I woke up a bit earlier than intended, and went down to have my hostel’s free breakfast (toast and jam lol). I had an hour or so to kill before yoga (my hostel was offering free yoga at 9am), so I chatted on the phone with May. It was really nice to talk with a familiar voice. Love you May!
After yoga (which was essentially just a bit of stretching and a few vinyasa flows… nothing much), I researched a bunch of hostels in Pai; I had to move because my hostel was full for the night. I decided to just go downtown and check out hostels in-person instead of just over the internet. I walked by Purple Monkey, which looked chill and nice, and decided to pop in and ask if they have any availability. I was able to book 2 nights so I was happy.
I walked over to my friend Viktoria’s hostel so we could rent a scooter together. By the time we got going, it was 11:30 and we were getting hungry again so we walked over to a vegan place to get lunch. It is SO nice to travel with a fellow vegan! It makes things so much easier. I got 2 types of curries over rice for 35 baht (about $1).
We were both pretty afraid to rent a scooter since we had seen SO many people walking around bandaged up from motorcycle accidents. I swear 1 in 10 tourists here have SOME sort of bandage on their body. Plus, just the day before, Viktoria’s friend got in a really awful accident and fractured his tibia and had to go back to Chiang Mai to get surgery.
We were super super cautious on the scooter— we went really slow lol. We first rode to Land Split, a site where the land is literally split from an earthquake that happened in 2008. The owners are SUPER friendly farmers who made their land a tourist attraction after their land was destroyed from the earthquake. They offer produce from their garden (sweet potato, banana, roselle), plus products made from the produce (jam, wine, banana chips). The nice thing about the site is that they don’t’ charge anything and give you free roselle juice and other products to try before you go in to the site (which is also free). You just donate what you want.
As you walk through the split, you see all their various fruit trees: banana, jackfruit, papaya, pomegranate, roselle, etc. The split itself isn’t THAT crazy, but their hospitality made it memorable. I feel like they probably make way more money by asking for none— you always get more when you ask for less.
We got back on bike and went to a waterfall about 5 mins away. The water was cold so we only stayed for a few minutes.
We went to the bamboo bridge rice field thing next. It was cool! There was a coffee shop in the middle of the field, and we had smoothies. The shop looked kinda gross though… there are no hygiene practices. The lady cut mango/pineapple on the dirty table, washed the blender/utensils really haphazardly, and just threw orange seeds on floor. The smoothie tasted good but I was worried I would get sick from it (no signs of sickness yet though!! Knock on wood).
Our last stop was Pai Canyon. We were kinda hesitant to go since we knew would be coming back to it the next day on the tour we booked, but we went anyway just to check it out. I am SO glad we did. It was by far the coolest thing we saw all day. The canyon is MASSIVE. There are so many parts to explore! You kinda rock-climb through it to get to all the different viewpoints, which I loved. It was a little scary climbing through it at times, since there are no safeguards and you can slide off the canyon at pretty much any point, but it was also so fun.
The drive back to town was beautiful!! We saw rolling hills, rice fields, and elephants (although the elephants are from a really horrible camp where they are caged and ridden on by tourists… ugh).
After we got back to town (in tact and bandage-less THANK GOD), we showered and chilled before meeting up again for dinner. We went to a place called Charlie and Lek, which has cheap Thai food. I got Pad Thai made with green papaya instead of noodles, which was good, but not really pad Thai. It was more like stir-fried veggies… but the sauce/spices they used were really nice. Viktoria and I also split stir-fried sunflower greens, which were amazing. I also had black rice on the side.
We went to the night market for dessert (#alwayseating) and had these yummy coconut/sweet rice balls things, tea, and coconut ice cream. I failed to take pics IM SORRY!!
We ran into another friend, Nelly, who was staying at my hostel. Viktoria went back to her hostel, Nelly and I walked back to ours, and we chilled on the hammock for a while before going to bed.
Some thoughts I had today:
I think I’m going to do a silent meditation retreat before leaving Thailand… it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, and Thailand seems like a good place to do it.
Pai is definitely beautiful, but it’s also a bizarre city. It is just this tiny village in Northern Thailand filled with tourists. The night market was literally only tourists. The streets are riddled with foreigners– you barely see any locals. I like it because it’s chill, has tons of veggie food, and has a beautiful landscape, but it is a bit off-putting that it is SO touristy. I don’t really feel like I’m in Thailand… which isn’t a good thing I don’t think.