Pai is the type of place where people go for a couple days and stay for a month. A place where people go and they love it so much they come back. We heard from many backpackers that it was their favorite place, so we were very curious to find out. After a winding 3 hour journey from Chang Mai. We arrived around 8 p.m. and there weren’t any taxis around so we had to walk about 10 minutes to our hostel. We heard some dogs barking, but that is nothing out of the usual. Until the one large black dog started following us as he was barking at us. This was honestly the scariest moment of the trip for me. I was so relieved when he finally turned around. When we arrived to our hostel we were greeted with a very friendly dog and all was right in the dog world again.
That night we went into town which was one main road lined with stands and shops. We met up with some friends we had met in Chang Mai for some drinks and went to some bars in town. It was a very busy night life! The next day we decided to change hotels to the Purple Monkey as we wanted a hostel that was closer to town, and some friends we met in Chang Mai were also staying here. We were also happy they had a pool since it was such a hot day!
One thing you need to know about Pai is you can only get around by foot or by bike. Neither one of us has ridden a bike and we don’t feel like dying so we opted to get a ride instead! I rode with a friend from the Netherlands who informed me he learned how to drive a motorbike when he was 16 so that made me feel better 🙂 A group of us drove about an hour to a caves.
The caves tour only cost about $5 and we were told to buy some fish food before going in. We were taken around the cave by 2 ladies with lanterns, and climbed many steps as it was a very large cave. I could hardly keep up with our guide who was probably about 70 and has done this probably a million times. Talk about a way to stay in shape!
The highlight of the tour came when we got to board a raft boat in the cave. We could see the large fish in the water. As soon as I dropped some pebbles of fish food in the water the fish went nuts! They were some of the biggest fish I had ever seen.
When we got to end of the cave you could see and hear tons of bats swarming around. I would have to say it was the best cave tour I have been on since it was so much more than just a cave.
We were so hungry by the time we got back to the hostel so decided to grab something there. I was thrilled to see they offered caesar salad since salads with creamy dressings here basically don’t exist, but apparently they import the dressing from Canada! It was delicious. That night we went to the night market for dinner and I was able to get 6 piece of sushi for $0.80!
The next day we walked around town. We were trying to find a cooking class, but didn’t find one that was available in the evening. It was nice to see the town during the day. It was so cute lined with hippie looking shops and restaurants.
That night we were able to get rides to the canyon for the sunset. It was beautiful!
That night just as I was about to shower the power went out. So we decided to grab dinner at our hostel which had a large bonfire to help us see. Unfortunately the kitchen was closed so went to the restaurant next store which felt really romantic with all the lit candles. We ordered chicken with basil and rice and it was quite spicy!
We were disappointed to find out that we had to go back to Chang Mai to get to the next destination. Our original plan was to go to Myanmar, but we missed the beach so much we decided to go back to the place where we first saw and fell in love Thailand for the first time 3 years ago. Read more about this location next.