On 6 June 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

IMG_5985I was often asked during this trip if I had been to a place where I could settle. I saw many places that I liked but from there to live at these places or put my bags for a while, I do not know. But Pai has changed that: it is in fact the first place I go I like to the point where I tell myself that I could have stayed / could stay for several months or even years.

How therefore Pai is so different? Pai, it is the well-known hippie city of Thailand. I have never known these hippies years but clearly if it really looked like that, I think I would have loved it! Pai is a very zen and relaxing atmosphere, people going everywhere, mostly by scooter which is the most convenient means of transport and used here. It’s restaurants and bars where you have to spend time in day and night, depending on your mood you can always find one that you will love. IMG_5995It’s a lot of guesthouses everywhere and I think I found the best with Pai Chan (yes I swear, incredible views, a pool, a great restaurant, a room for me in a bungalow with my own bathroom, great people at top and all that for only 3.90€ per night!).
Pai is also great local people smiling with who it is very easy to talk and laugh, especially in the evening at the night market or in bars. I spent some time in photographing, listening to other people’s music, laughing / playing pool with the latest. I met Som Chai which has a small shop down the Canyon with whom I went to visit some unknown hot springs and to Mae Hong Son to discover this town bordering Myanmar where I could see temples, long necks villages or a bamboo Buddha.

IMG_6084Then what do we do to Pai? Well you should rent a motorbike on arrival and every day, start to lose yourself around. To see waterfalls, hot springs, mountains, giant Buddha under construction at the top of the mountain, canyon (especially for sunset time) and paths down the canyon. Stop to walk on the old city bridge and watch the children make rafts. Fork in any little way down the road to discover a meditation center, a military camp, a café with seats that are attached at the top or simply enjoy a sublime view of the surroundings. You can also workout in a gym if you feel like it, and learn Muyai Thai boxing.
IMG_6103Every night, stop at the night market and enjoy this pleasant ambience. Go eat in one / more of the stands, or go in one of the great restaurant off the main street. Enjoy a delicious breakfast / brunch at Witching Well or Thien, drink an Indian chai at Pai Chai, eat a US grilled steak at the steak house, enjoy one of the best burger ever tested at Burger Queen (BK can go away), play pool or table football in Yellow Sun while looking at the graffiti inside, and do not forget to drink one (or more) mojitos in Almost Famous which offers excellent original flavors (Mango mojito validated as the best by our group of 6 people!), all with excellent music.

In short, Pai is a place to let themselves go, let live, and just enjoy. And it is for these reasons that I loved it. I took 450 pictures in a week that I kept, about twice taken surely! To find a selection of these, go check the photo gallery. And yet still so many things and people to discover that it is very likely that my road recrosses one day the one of this great city.

Don’t worry, be hippies


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