Pretty Pai In The Sky
Despite the potted petunias in the coffee shops in the main street, Pai did not make a good first impression.
That may have been partly due to our journey there, aboard the vomit express. It may also have been partly due to our complete lack of research and subsequent inept floundering around once we arrived.
But after four days in the mountain town I decided Pai is quite lovely in spite of its mild hippy infestation.
It’s one of those places where the directions to anywhere are simple — cross the bridge, go past the sports field and it’s there on your left – you can’t miss it. That’s how we got from our place to the recommended restaurant, Na’s Place.
At night, one of the main streets turns into a walking market, with souvenirs and food stalls. In the daytime, backpackers (and hippies) slouch around, loitering at the bus station and motorbike hire places, while trendy Asian tourists take arty shots in the flower-filled cafes.
It’s a laid back town, perfect for winding down.
We chanced upon the most fabulous guest house, too, which made our stay even more relaxing. The Pairadise Guesthouse, recommended through a complicated system of friends and acquaintances, had something for everyone – swings, a sandpit, friendly dogs, a pool and an enormous fish pond for Miss M, a hammock and views across the valley for Darling Man and a shelf of well-thumbed books, a comfortable bed and a bungalow-delivery food service for me (who was lucky enough to have a mini-relapse of dengue fever during our stay).
The charm of Pai is in the surrounding countryside. A beautiful valley filled with rice and canola fields, roads lined with teak houses and, in the background, a purplish-blue-ish mountain range.
Darling Man took some wonderful photos …
(This last photo is mine. I have to use a special blend of Smackdown and ninja skills to get the camera off Darling Man, but that’s a story for another time.)
No inducements were asked for or offered by Pairadise Guesthouse. But here’s another shot of it, just for fun…
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10 years ago