Part 3 of our grand farewell tour of Thailand. We went south to Phuket for a month, then our SCUBA trip, and after that we took ourselves up north. Neither Agi nor I had ever been to Pai in Northern Thailand but we constantly heard nice things about it. Was it as nice as people say?
We’ve Worked in… Pai
After our diving trip we flew up to Chiang Mai and stayed there for a couple of days. If you are ever there you should go to Blue Diamond The Breakfast Club. We went there for breakfast twice and dinner once. Their breakfast food is amazing and they have a range of baked goods, pastries and cakes with vegan and gluten free options. (There are also meat based options for carnivores like me).
From Chiang Mai we took the bus up to Pai. The road twists up and down through the hills and 762 sharp turns. I rarely get motion sickness but this journey almost got me. The views are great if you can concentrate on them!
Don’t let this deter you though because Pai is a lovely town. When we arrived we went to the guesthouse we booked online. Agi really wanted a swimming pool and we had chosen our guesthouse for that reason. It turned out though that the swimming pool was actually 2.5km away on the other side of town and guests had access for free. Always read the small print!
The guesthouse owner was very understanding and helped us find replacement accommodation. We moved over to The Countryside Resort on the edge of town. It was absolutely beautiful; small houses spread out and surrounded by fields. They gave us a 20% discount because we wanted to stay for 3 weeks which was a great result. The cute little houses had sunroofs on top and most importantly, there was a swimming pool!
I don’t know why Pai started to become popular but it is a major destination for backpackers. As a result two things have happened, one good and one bad depending on your point of view:
- Most aspects of traditional Thai life have disappeared.
- The town is small but has a ridiculous number of options for food and drink.
I have read some blogs that criticise the place but we loved our time in Pai. We were staying a little distance outside of the town which meant that it was very quiet. I get the impression that the bars in town get very busy and noisy in the evening. We rented a scooter so we could nip into town when we were hungry and then head back out to our quiet country residence! Lasagne, curry, noodles, whatever you want, it’s there.
On a few days we went riding around the countryside on our scooter. The views were wonderful. Our accommodation had an open seating area where we worked most of the time. It was really nice to be surrounded by nature. On a few calls clients commented that it sounded like I was in a forest they could hear so many birds.
A few times we went to Fluid Swimming Pool (the pool we could have had access to with our original guest house!). We went there at 9am when it opened and we had the whole thing to ourselves. We would do some lengths and then work in their cafe for the rest of the day. They do really great coffee and sandwiches. Working there was a hell of a lot better than working in a factory or warehouse like I used to!
Pai was a lovely place to spend a few weeks. Another great trip enabled by freelancing. Get in touch if you’d like to know more.