Taking a Break in Pai

I have heard good and bad things about Pai, a small town north of Chiang Mai city. Since I had time to kill and had enough of temples, I decided to head to Pai.


Doing Nothing in Pai

The bus ticket to Pai was cheap at 180 Baht with pick-up from the hostel I was staying in. The road to Pai was zig-zagging most of the way. So if you have motion sickness it is best to prepare and take some medicine with you. It was an uneventful 3 hours on the bus through scenery I always see at home. My first impressions of Pai were, I've seen all this before and what was the fuss all about?



The moment I stepped out of the bus and saw artsy cafes, huts, and the small town vibe, I knew I was going to take it easy here just like when I was in Phuket. It was drizzling and I was looking for a cheap place to stay in. Pai has plenty of affordable guest houses to sleep in starting at around 100 Baht for a dorm bed and 200 Baht for a double room with fan. I settled on a double room for 200 Baht per night at Pravees House just a few meters from the bus station. I was already imbibing the lazy vibe of Pai by choosing the closest and cheapest guesthouse I can find.

A kitschy little guesthouse somewhere in Pai
Time seemed to pass by real slow in Pai. I'm a morning person so I'm usually up early. I took a stroll around town and found that people were still in bed. It wasn't the same hustle and bustle I found in the streets of Bangkok and in Chiang Mai. Everyone, even the locals, had a slow and easy gait about town.



I didn't know how to ride a motorcycle, so I walked all the time while I was in Pai. I went as far as my legs could take me while motorcycles whizzed by. The countryside was very much like all of the provinces I've been to, with the exception of kitschy/cutesy decorations and architecture. Pai was like this little amusement park for kids, but with a hippie crowd of Westerners that didn't want to leave.




There were quite a few cute little stores lining the market in Pai. It seemed like the cafes and markets were more geared toward the Asians visiting this quaint little town.



There were also quite a few cafes all over town.


20 Baht fruit shakeeeee!!!
Aside from the dirt cheap lodging, I really liked how cheap the food and drinks were! I could get a meal for around 40 Baht! The fruit shakes were also dirt cheap at 20 Baht in a tall glass, fantastic! I'm shouting at every sentence!

Pai for me was like any other small town back home with a little more flair. I would've loved to go around this small province, but I decided to just take it easy and do nothing, and from some of the photos I saw, some of the spots aren't worth the trip. Compared to the hype, Pai was overrated, but that's just me. I would suggest staying in Chiang Rai instead.

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