Mmm, we love Pai

Trip Start Apr 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 30, 2010

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Breeze of Pai

Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Mai,
Saturday, August 7, 2010

Although we felt a little sick from the three hour, seventy six thousand turn, jerky, awful windy ride, we were glad to be in Pai. We liked it immediately, especially when the tour company we rode up with said, "borrow two motorbikes for the next hour, on us, to find a guest house." We found a guesthouse right away, just off the main road, right next to "edible jazz", which would later become one of favorite spots. With fifty-five minutes remaining on our free motorbike hour, we headed out to the open road. After we noticed the ominous monsoon cloud approaching us, and a giant bug hitting me in the eye, we thought it might be better to explore with the bikes another day, when we had more time, better weather, and perhaps some protective eyewear.

For our first night in Pai we met up with friends of ours from our cooking class in Chiang Mai, whom we were able to share the experience of the ride up here with, Rachel and Tyler. After a couple beers and some dinner we called it an early night. We had to be ready for our yoga class with "Mama" in the morning and wanted to be rested.

Oh yoga with Mama. The sixty year old former model from Bangkok, dressed head to toe in different animal prints was by far the most unique yoga instructor I have ever had. With what felt like an hour of unguided silent meditation (Caitlin and I were starting to squirm) we began the yoga class. She didn't give a lot of instruction then either, she would just put her hand out in front of one leg, gesture for you to do the same, then somehow ended up with one leg behind her head and again, gestured for you to do the same. Minus the headstand I finally conquered, it was not the most feel good class ever. But we did get to sit around and chat with her afterward, while she fed us fruit and rice cakes and introduced us to her jungle cat and two very sweet, very excited to be inside dogs, a golden retriever and some type of weiner mutt. While regailing us with stories about drunk young men hitting on her, she explained that her unusual wardrobe was a result of her twenty something daughter living in the city, who would send her sixty year old mother her old clothing, including leggings that looked like jeans, in which she practiced yoga. She thought this might contribute to the attention she gets. It might. But the treefort esc style yoga studio, her fruit and her stories are enough for me to recommend at least one class with mama if you ever make it to pai. Just to know what I'm talking about.

We rented motorbikes and headed out to some waterfalls just outside if the city. Motorbikes are by far our favorite way to travel, you get to take in so much more and stumble upon so many things you would have missed. The waterfalls were refreshing and full of natural slides to zoom down. And boy do we like to zoom. Thank god we are both adventurous. And safe. Mmhmm. Hey, at least we weren't trying to cliff jump into the shallow pools like the other people we saw there, but they thankfully ended up being too chicken. I wasn't ready to see someone die. But I did have my camera out just in case. After swimming in the waterfall pools we zoomed around on our motorbikes again through some little villages, then went to watch the sunset at Pai Canyon. It was a great day of fun. Riding back, Caitlin's speed racer helmet conveniently had a face guard attached, so she missed out on the feeling of insects divebombing her face. Mine however, did not. I'm pretty sure my face ran into a dragonfly. RIP.

We made it home safetly and after picking the bugs out of my helmet and eyeballs, we went to Edible Jazz. It was open mic night, and we met some spicy English musicians there, friends with whom we spent the majority of our time in Pai: Tom, Fair Tom (sorry, it stuck), and Pete.

We went out to Bebop to hear some live music and continued to come here every night, it was a mix of locals and travelers all jamming together, and so much fun. What else would you expect in a laid back hippie town? One night Chris sang a couple songs on stage with Pete, something she hasn't done since high school. It was great to be able to hear live music every night, definitely a big draw for us.

Laying by pools, getting Thai massages, zooming around to waterfalls on motorbikes, listening to great music with wonderful people, we hate to leave you Pai, but you'll always be in our hearts. Hope to see you again.
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