Hippies, canyons and fruit smoothies…Pai

“Are you coming out tonight? Its gunna be rage.”

Not since the east coast of Australia, at a hostel in Noosa, had I felt this old. Watching the 19 year old at our hostels bar pour my pint glass of g & t, two thirds gin to tonic, I realised I no longer wished to get totally smashed on a couple of drinks. In fact I may actually really just enjoy the taste. Pai seems to attarct the younger backpackers away from the beaches of the south when its not full moon party time. And there are enough bars and even a club to keep their nightlife cravings at bay. But luckily thats not all this tourist destination nestled into the mountains has to offer. The alternative hippy community got here first and its hard not to feel your shoulders drop and yourself slip into the relaxed vibe. There are yoga retreats, meditation centers and organic cafes at every turn.


After the false start with the first hostel we moved to a guest house further out of town where things were quieter and calmer. We spent our time in Pai mainly relaxing away the day drinking herbal teas, lounging on soft cushions. We did manage to see a few sites, however, just about mustering up enough energy from our relaxed state. We walked to nearby buddhist temples and adopted stray puppies (a tiny pup we named Trudy followed us up about a hundred steps and had be carried part of the way down), while hiring mopeds to see the nearby canyon. The countryside around the small town is very beautiful and zipping along small roads staring at cloud topped mountains and terraced rice paddy fields was not a bad way to spend our days.


I also have a confession to make, and its hard to admit this but I am a fruit shake addict. In Pai, especially along the walking street market, fruit shakes are around every corner and for only 40p its hard to turn them down. If I hadn’t had my second of the day I got the fruit shake shakes…


Pai was great, hey it even had a circus school, but something was missing. It was not until we left and got to Chiang Rai that we both realised that Pai wasn’t the heaven of calm we imagined. It was almost like being back at school or being a fresher at uni again…for the first time on our whole trip I worried about what I looked like. Did my hair fit into the hippie vibe? I didnt have dreadlocks? Would people talk to us? Oh sorry I didn’t realise we were drinking in the wrong bar…

Pai's nightly street market...

Pai’s nightly street market…

So though we enjoyed Pai, met some good people, perhaps don’t stay for too long or you may regress into your anxiety ridden teenage self!

Next time join us in a bamboo nest…


Trudy replaces Ryan for this post….

Trudy replaces Ryan for this post….



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