Aug 28, 2006 – Pai, Thailand

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Pai is a small town a couple of valleys over from Chiang Mai and true to the Lonely Planet’s description it is a beatnik , hippie like kind of town , which many mid 20 year old tourist being dropped off by a mini bus in the middle of town, well and one mid forty couple with their 13 year old son.

Our first night in town we stayed in our first grass hut. Very cool little cabin, however it was right in the middle of town and bit noisy , so the next day we hunted down a cool shady spot at teh Sun Hut just outside of town , and met Nid the most gracious Thai host. Nid had great English and was most helpful in making us feel comfortable. Mary loved her of course!

I’m pretty sure that the most memorable part of this segment for Torin was that he got to rent his own motorbike. In Thailand, as long as you have ID you can drive a bike. I had let him drive mine outside of Chaing Mai and because Pai was so much smaller we agreed that he could have his own. So we had two days of exploring the area on bikes.

There are several elephant camps in the area and we couldn’t resist going on one of their rides. We chose the “swimming with an elephant” ride and what fun it was. Our guide was great with both us and the elephant and particularly enjoyed toying with Mary – allowing her to get close to getting on the elephant and then dumping her off. It was really strange being that close to an animal like that and not being afraid of being stepped on. Try not too laugh too hard at picture series that Gerald put together. What a photographer. He just wanted to get out of trying to get on that darn elephant.

We also had our first real chance to cool off in a local water falls that actually had clear water and not the chocolate brown swift running water of the river. It was soooo cool and refreshing and for the first time in like 6 weeks we were not sweating profusely.

Walking around town we discovered Na’s Kitchen, the best Thai food restaurant yet. Needless to say we went back a couple of times to sample different dishes.

On our last day in Pai, we thougth that we might try a hike to a local waterfalls but the monsoon season hit us big and we started walking in the rain with three plastic ponchos’ to try and keep dry.( didn’t really work and they ripped before we have walked 500 meters, but it was a good thought) We were about 2 kilometres in and realized that the rainfall had just been to much and was going to impede our progress to our final destination. So we turned back to town and made our way to the local bus station to catch the bus to Na Rim.