Thailand, Part 3: Pai

01/13/2013

This is one of a series of posts about our honeymoon to Thailand in December 2012, which consisted of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Phuket, and a long layover in Tokyo. Scroll down to the bottom to see pictures, and click on any of them to see an enlarged version. This was tapped out on my iPad, so forgive any typos or sentence fragments.

 12/24 – Goodbye Chiang Mai! With the one eight seat flight to Pai sold out, we took the primary mode of transport into Pai – shared minivan. Which ended up being one of the more miserable experiences of our lives. Shoved in the back of a van, our suitcases literally on top of us, the driver being completely reckless and weaving back and forth, and oh yeah – the twistiest mountain roads I’ve ever experienced. Alex was smart and took a Dramamine… I didn’t until it was too late, and paid the price. Never take the Aya van to/from Pai – that’s the best advice I can give you.

We arrived in Pai around noon, I changed clothes (you can guess why), and we took a cab to Pai Island. The hotel was beautiful – only 10 creek side villas, with lots of lounge area and a small restaurant. Our villa was amazing, as it was gated and completely private, with a large netted bed, lounge area, bathroom, and then, outside, a deck, bathtub, and shower. The hotel was a mile outside of town, but they dedicated tuk-tuks to ferry you in and out of town.  While we waited for our room to be ready, we went in to town to walk around, and grab lunch at Amido’s, a decent pizza place. Pai has a very small downtown, spanning only a few blocks. The vibe is much more laid back than the previous two cities, being a mix of vacationing Thais, Israelis, and other foreigners. After returning to the hotel, sleeping off our Dramamine buzz, we went back into town to grab dinner at a forgettable Thai/import restaurant, and walked around the night market. We weren’t the only people visiting Pai that night, as the princess, with her security entourage, was also wandering around the market. Rather than going to one of Pais many bars, we bought some beer and watched a comedy back in our room.

12/25 – Christmas Day! One thing we noticed was, while Thailand is 95% Buddhist, and the remaining an even mix of Christians, Muslims, and other religions, there were a LOT of Christmas decorations, rivaling what we see in the US. Pretty much all of the restaurants and shops were open.

The activities in Pai are all reliant upon either renting a motorbike and touring yourself, or going on an all day excursion. We were pretty worn out from the prior 10 days of travel and all-day outings, so we opted to take it easy, relaxing and wandering around aimlessly. We did end up going to TTK, an Israeli restaurant, for lunch, and headed to the tiny Pai airport to see about getting a flight rather than taking the minibus. The one morning flight was booked, so we opted to pay for a private driver back to Chiang Mai the next day (anything to not have to take the death trap we were in before). At night, we did drinks at Ting Tong, and dinner at another forgettable restaurant.