest House 08 9559 6267
Pai Tree House 0 5369 3271
Pai Valley

HOTEL/RESORT/GUEST HOUSE 05 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Pailin House 0 5369 9058
Painam Paidoi 08 9831 1639
Pairadise 0 9838 7521
Palm House 0 5369 9074
Pana Village 08 6190 2516
Pi Ganwsh 08 1366 8505
Pichai House 0 5369 9388
Pravee House 0 5369 9368
Puan House
Rainbow House 08 6921 3528
Rim Pai Cottage 0 5369 9162
River View Bungalow 0 5036 2131
River Park Guest House 08 9559 6267
Riverside 2 Guest House 0 5369 9915
Shan Guest House 0 5369 9162

HOTEL/RESORT/GUEST HOUSE 06 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Shangrila Guest House 08 1951 0101
Simply House 08 9065 6306
Sipsongpanna 0 5369 8259
Spa Exotic Home 0 5369 8088
Star Guest House 08 9559 6065
Suan Doi Resort 08 9192 6766
Suan Hom Flat 08 7193 6314
Suan Mon Guest House 0 5369 8275
Tamarind House 0 5369 8111
Tha Pai Spa Camping 0 5369 3267
The Countryside 08 7172 6632
The Mountain View Guest House 0 5369 8274
The Sun Hut 0 5369 9730
Tine Top Guest House 0 5369 8016
Tonsa Guest House 0 5369 8229
View Pai Hotel 0 5369 9174
Villa De Pai 0 5369 9109
Wahlin Rooms
Wonderland House 08 7177 2619
Yod Tong 08 9955 7872
Yoonaan Cottage 08 1025 6718

RESTAURANT/COOKING CLASS 01 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Abodaya Restaurant 0 5369 9041
Amido Pizza Garden 08 1179 7283
Angie Kitchen 08 9726 7698
Aoy Bakery 0 5369 9938
Baan Benjarong 0 5369 8010
Baan Mai Kon Muang 0 5369 9499
Baan Pai Restaurant 0 5369 9912
Baan Pai Village 0 5369 8152
Blue Restaurant 08 1911 3640
Boogie Burger 08 7074 1973
Burger House 08 6763 7829
Charlie Kitchen 08 9908 2684
Chez Swan 0 5369 8235
Cristina Restaurant 0 5032 0174
Dang Thai Food 0 5369 9937
Duang Restaurant 0 5369 9101
Fubar 08 1726 6638
Fuid Swimming Pool 08 7186 5320

RESTAURANT/COOKING CLASS 02 in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Ginger House 08 1345 1286
Happy Yim 08 7265 9809
Hut Ing Pai Steak House 0 5369 9841
June Restaurant 08 7173 3124
La Terrasse
Laan Tong
Latina 08 1595 8031
Little Home Restaurant
Lux Pai 08 9558 4825
Mai Pen Rai 08 9998 0632
Mama Falafel 08 1020 0129
Milk Inter Pai 0 5031 3465
Mountain Blue 0 5369 9282
Na’s Kitchen 08 1387 0234
Nong Beer
Own Home 0 5369 9125
Pai Blues 08 9157 6997
Pai Center Restaurant 0 5369 9872
Pai Cookery School 08 1706 3799
Pai Corner 08 1030 3195
Pai Doi Restaurant 0 5369 9189
Shark Riverside
Smosorn 08 9700 4547
The Link

COFFEE SHOP/LIVE MUSIC/CAFE’/BAR in Pai Maehongson Thailand
50 Satang Bar 08 9852 4610
All About Coffee 0 5369 9429
Baan Raan Bar 08 6010 8023
Bamboo Bar
Be Bop Bar 0 5369 8046
Bell Beer 0 5369 9762
Charnon Bar 08 9908 2684
Da Vinci Cafe 08 7178 1756
Edible Jazz Menu 08 9912 8628
Groove Yard 08 9560 8561
Mellow Yellow 08 1381 9141
Monkey Magic Bar 08 1784 3798
Red Orchid 08 6192 5031
Shisha Bar 08 1672 3909
Sun Folwer Caf? 08 9950 1798
Take a Seat 0 5369 9023
Taku Art Bar 08 9431 6118
Ting Tong 08 4807 3781
Walk In 08 4803 7757
Witching Well 0 5369 8296
Yin Yang Bar

SOUVENIR/CLOTHING/ART SHOP in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Come Pai 08 1287 7131
Local Focus 0 5369 9775
Matsaya indian Leather 08 7111 3602
Mitthai Art Shop 08 6910 2718
Mom & Me 08 4150 7248
One Thousand Eyes 08 1845 1108
Pai Tribe 08 6186 4580
Sabaidee Gallery 08 6923 5309
Siam Used Books 0 5369 9075
Siver House 08 9700 7089
Together 08 1447 6411

INTERNET SERVICE in Pai Maehongson Thailand
A Adventure Internet 0 5369 9503
Eye Com Internet 0 5369 9472
Good Net 0 5369 9390
Happy Internet 0 5369 9315
Jib Net 08 9263 4599
Pai Travel Internet 0 5369 8148
PNC Internet 0 5369 9961
Quick Net 0 5369 9961
Zquence Online 08 7179 4215

BIKE & MOTORBIKE FOR RENT in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Araya Service 08 7189 3791
Aya Service 0 5369 9888
Dang Motorbike for rent 0 5369 9390
Duan Den 08 6828 6016
Haruethai Service 08 6196 0168
The Good View Motorbike 08 9999 1715

ELEPHANT CAMP in Pai Maehongson Thailand
Noi’s Elephant Camp 08 1960 8568
Joy Elephant Camp 08 1881 3923
Thom’s Elephant Camp 08 9851 9066
Twin Elephant Camp 08 1951 8008

Lovepaihome





Lovepaihome
hip home,fusion food & sunset bar
62 moo 1 wieng neur,pai district, mae hong son, thailand 58130
tel : 08 9138 8961
http://lovepaihome.multiply.com/

5/03/2008

Travel In Pai Mae Hong Sorn Province

From link::thailand-northern.blogspot


Pai district is situated about halfway between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Sorn, the misty town on the Burmese border. At about 600 meters above sea level, surrounded by high mountains. Pai offers one of the most fertile and beautiful nature in the North of Thailand, clean air and no pollution. People from many different tribes live here peacefully together and still maintain their traditional way of living.

The serene Pai river runs from the northern border with Burma through Pai town and along virgin jungle to Mae Hong Sorn. Hardy adventurers use this route for exciting rafting.

How to get to Pai?
Start from the main tourist hub: From Chiang Mai on route 1095 towards Pai it is 132 kilometer. The bus from Chiang Mai Arcade bus station takes about 4 hours.
Buses from Chiang Mai to Pai:
7.00, 8.30, 10.30, 12.30, 16.00
Buses from Pai to Chiang Mai:
7.00, 8.30, 11.00, 12.30, 16.30
From Mae Hong Sorn town: Along this route pine trees and wild vegetation line both sides of the gently rising road passing nice scenery along the way. In Mae Hong Sorn are motorbikes and jeep available for rent.
Population of Pai
Mainly Thai Yai (from Burmas Shane state) and hill tribes (Lisu, Lahu, Karen). In town mainly Thai, Thai-Chinese, some Thai-Muslim and some foreign residents.
Occupation in Pai
Agriculture - mainly garlic, rice, fruits, lychee, cotton
Climate in Pai
Cool season: 12? C - 28? C from November - March
Hot season: 24? C - 35? C from April - June
Rainy season: 24? C - 32? C from July - September
Tourist Attractions in Pai and around
Old temples:
* Wat Nam Hu
* Wat Phra That Mae Yen (mountain temple)
* Wat Klang and Wat Luang (temples where Thai Yai / Burmese architecture is preserved)
Wonders of nature:
* Ta Pai hot spring
* Pong Duad hot spring
* Mo Paeng waterfall (near Lahu village)
* Mae Yen waterfall
* Lod caves (these are beautiful and ancient caves on a large area where graves of prehistoric civilization was found. The area is a national park with lots of different birds.

Activities in Pai
* padelling rubber boat along Pai river
* adventure rafting and canoe along Pai river
* explore caves or go mountain trekking
* elephant riding through jungle
* mountain bike cycling or motorbike-trekking (Nop's bike shop offers 2 - 3 - 4 days motorbike trekking with 250 ccm trail bikes around northern part of Mae Hong Sorn province. Guide available or on your own. Also available Honda Dream, good maps and other information.)
* jungle-treks: Pai is well known as a base camp for trekks to hill tribes. Walk through green jungle and spend the night in a hill tribe village to experience their traditional way of life. In Pai there are local or hill tribe guides and porters available.
* Herbal Sauna and Thai Traditional Massage as well as herbal medicine or Burmese Massage
* Reading (Nop's book shop)
* Thai cooking course at Peter's and Wandee's Hut in Mae Yen

Culture in Pai
Both local Thais and hilltribes still keep their traditions alive by their traditional dressing, house style, food and entertainment.
Here are some of the highlight festivals:
* Loy Kratong (full moon night in November)
* fireworks competition at Wat Luang (beginning of November)
* Kin Wo (hill tribes New Year, February)
* Thai New Year (13 - 15 April)
* bamboo throwing festival (to ask for rain, May)

Facilities in Pai
Pai is a small town but can offer enough facilities such as a post office, hospital, long distance call and fax service. Accommodations and food are good and cheap. Most of the guest houses are in town and the scenic most beautiful ones are along the river. Local restaurants and western style restaurants are available (e. g. Chez Swan Restaurant, Thai Yai Restaurant) with home made brown bread.

More Information About Pai Please visit to Thailand Online

From link::thailand-northern.blogspot


Other links::pai map

Chiang Mai -water festival

Hippyland, Thailand

From link::therangelife.wordpress

If you’re wondering where all the hippies went after Jerry Garcia died, I found them here in Pai, Thailand.

Well, that’s a little unfair. Marjan (the Dutch woman I met in Chiang Mai) and I did, after all, *just* get here after a hot, cramped, torturous, and lovely 4-hour bus ride from Chiang Mai. So before I blurt out any more ill-informed opinions about Pai, why don’t I recount what I’ve been up to.

When I last left you, I was in Chiang Mai at the beginning of 3 straight days of being soaking wet whilst celebrating Songkran, which is the Thai new year. Chiang Mai is Thailand’s “other” city - they say that while it has a slightly more northern Thai feel (in terms of architecture, food, and ethnic groups), its smaller population and more laid-back attitude allows visitors to experience to real Thailand without the struggle that characterizes doing so in Bangkok. All that said, I still don’t really know what Chiang Mai is like, because the city was shut down and turned into Water World for Songkran.

My first night in CM (Saturday) I had stayed at The Royal Guest House, which is outside the old city. Sure, it had a small pool and internet on the premises. And for a mere 300 baht (around $9.75) I was given the privilege of walking up 5 flights of stairs to a run-down room with no air-con, no hot water, no towel and no toilet paper. Gah.

In the morning (Sunday) I tried to avoid the water wars by visiting various Wats (Buddhist temples) around town. Wat Phra Singh, the main temple in the old city, was surrounded by people selling food and drink to worshipers (or followers?) who spent the day picnicking, listening to talks by monks, and watching what appeared to be hilarious, aggressively amplified amateur theater played on a makeshift stage. I escaped the shrill actors’ voices by returning to the streets, where I was greeted with buckets of Songkran cheer. I wove down side streets back to my guest house to drop off my bag (so my stuff wouldn’t get soaked) and joined in the fun.

That night I switched guest houses to Eagle House 2, where for 200 baht ($6.50) I got similar conditions but without the 5 flights or the attitude. I chose it because it’s friendly, centrally located in the old city, and it has a good reputation for organized treks to visit hill tribes in the surrounding area. I neglected to realize that in this case “centrally located” meant “sounds like the crappy cover band at the bar next door is actually playing in your bathroom.” So I was serenaded by some Thai dude’s renditions of hits by The Grateful Dead, Oasis, Nirvana, The Allman Brothers, etc. until around 1:30 am. At least the music distracted me from the sagging bed frame.

So while I haven’t been tremendously successful in getting sleep, I have been having fun. On Monday I joined a 2-day, 1-night trek organized through Eagle House to visit some villages of the Karen tribe. There were 11 of us: our guide, named Doh (heh heh); Boom (really!), the schlepper/sherpa-like guy who carried our food; Allison, a Canadian living in Bangkok and teaching Thai children at an international school; Roberta and Greg, Allison’s parents visiting from Montreal; Sam and Lisa, a lovely couple from York, England, who were on month 10 of their year-long trip around the world (again, I feel like a travel-schmuck); Cami (from Texas) and Sara (from Ohio), friends who had just finished their TOEFL teaching certification in Phuket; and then Matt, an Aussie with a British passport (or Brit with an Aussie accent?) who was in the midst of an existential crisis. He regaled us (so to speak) with conspiracy-like theories about pharma companies and the Aussie government, his hatred of capitalism and greed, the true secrets of life (there are many) and many, many, many other things.

There’s a ton to write about the trek, but right now I’m starving so I’m off to grab a bite. Also, this internet cafe lets you upload photos, so I’m hoping to add a few thousand words’ worth later today.


From link::therangelife.wordpress


Other links::Bye Pai

Pai In The Sky


Bye Pai

From link::therangelife

Just came back from a day riding around the countryside on a motorbike for most of the day. Beautiful, but hot and exhausting. For lunch we went to Sipsongpanna, a place in the village of Wiang Nur that Chris, Howie’s friend, recommended. Deelicious Thai vegetarian food, if you ever get up this way (and if you can find it!).

Yesterday Marjan and I took a Thai cooking class at Pai Cookery School. The proprietor, Gaew, was extremely gracious, knowledgeable, and patient (especially when we decided we wanted to customize the menu a bit). The class included a trip to the local market, where she told us about Thai ingredients and dishes other than what we were making. The market sells everything from papaya to roasted cicadas and various other bugs. Which reminds me - I neglected to mention that I *tried* a roasted cicada during my trek last week. (I removed the head before eating - I couldn’t bear the eyeballs.) It was…salty and crunchy and I got little legs caught in my teeth. I shan’t eat them, unless I’m under great duress.

In the evening after class we met up with Chris. We tried to meet at a bar, but they were all closed last night - no place was allowed to sell alcohol (though the markets still sold bottles) because today is election day, and the government figures if people drank they wouldn’t get up to go to the polls. That’s a new one for me.

Anyway, instead we went to a local bakery and Chris told us about his 4 years living in Pai, and how much it’s changed. Definitely interesting to hear about the place from an adopted local!

So tomorrow morning I’m on a 7am mini bus back to Chiang Mai, then on a plane down to Phuket, where the nice people at Similan Diving Safaris are sending a taxi to pick me up and bring me to them in the town of Khao Lak, on the Andaman coast. They’re even going to help me find a guesthouse nearby for Monday & Tuesday nights. Then on Wednesday I’m off on a 4-day, 4-night dive trip on the M/V Dolphin Queen to the Similan Islands, Surin Islands, Koh Bon, and Richelieu Rock. YEAH.


From link::therangelife


Other links::Pai (but no pie in sight!)

More Wildlife Wanderings in Pai

Pai

From link::Pai

Pai
(ปาย) is a small town (pop. 3000) in North Thailand, between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son on Route 1095. The surrounding district is Amphoe Pai. Both are named after the Pai River.

Understand

Pai is a predominantly tourism-oriented town, offering a relaxed atmosphere with a broad traveller & backpacker scene. In early 2006 a sudden boom in guest-house and bar construction has resulted in a great deal of spare capacity - capacity that is partially taken up by an increase in Thai people visiting after Pai was featured in a romantic Thai film.

By road

Route 1095 which connects Pai with Mae Hong Son (50km as the crow flies, but approx. 110km by road) and Chiang Mai (135km) is a very scenic route through the mountains which takes several hours (but worth it). It's a steep and windy drive, with lots of curves, so take a plastic bag and some motion-sickness pills if you need them.

By motorcycle

Route 1095 isn't as bad as people make it out to be. There isn't much traffic and you can hear the cars and trucks coming. If you're a little adventurous, rent a motorcycle in Chiang Mai and make the ride up to Pai. You can stop at the waterfalls and small towns along the way, and you'll really enjoy the trip, as opposed to being motion sick in a bus for hours, and being forced to stop at the driver's friends restaurants. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and being on a bike makes you feel like part of the mountains. The locals will think you're crazy, and the construction crews get really excited when you come through. Make sure to take some warmer clothing on your bike, as it tends to get a bit chilly in the higher portions of the ride. As a novice rider, expect the trip to take around 5 or 6 hours, including stops at sites and restaurants along the way.

By bus

Buses and minibuses go to Chiang Mai (Arcade terminal) and Mae Hong Son. Regular public buses take around 4 hours and charge about 80 baht; minibuses take around 3 hours and tickets (sold by travel agencies) cost about 160 baht. One strategy is to get to Pai using the public bus so that you can get an idea as to how winding the road is and then you can decide if you want to splash out and get the mini bus back to Chiang Mai.

To feel less travel sick and save some money take the regular public bus. The scenery is lovely and the winding roads are much easier on one's stomach if you take things slowly.

By plane

The nearest domestic airport is Pai. It now has daily service from Chiang Mai. Tickets can be bought at Aya Services in Pai, or from the ticket office in the Chiang Mai airport. It's near the Air Asia office, on the far end. Chiang Mai to Pai - SGA departs daily from Chiang Mai at 10:55am and arrives in Pai at 11:30am. Return flights are at 11:45am arriving at Chiang Mai at 12:20pm. [1]

the nearest domestic airport accepting flights from Bangkok is Mae Hong Son Airport, which has direct flights to/from Bangkok (Thai Airways and PB Air).

The nearest international airport is at Chiang Mai.

By train

The nearest train station is at Chiang Mai.

Get around

The town itself is best explored on foot. For exploring further afield, bicycles (40-100 baht/day) and motorbikes (from 100 baht/day) can be rented from many agents along the main street.

Motorbike taxis are also readily available.

See

The town itself has no special sights; most people come simply for the relaxed atmosphere. Nearby attractions include hot springs and waterfalls, and a hilltop temple. There is also a wonderful canyon which provides the perfect spot for a sunset. This is a great spot to visit after seeing the WWII bridge built by Japanese-held POWs.

Do

Rent a bicycle or motorbike and visit one of the nearby waterfalls and hill-tribe villages. Pai is also a major starting point for organized trekking tours which are offered by every guesthouse and travel agent.

Whitewater rafting trips abound and there are numerous elephant camps. Additionally there are several hot springs in the area.

Geocachers - there are two caches in the area [2] and [3]

Visit Cave Lod, approximately 55km from town on the road towards Mae Hong Son, 9 km from Soppong. About an hour and a half on motor bike, or join a tour. Visit just before sunset (3pm-6pm) and see the thousands of birds descending into the cave for the night.

Waterfalls

  • Mae Yen - 7 kilometers out of town with no bikes allowed for the last 6km of that. Head East over the bridge heading out of Pai and follow the signs.
  • Pam Bok - on the road to Chiang Mai before Pai Canyon. Nice secluded waterfall with high cliffs surrounding it, making this a very cool place to escape the heat. Go for a relaxing bathe in the shade during the dry season.
  • Mo Paeng - West of the city past Santichon (Chinese refugre Village). The upper section of this waterfall is a natural water slide during the dry season. The rocks are smooth, just find a small section and slide on down like the locals do!

Buy

Take a look at some of the hill-tribe members selling handcrafts.

Pai has an abundance of bookshops, some of which carry harder to find titles. Many are along the bus stop road, past Aya services.

Eat

For such a small town, there's an astonishing number of restaurants, most of them catering for needs/tastes of foreign travellers; just choose the one that suits you best.

  • Burger House - The owner Ed & wife Jec offers 12 different real beef hamburgers, chili, sandwiches, specials, dinners, pork chops the size of a Clive Cussler novel, beer, wine, etc. Located 100 meters east of the traffic light on the main road.
  • Chez Swan - Has the best western breakfast in town, for 100 baht. Also offers great western foods for lunch and dinner, if you have a sudden craving for home.
  • Drop Inn - offers gigantic versions of Western dishes for 120-150 baht.
  • Good Life - Veggies and vegans will love this place. It serves organic and vegetarian foods at decent prices. It's not half bad either. The delicious breakfasts are great value. Best fresh coffee in Pai too!
  • Kin J - This little vegetarian restaurant between the main traffic light and the afternoon market serves a selection of purely vegetarian food daily. Get there early, as it's mostly sold out by mid-afternoon. It's only 25 baht for brown rice and two dishes.
  • Na's Kitchen - Debatably some of the best Thai food in town. Na still works in the kitchen everyday, serving delicious northern food to tourists and Thais. She speaks great English, and will even teach you a bit of Thai if you ask nicely. Na's is always a favorite of the long-stay travelers and the ones returning for a second, or third go at Pai.
  • - The Thai local restaunt of choice. Find it directly opposite the Pai District Office. Very few westerners to be found, but the menu is in English. Excellent Thai salads and sticky rice.
  • Curry Shack - Order a curry served in a coconut!

Drink

There are many Western-style bars, especially along the main street that leads to the Chiang Mai bus stop. There are also many tea and coffee shops, including herbal brews.

  • Bebop Bar is famous for live bands.
  • Shisha Bar next to the police station offers a convivial atmosphere, delicious Beer Lao, excellent music, and an irresponsibly difficult drinking competition.
  • Fubar is slightly out of town and stays open till very early, playing excellent music and great food.
  • Phu Pai is a popular hang out. Live music, great atmosphere. Go along and say hi to Siam who brews his own rum. Cocktails with his rum in it are some of the cheapest around (100 baht)
  • Reggae Bar is on the road to Chiang Mai, just pust Ting Tong. This hard to find bar is the place for hippie hang outs. Look for the people sitting around a camp fire with acoustic guitars and jembi drums. Live music every night sometimes provided by the customers - feel free to bring along your own instrument!

Sleep

There's an abundance of guesthouses in Pai, most of them in the budget range (a bungalow goes for around 100-500 baht depending on amenities included). Mid-range options are rare and there's no top-end hotel. But Pai is not a package-tour-place.

Heading out of town there are swarms of bungalow setups.

At the bus station there is a 2007 (!) map of Pai. Get this as it will show you the location of most of the guest houses (> 100 places). There is also a discount for motorbike rental.

For cheap accommodation with lots of character try out a bamboo hut on the river. Head East from the bus station and either take the first left or continue straight. Either way you'll reach a bamboo bridge. Across the bridge you'll find plenty of cheap accommodation (about 200-400 baht per night).

Other accommodation:

  • Phi Chi, East past the main traffic light, past Burger House on the right. 'Phi Chi' is Thai for older brother. Approx. 300 Baht per night. Quiet, clean, hot water showers, western toilets, some rooms have TV and close to everything.
  • Rim Pai Cottages, 99/1 Moo 3; +66-26730966 (fax. +66-22119656) is one of the more "upmarket" options in Pai and offers several kinds of wooden cottages starting at about 500 baht (double) including breakfast, which is served on a nice open terrace overlooking the Pai river.
  • Mountain View Guesthouse+66-841711486 - Located at the top of the hill, opposite Bebop. An unpretentious, peaceful guesthouse with gorgeous views overlooking Pai.
  • Pai River Corner Resort, Tel/Fax+66(0)53699049, www.pairivercorner.com is a small upmarket boutique resort 300m east of the bus station on the river with luxury guest rooms in secluded gardens, river and mountain views and modern amenities (incl. A/C, cable/sat TV, free wireless internet, jacuzzi, restaurant, bar, petanque and swimming pool)

`

Contact

Pai has several Internet cafés, most on Thanon Ratchadamnoen and Thanon Rangthiyanon. They are a uniform 30 baht/hour for ADSL. There are some places with free Internet for customers of food and drink. There is also one place that accepts donations for use of a wireless connection. The Internet supply has improved in Pai.

Get out

From link::Pai

Pai In The Sky


Pai In The Sky
Pai, Thailand
By Tim Schorzman
From link::www.bootsnall.com

Pai is the kind of place I'd be inclined to despise if there wasn't so much that I liked here. You run into similar situations all over Thailand and most of southeast Asia. Farang, Westerners, come through, stay awhile, find something about the place they like and then never leave. Over time, word of mouth gets out and others flock to the area. Everybody contributes what they will and the next thing you know, the place is transformed into whatever these farang want it to be, dragging whatever natives are willing with them, pushing the unwilling into their corners of town to deal with themselves.



This is the conundrum of tourism, I suppose - a cancer that moves from place to place, leaving its mark wherever it goes until it gets saturated, cursing its own poison and wondering why nobody wants it anymore. It is a virus whose only purpose, in the end, is its own pleasure, knowledge and enrichment. It is whatever we choose to do with all these experiences that makes the difference between a compassionate wanderer and a lethal death-ray 3000 culture-killer. The ride to Pai from either direction - east from Chiang Mai or west from Mae Hong Son - is on one of the most beautiful, gut-wrenching mountain passes known to man. You get plenty of chances to gawk as the bus or truck or van huffs along, trying to climb these hills, gears cranking, pistons screaming, brakes threatening to snap in half, animals scurrying in all directions for fear the Great Metal Devil will veer right off the road and chase them into the jungle. Three-thousand feet hills, covered in jungle forest, dominate the landscape and jagged peaks everywhere. It is an unpredictable terrain - as though God designed it while riding a bucking bronco. You zoom down the hill and there's the little town, scrunched in between. You feel cozy the second you step off the bus. There are three guest houses, two restaurants, a small store and a place to rent motorbikes within 50 steps of the bus station - food, bed, transportation at the snap of a finger. As you turn left down the main street, the only thing you notice is the swirling mass of a marketplace. A lady spins scarves and blankets on a loom to your right. Bead shops, yoga classes, massages, 500 ways to find inner-peace-through-meditation courses. A girl zooms by on a bike, stuffing a flyer for an acoustic guitar show at a Sheesha bar in your hand. Every conceivable food stand, even fried beetles and frogs, surround you. Fresh-baked bread shops, tribal crafts, motorbikes crashing into the shoulder-to-shoulder foray are everywhere. Rafting and trekking guide offices, internet shops and the biggest assortment of bookstores per capita than any other place in Thailand. A Mosque. You can see everybody, from longhaired, hippie professors on sabbatical, to kids fresh out of school, to punk rock Thais and wrinkled old men playing checkers. The whole place reeks of incense, patchouli, grilled sausages and curry. It's a 15-minute walk out of town, across the river and through a meadow to the Sun Huts, my chosen place of lodging. I got some advice along the way to stay there, and from the looks of it, it is good advice. Five kittens, two tail-wagging dogs and a rabbit greet me. The orange and black bird in the seven feet-tall cage announces my arrival. Orn, one of the owners, is a tiny, middle-aged Thai lady with a soft voice and that cute, homey, motherliness demeanor. She shows me how to write my name in Thai script. She gives me a sample of a yogurt made from herbacea plant (which apparently helps my heart and digestive system) before I've even signed myself in. A small pool with a waterfall sits next to a gazebo with books, games, pillows and the ultimate monument to chilling out, hammocks. Hammocks are everywhere. You can help yourself to the coffee, tea and Ovaltine. And grandma makes the best banana pancakes. If you've been traveling for awhile, from places like Austin, New Orleans or Chicago, the Bebop Café is the perfect place to feel homesick. Brick-walled, high-ceilinged, leather couches and B.B. King paraphernalia. The house band for the weekend - a strange hodgepodge of Thais that look like Bootsy Collins, Les Claypool, and Snoop Dogg mixed in a blender - jam out all night playing a Bob Marley-meets-Parliament with James Brown free styling in really bad Thai-English kind of funk. Purists scoff, but everyone else is feeling good, knowing they would. Booze is cheap, vibes good, and half the world is represented. Now if I could just find my motorbike. Most of the Thais who live around Pai descend from one of the nearby hill-tribe villages. If you hike in any direction, you won't go far before you run into one of these quaint little places. The Opium Trade from the Golden Triangle extends all the way down here. Almost every village has seen substantial financial benefits at some point. In fact, villagers attribute most major improvements to opium money. Addiction levels are high, obviously, but you won't hear too many complaints, especially from the older people. Opium is given medicinally, almost like cough syrup, to almost everyone. It rivals prescription drugs in the West. It's an interesting problem. "Just try living on two cups of rice and a few chilies a day, in thatched-leaf huts in a difficult terrain," says Mr. Lert, our trek guide who hails from one of these villages, "and it's easy to see when someone offers you a 50-pound bag of rice, five pigs and 10 chickens for a crop of opium, why you keep growing it." The government is beginning to crack down. The resurgent push to address the drug problem in the country puts these villages in the cross hairs - fields burned, people arrested, even worse. There is growing concern as to their futures without this crop. The battle rages on. Hiking across these lands can be as rewarding as it is challenging. We bushwhack our way through thick jungle, up one hill, down another, for days on end. Yet from the peaks of one of these hills, you can see Pai in the distance, and the stunning views of valleys and trees in all directions. Bamboo trees double as rice cookers, pottery, rafts, recliners, teakettles and eating utensils. You can even craft a popgun - only a sharp carving knife away. The smorgasbords of jungle fruits are face-scrunchingly sour and nuts are plentiful. We had to beat two cobras out of our camp over the night, and there's a whole zoo of millipedes, lizards and spiders to keep things exciting. Pai means "go" in Thai, which is interesting because nobody seems to go anywhere once they get here. It's terribly overrun with farang, people who get caught up in the magic and forget to go home. It's a powerful place. If you plan to move on in three days, five days later you're polishing off your third mango shake, lazily heaping yourself out of the hammock and deciding to ride to the hot springs down the road, which you meant to do the second day. A night sipping homemade Chai tea - listening to jazz in the Tea Room - a few days of hiking or rafting down the Mae Nam Pai - one of Abodya's masaman curries - and you're caught in the Matrix too. Another victim who fell in love and just couldn't leave. A Jedi craves not these things.

From link::www.bootsnall.com

Other links::Living with Lisu Hilltribe
Chiang Mai -water festival

About Pai - Thailand

From link::paithailand.chiangdao.com

The sleepy hippie town of Pai is situated 135kms northwest of Chiang Mai, roughly halfway to Mae Hong Son. As you enter the Pai area, the mountain road makes a meandering decline into a large green valley of rice paddies and fruit groves. Mountains shelter the town, which is named after the river that runs through it. Pai is just a tiny place with four main roads, but offers a rich bohemian atmosphere where you can collect your thoughts and commune with nature. There are plenty of charming guesthouses, relaxed restaurants and bars catering to both Western and Thai palates, and local trekking companies and handcraft shops.

A decade ago, Pai was virtually unknown and it has today developed into a thriving, multi-cultural town. Fortunately, it has retained its down-to-earth feel and the prices here are still cheap, making it especially popular with backpackers and free-spirits who sometimes stay here for months.

Pai – Thailand Attractions
Lazy days in a hammock are a favourite in Pai, along with just staring out at the mountains or the river. However, you can make you way to the hot springs, which are well worth the effort. Nestled in a charming forest setting, about seven kilometres out of town, the springs are warm and relaxing, and a visit in the early morning is recommended.

Before you arrive at the hot springs, you will have passed the elephant camps, where you can ride one of these majestic creatures. One of the companies in operation here even offers bareback rides down the river, which is a unique experience that should not be missed.

Pai’s other natural attractions include a pretty if not too impressive waterfall and a canyon. The surrounding areas are stunning, especially during or just after the rainy season. White-water rafting on the Pai River is a favourite with adventure-seekers and some of the rapids are fairly breathtaking. For those looking for a more relaxing experience on the river, bamboo rafting and tubing on a gentler stretch of the river are fun alternatives.

Pai is also a superb base from which to trek into the surrounding mountains and visit hill tribes and other waterfalls. In season, there are two- to three-day treks departing daily to Karen, Lahu and Lisu villages. You can also obtain a local map for self-guided hikes to nearby waterfalls and caves. Massage and yoga are also good activities to pass the time in Pai, and a couple of permaculture farms offer places to hangout and learn about farming and building.

Those that want to do some sightseeing at temples can visit Wat Klang, next to the bus station. It has several small pagodas surrounding a central stupa. Also of interest are Wat Hodana and Wat Nam Hu, west of Route 1095. Wat Nam Hu is known for its Chiang Saen-era Buddha, whose hollow head is filled with holy water.

Pai is also a good stopover point on the popular Mae Hong Son loop. This three- to four-day self-drive/ride excursion takes you from Chiang Mai through the amazing mountain scenery to Mae Hong Son and back via Doi Inthanon national park. Along the way you can experience the beauty of Huay Nam Dang national park (before Pai), the caves at Soppong and numerous waterfalls.


From link::paithailand.chiangdao.com


Other links::Pai - Riverside Lodge
A Piece of Pai, A Slice of Heaven

pai map


for look Guest House, Resort, Bungalow, Restaurant, Bar, Pub, Cafe, Live Music, , Coffee Shop,, Bike for rent, Souvenir, Clothing, Artshop, Bookstore, Internet Service, Elephant Camp, Bus Station

Nina the Lone Explorer!

From link::by Christina Smith

Hi everyone!

We had a great time yesterday with our cookery class. It was just the two of us so we were happy that we wouldn't look like fools, especially me with not knowing what any vegetables are! First of all she took us to the market and showed us all the different ingredients and then we went to the kitchen and started preparing our masterpieces!

We chose to make spring rolls, pad thai, thai green curry, sweet and sour chicken and a coconut and chicken soup. We did really well and I think the pad thai was one of the best I have had, even if I do say so myself! There was only one funny incident when she told us to squeeze the limes into our soup and mum admitted that she had already thrown hers in the soup about 5 minutes ago. The teacher found it funny to point out that you don't usually boil limes as they are pretty bitter!

The spring rools were the most fun and we were very impressed with all our dishes. There will definately need to be a thai style party when we are both back. We were so stuffed afterwards that we couldn't eat another thing for the rest of the day.

That night we went to the night market and managed to resist buying anything which was good. We were knackered from a whole day of activities and the heat makes you so tired all the time so we just had some drinks back at the room and got totally sucked into watching braveheart until 12:30am even though we couldn't understand a word that the scottish people were saying!!

This morning we got a minibus for 4 hours to Pai (my fav town) and it has become mum's fave town too. Its a real hippy place and nobody bugs you to buy hings so we are very chilled out. It has actually rained a bit today which I have loved as it has meant the weather has cooled down loads. I might actually be able to wear my trousers today which is very exciting. Tomorrow we might be going for an elephant ride as long as we can find one that has a proper seat because mum won't go on it otherwise.

I'm thinking there might be some buckets tonight so keep an eye out on facebook for drunken pics!

Lots of love,

Neen and Julie xxxx

From link::by Christina Smith

Other links::Chiang Mai -water festival
So this is where all the other farang are

Pang Mapa, Thailand - Cave Lodge

From link::KB's travels



I decided to hire a scooter for a couple days and check out a remote area of northern Thailand. The woman at the rental shop only said, "hmmm... bring back the other bike and let me give you good bike." ha! Besides better brakes, the new Honda Icon actually had great features like a horn and an odometer, which came in handy when trying to figure out if the bunch of huts I just passed was actually the village I was trying to find. Also, several places have multiple names which resulted in some confusing fun! Before I set out I did some research on the condition of the local roads and used the "terrain" feature on google maps to ensure that the mountain roads weren't too steep. Riding steep downhills on a bike without gears is not my favorite thing to do.

Left Pai and traveled to Soppong, then continued north and ended up in Ban Tham. The ride was broken up by photo stops and waiting for herds of wandering cows to clear the road. The cows here all wear wooden cow bells and as a herd moves along they create a really pleasing, relaxing sound
stayed for three nights at Cave Lodge, a clustering of bungalows built by an eccentric Australian, John Spies, who traveled to Thailand 30 years ago and never left. John has spent his time here learning the hill tribe languages, photographing the tribes, and publishing articles about the area. He has also created detailed maps of the surrounding area, including hundreds of caves that hold 2000 year old carved teak coffins. Very little is known about these coffins and the people who placed them there. You can see some of his AMAZING tribal photographs here: http://www.cavelodge.com/tpics.htm He has also published an autobiographical account of his time in this region and its a fascinating read full of local history, politics, and archeology.

I stayed in the Ban Tham region three days. Did several hikes, visited some local hill tribes, and went into a couple caves. This area contains such a mix of people. The women working at the lodge spoke Shan, not Thai, and the local hill tribes speak yet another language. I paid some of the local villagers to guide me through various caves. The only English word one guide knew was "hello." He would point to a stalactite. "Hello." He would gesture down a dark tunnel. "Hello." Or he would wave good-bye. "Hello, hello."

From link::KB's travels

Other links::Pai, Thailand - The life of Pai
Chang Mai- Pai (Thailand)