Keith and I were so fortunate to have Katie and Sean with us in Thailand up until January 15th. We took advantage of this time to take a weekend trip to celebrate Keith’s birthday and Sean and Katie being in Thailand with us.
Keith was in Mae Hong Song for two days celebrating Children’s Day, so he met Katie, Sean and I at Mae Malai market on the way to Pai.
We arrived in Pai on Friday evening after a four hour van trip of whipping through the switchbacks in the mountains. Right away in Pai we noticed the chilly night weather and the mountain town feel. This was all of our first times in Pai, and we all decided it was a place you could get stuck in (and not be mad about it.) It had such a relaxed and laid back vibe, with a ton of activities to keep us busy.
We stayed at cute little bungalows called Pai Country Huts across the Pai River for $15 a night. It was a short walk across a bamboo bridge to get from town to our bungalows.
The first night we got settled and then walked to get dinner at a place called Edible Jazz. We got yummy Thai food and drinks sitting on cushions on the floor. The live music was great. They had a woman singing acoustic songs followed by a band. After dinner we moved from our table to one of the bonfires at the restaurant.
The next day we started out the day with a delicious American breakfast at Boomelicious Cafe, which was a special treat for Keith and I. At breakfast we planned out our day which started out with renting motorbikes.
Once on the motorbikes we drove to the trailhead of the Mae Yen Waterfall. A 7km hike that we didn’t know too much about. This hike was an adventure! We spent three hours not ever completely confident that we were on the right trail. The hike was beautiful with the trail zigzagging through the river and beautiful fauna. Sean even discovered that there were fern looking plants that immediately recoiled when you touched them.
After the hike we headed back to our place to hang out for a little bit before making a half hour drive out to the Pai Canyon for sunset. We stopped for beers along the way and had plenty of time to explore parts of the canyon before sunset. I was content sitting near the entrance of the canyon, but the boys wanted to explore. We ended up finding our own private little cliff to enjoy the sunset from.
While in Pai we loved walking around the night market-walking street. We got hot drinks and walked around listening to buskers playing music, looking at cool crafts, and stopping in bars for drinks.
The following morning we got breakfast at Witching Well before heading out to the Pai hot springs. The hot springs were really interesting because the pools cascaded down into different temperature pools. The hottest pools were at the top where people were using baskets to boil eggs. We tested out a bunch of them and settled on a 33 degree Celsius pool. We didn’t last very long, the slight hangovers plus hot weather plus hot pools made us tired quickly.
We headed out of Pai and back to Chiang Mai in the late afternoon on Sunday. After quite a disagreement we ended up with a decrepit van but had a driver that was a pro and whipped around the mountains curves so dangerously fast that we made it back in three hours instead of 4!
Keith and I can’t wait to go back to Pai to visit, but it definitely won’t be the same without the original Pai Pioneers, Sean and Katie.