Sunday, 28 July 2013

Thailand: Pai

Oh I've been a bit lax with these Thailand posts haven't I!?

It's only because my friend O, who went to Thailand two days after I came back, is coming home tomorrow that made me think about how I hadn't posted on the rest of my trip since my post on Chiang Mai. Whoops.

This is the main street in Pai. After dark, a market sets up all along here.

We arrived in Thailand on the Sunday, and had two nights in Chiang Mai booked. We'd heard great things about Pai, so after our first two nights were up, we decided to head up there.

Pai is a small town in the very north of Thailand. The easiest way to get there is to get a bus from Chiang Mai, which costs 150 baht (about £3-4) and takes 3-4 hours, depending on how much of a maverick your bus driver is. It's actually only 136km between Chiang Mai and Pai, but you're going up (or down) a mountain road which has 762 bends- hence why it takes so long to get there. 

We stayed at the Pai River Villa, which we booked in advance- though it's really easy to just rock up and find somewhere to stay, as Pai is a bit of a traveller haven. We loved where we stayed- they were beautiful wooden bungalows (on stilts), with gorgeous veranda-y/ balcony-ish things at the front. However, when we arrived back from supper on the first night, we opened the bathroom door and found cockroaches in the bathroom. In the morning, we asked to move to a bungalow which began with S- these are double rooms (a opposed to D, which was a twin), without air con (but with a fan), but have mozzie nets over all of the windows, which the D rooms didn't have. We were a lot happier after that.

The first afternoon we were in Pai we arranged some bits and pieces for our next few days- namely elephant riding with Thom's Elephant Camp and yoga with Mam Yoga.

I'd seriously recommend Thom's Elephant Camp. We were taken on two hour trek, up into the mountains and back down to a river where the elephants seemed to think it was entertaining to throw you off their backs into a fairly shallow river and squirt you (it was pretty entertaining actually). We had lunch included in our trip, and after eating were taken on a bamboo raft down the river which was so relaxing and so peaceful. I would seriously recommend this if you find yourself in Pai.

Mama, who runs Mam Yoga, is hilarious. She's something like 70 and  has been teaching yoga in Pai for about 40 years. She's absolutely mental- for example, she spent a good while talking to us about how if you did headstands every day you wouldn't get wrinkles and wouldn't have to wear a bra at 70. Crazy. We paid for a whole day's yoga but this was actually a bit of a cheek- we did an hour and a half in the morning, and another hour in the afternoon. If you go, say you're an intermediate even if you're a beginner- the morning session is with intermediate/ advanced people, and even I could keep up.

Yes, that's me doing a headstand.

In Pai we also had some pretty cracking massages. Seriously, you can walk into pretty much any massage place here and know that it's going to be good. Word of warning though- if you have an oil massage, it's entirely possible that they'll massage your boobs. Which was a shock for us.


  1. This looks so amazing, I really need to go to Thailand! :)

  2. My boyfriend's stepbro has just come back from a month long trip to Thailand so between him and your inspiring posts from Thailand I am dying to go there! It sounds/looks incredible! xxx

  3. Got over here from Jenny's book club post.. I am highly tickled to find that there is a place called Pai as that is what my blog is called and I had no idea it was a real place! My blog is named after one of my boyfriend's nicknames for me, which he got from a manga character, def not the place.

    I really want to visit Thailand. Your stories of it sound great :)

  4. Is mama wearing skull leggings? Not only is she wrinkle free and has no requirement for a bra but she rocks skull leggings too? THE ELEPHANTS! Oh My!!! What cuties, I love their kind faces and the picture of you all frolicking in the water is pretty adorable. Great photography skills whoever took that picture!

    P.S. sorry you got your boobs groped. I hope you don't feel too abused...

    E x

  5. Really love your travel pics here! Must've been so incredibly nice to get away, so far away from home! x


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