After leaving the bitter taste in my mouth from seeing what Chiang Mai had become, I took one of the luxuries of tourist hell traps that I enjoy, expensive door to door tourist minivans, to Pai. On the bus, I met an American from of all places Lincoln, Nebraska. I've been a lot of places around the world and besides Dano, Mark is the only other Nebraskan that I've seen outside of Nebraska. I spent about an hour looking for a nice place 2 chill out before I gave up and just rented motorbikes to cruise around the beautiful valleys and hills around Pai.
I did find a beautiful serene place on the river, Pai River Lodge, but it was full.
I could tell that the vibe was exactly what I wanted tho when no one greeted me and I had to look around to find a long haired hippy Thai dude, to tell me, "dunno, maybe check back tomorrow". He sorta personified Pai's feel of a very chilled out little hippy haven. It's a picturesque little town in the north of Thailand about 20K from the Burmese border set alongside a small river encircled by mountains. The main part of town is basically 2x2 streets with roads leading off to other villages nearby. Unfortunately, but of course, all the best bars are a bit out of town and quite a hike to get to without a motor bike. We decided to head to a nearby hot spring for a dip. What we didn't know was when they say HOT springs, they mean it! The water temperature was 80C or 176F, hot enough to boil eggs (for reference, hot tubs are usually set around 103F). Glad there were some guys around to tell us that because there certainly weren't any signs.
We stopped at Unicorn, a great little restaurant in the valley, for lunch and a couple beers. You can't beat 25B/ dish. Unfortunately, after we ate I stepped off the bamboo platform directly onto the proverbial rusty nail. OUCH! This pretty much defined what I was gonna do in Pai as the T-shirts say, "Do nothing in Pai". I went to the hospital and got my wound cleaned, a tetanus booster and a course of antibiotics for the mere price of 267 not dollars, but Baht, around $7.50. The rest of the time in Pai, I spent pretty much chillin on my hammock and eating.