A Brief History Of Pai

Trip Start Oct 02, 2012
Trip End Mar 31, 2014

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sitting on our bags in the scorching afternoon sun we start thinking, 'Is this f**king bus ever going to arrive'!

We are sat at the bus stop in Soppong waiting for the 10:30am bus to Pai. We got here at about 20 past to ensure we didn't miss it and it is now approaching 1 o'clock. Our water has started to boil in the bottle, but we are used to waiting now and by Thai-time the bus isn't even late yet. Our only entertainment comes from another traveller guy who has become so frustrated with waiting he is now demanding every vehicle that stops to take him to Pai. He must be new to Thailand's public transport system. And the poor guy is carrying a coat!? The bus eventually arrives a mere 2 and a half hours late and we pile on. There is nowhere to sit as it appears the Thai people like to sit one on a seat and use the adjacent sets to store their bags. Even more frustrating than the wait! Ian squishes onto the edge of a double seat filled with bags and Anna gets to sit next to a sleepy man. Her seat is directly opposite the wide open door. She holds on with all her might as the roads are steep and windy and the driver is clearly insane. We make it the hour and a half to Pai without incident, and after breaking Anna's fingers to free her from the seat, we set out to find a guesthouse called Darling.

The views from Darling turn out to be wonderful (which is also the wifi code!) as it is on a hillside overlooking the mountains. There is a large veranda ouside our room with loungers, hammocks and comfy chairs. Very nice. Pai town is comprised of about half a dozen streets, a handfull of traffic lights, hundreds of people with dreadlocks, a big gold Buddha and lots of bars/restaurants. It has a cool, relaxed, hippy feel about it but somehow it still tastes a bit like a stag party in Blackpool. We eat at Ma'ma Falafels, she does the best falafels we have ever tasted. Delicious!

Sitting outside on our veranda, enjoying a chang and the cool night air, we get talking to a Polish girl who is in Thailand for half of her 3 week holiday before heading to Cambodia. As it gets later fireworks begin go off in Pai (Darling is about a 10 min walk from the main street). Our new Polish friend decides to head over to check it out as it is full moon tonight and it could be a festival. We decide to stay at Darling, but twenty minutes later we are on our way to Pai just in case we are missing something cool. Turns out there is nothing special going on, so we walk the streets for a bit, then choose to have a quick drink in a bar with live music. The music is great and our quick drink turns into one-to-many. Which is a good job as it makes using the bars toilet less repulsive when it's a bit of a blur. We stagger home along the ONLY road and manager to get lost. It's the first time we have managed more than two beers without falling asleep and we are going to pay for it tomorrow.

We awake the moring after the night before. We are not well. We stay in bed until the late afternoon when hunger forces us into town to eat. We eat at one resturant then walk around the corner and eat at another one too. This does not count as greed. One is for breakfast and the other is for lunch. Embarassingly, a couple who were in the first restaurant with us, walk past us eating our second meal in the space of ten minutes. We look away until they have walked on by and hope they don't regognise us. We return home still hungover but very very full. We relax for the remainder of the day as tomorrow we start the epic journey to the Philippines and a whole new country. Thanks Thailand, it has been quite an incredible ride.
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