Six relaxing nights in a little town called Pai
After spending five adventure filled days in Chiang Mai we were on the move again, this time to a laid back little town just four hours north of Chiang Mai. Pai, a tiny yet beautiful hippie influenced town that we spent six wonderful nights in is known by many, but is still an up and coming destination in Northern Thailand.
We were advised to take a mini-bus to Pai and to not take the public bus because the mini-bus was not only faster, had A/C, and was more comfortable, but most importantly for the reason that the public bus would be an incredibly rough four-hour ride through the mountains. So, what did we do? We boarded the public bus from Chiang Mai to Pai, of course!
We purchased our tickets at the bus station for 72 baht ($2.33 USD), more than half of what the mini-bus would have cost us and after all the mini-bus would only shave an hour off of the journey and we’re not in any rush to get anywhere.
Excuse me, you’re in my seat
When the bus arrives everyone seems to be rushing to get on so we follow suit. We jump on with our bags and all and each grab our own seat. In a minute or less the bus starts to fill and when the driver asks for our tickets, he claims we’re in the wrong seats. Figures!
We didn’t realize there were assigned seats. Now we have to move ourselves and our over sized backpacks back a few rows which on a normal bus would be no problem at all, on this bus it’s a major issue. Why? Well for what ever reason, most people who are traveling on our bus seemed to make big purchases while in Chiang Mai, and they’re bringing them back to Pai.
Fortunately I was able to just barely squeeze my backpack into the storage compartment under the bus. Liz’s bag on the other hand had to go in the aisle, along with everyone else’s belongings. There were so many packages, bags, and other items in the aisle that there was no way anybody was going to be able to walk up and down the aisle. In Thailand this is no big deal because general safety precautions here have long gone out the window.
Four hours of windy mountain roads later and we arrive at Pai’s main bus station and it’s parking lot is literally the size of two small buses. Small isn’t even the word. As usual when we arrive in a new town we try to find the nearest guesthouse to drop our bags, check out the rooms, and book just one night so that we can head out and look for a place to stay for the next few nights. This method has worked out pretty well for us so far.
Breeze of Pai
Our first night was spent in a Pai guesthouse called Breeze of Pai. We thought that the rooms were less than decent for the price of 250 baht/night.
Breeze of Pai offers FREE Wi-Fi, yet the signal didn’t reach our room so that was sort of disappointing as well.
The following morning we packed up and happily moved on to a new guesthouse across the river. After a five or ten minute walk over the bridge we approached a place that we would end up spending the next five nights at.
Daring View Point Guesthouse in my opinion, is the best place to stay in Pai. We snatched up a bungalow with two queen sized beds, en-suite bathroom, a huge private balcony with a hammock, table and chairs, and the most amazing view of clouds swooping in over the towering mountains that look down on the tiny town of Pai. All for 500baht/night. A little over priced for Pai? Yes, but I dare you to try to find a guesthouse with better views and staff that bend over backwards for you.
Not only did we enjoy each day that we spent at Darling View, we also really enjoyed the company of the owners Darling and Peter. I’m not exactly sure when they slept because it seemed as if they were down at the front desk at all hours of the day and night assisting other guests or just chit-chatting about things to do in Pai.
Rest and Relaxation
Over the course of the five days we spent the best of our days relaxing on our giant covered balcony watching the clouds pass by, walking through the quiet town, and most importantly dining at Na’s Kitchen and Cake Go “O” two of the best restaurants in town. We rented bicycles and cruised the food markets. We made a half day trip out to Pangmapha (aka Soppong) a small hill tribe village about 35km outside of Pai.
We also visited Pai Canyon, where we caught a glimpse of the sun setting over the burnt orange cliffs.
I, personally loved the little that Pai had to offer. When it was time to leave Pai, we knew it would be a place that we would miss. I knew it would be nothing like the city of Chiang Mai, and I was looking forward to that.
Pai is an incredible place to head to if you’re looking for a little relaxing time and if you’re looking for the best views in town don’t hesitate to head up to Darling View Point, the best guesthouse in Pai.