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Anniversaries, Scooters and falling in love with Pai

THAILAND | Monday, 27 March 2017 | Views [513] | Comments [1]

Braving the scooters!
Pai, Thailand

Braving the scooters! Pai, Thailand

The time had come to leave Elephant Nature Park. As sad as we were about this we were so excited to continue our adventure. We had heard lots about a little town called Pai, about a 3 hour bus ride from Chiang Mai. While chatting about travel plans, another couple mentioned they were interested in Pai so we decided to travel together. The bus from ENP dropped us at the bus station and we headed to a ticket booth. We bounced around a few before we found what we needed. 150 THB per person for the 3 hour journey on a mini bus. To put that into perspective it's about £3.50 per person.
We had heard some true horror stories about the busses, crazy drivers, dangerous roads, severe travel sickness... but as a group we had plucked to give it a go. I've never suffered with sickness in a road vehicle before but I have suffered with horrible sea sickness in the past, so we bought some travel sickness pills to be on the safe side. The problem with the journey is the bends in the road. Some people claim to have counted them and state that there are 762 hairpin or sharp turns. The first hour heading to Pai is quite uneventful. Not to bendy, just regular roads. As you head up into the hills however, this soon changes. The bends and turns are dramatic but our driver seemed more than capable of handling them. He wasn't driving crazy or taking unnecessary risks. Some of the roads are quite daunting. Because the journey is through the mountains and hills, you do find yourself glancing over the end of a sheer drop into valleys. But again, the drivers know what they are doing. We arrived in Pai intact and without being sick, winner!!
We had arrived a day earlier that planned so non of us had accommodation booked. This is the first time we had waited until arriving somewhere to book, hubby likes to be organised and know we have somewhere to go. We walked for about 10 minutes, nipped into a few guest houses and hostels, with a price limit in mind. Within those 10 minutes we found a lovely little guest house right in the centre of Pai called Namu hotel. It was clean, comfortable, had a silent air con unit and great water pressure!! After a week in dust and mud at the elephant park it was nice to final remove all of the filth!!
We dumped our bags and headed out. The 4 of us were starving. The food at ENP had been exclusively Thai which we were happy with, but it was also exclusively vegan. It wasn't a problem as it was tasty and there was loads of choice, but pretty much anyone who was vegetarian or vegan was missing meat. That night we had western food..... burgers and pizzas all round... we are so weak 😂
We had a brilliant nights sleep then headed out for a wander the next day. We visited local bars and restaurants, researched some package day trips, discussed what we all wanted to do and spent the evening drinking, chatting and playing card games.
That night we had to get to our guesthouse that we had booked earlier that week. We had to get a taxi because it was about 6 km out of town. This was harder than we expected because at night the Main Street turns into a walking street and the taxis stay clear! We found one eventually and the drove us out to a more rural area, with local villages and coffee shops dotted along the road along the way.
We arrived at Quinlins/Pai Poshtel and where greeted by the owners who were English. They showed us to a lovely bungalow room and left us to settle in. They had a communal area next to the pool for people to sit and chat, or eat. A stocked 'honesty' fridge and a tally chart for you to list what you had drank. We went to sit in this area and we're greeted by 2 amazing dog! Both Great Danes, the boy was about 4 and was like a small horse. The girl was only 4 months old and she wasn't too much smaller than the boy!
The next day happened to be mine and the hubby's 'anniversary' of when we first began dating. We had been together for 8 years, and what a bloody way to spend it! We headed out to meet our new friends and decided to try out some scooters. I was terrified. We had heard more terrible tales of people handing over passports as a deposit against the bike and then being bribed to pay ridiculous amounts to get it back. Turns out the real reason they may ask for a passport is to prevent people hiring bikes and scooters for cheap rates, riding them to other cities and leaving them there as they travel onwards. Customers can't travel onwards without a passport!
We used a shop that had been recommended and the Thai owner spoke very good English. (He had once been married to an English woman) He kindly gave us a quick 'crash' course on how to use the bikes and sent us on our way. What was I doing?!? We rode in convoy, one of the lads at the front, the girls in the middle, one of the lads at the back. We fuelled the bikes and headed out of town.
We road to a coffee shop called 'coffee in love' and sat admiring the views. Next to the coffee shop was a quaint little house. It was painted a sandy yellow colour with lovely flower beds all around it. As soon as I saw it I immediately thought of the house that features in the Disney film 'UP', the only thing it was missing was balloons. We rode a little further away from town (I was still terrified) a strawberry farm, stopping again to admire the views but also to give my muscles and hands a rest from gripping so tightly to the handle bars and being so tense. We decided we had done enough riding to familiarise ourselves with the scooters so we headed back to Pai town. We had a few drinks (soft drinks) before we decided to head back to the guest house. This meant facing the unlit roads after sunset back to the rural areas, I was flapping! The ride surprised me, it was quiet, cool and really enjoyable. A successful day all in all!

Tags: dogs, fires, hills, pai, pools, scooters, sunsets, travel

Comments

1

Amazing Lil, making me watch the clock even more! Can't wait to get out there and see some of these places for myself ☺ stay safe xxx

  Waz Mar 27, 2017 5:48 AM

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