Pai, a place of many dread locks, bright tie die and baggy (weird) clothing. A place that was described as relaxing... and relaxing it was not.
Nestled in the mountainous region, Pai was stumbled across many years ago by travellers. The travellers were on their way to somewhere else and thought Pai had a 'laid back' kind of ora about it. This was of course many years ago, now Pai is a tourism mecca for the stereotype 'hippie'. The streets lined with coffee shops, hippie bars and baggy trouser shops. Tourism has truelly ruined any real chilled out vibe that would have existed many years ago. A shame really as the town is very small and the outerparts of Pai is where the real beauty and tranquility lies.
However, many travllers never get past the bars and shops to see that natural escape. It was cheap to rent a motorbike for a day in Pai, and we saw many westerners wobbling down the road on them. However, the centre of Pai was so small you didn't need a bike, you could walk. A thought went out to the hippies whose one main aim is to LOVE nature and harmony in the world! They must have cried at the many westerners 'hairdrying' it up and down the small roads. Hey... wait... is that a westerner dressed as a hippy, driving a motorbike? Oh... I think that IS a hippy! Poor mother nature, the hippies have turned their back on you for some 'hairdryer g-force' and adrenaline. However, we did see some hardcore hippy trying to ride a pedal bike without any gears up and down the hills.
Me and Daniel eventually, by walking, went to visit some hot springs. 7KM from town, the hot springs were a great reward for all the effort and energy in the midday sun it took to get there. Natural of course, pools of water heated by the ground. The highest was 100 degrees which you couldnt get into but you could boil eggs in incase you wanted a snack. The more cooler temperatures were there to soak in, soaking for no more than 15 minutes at a time. It was amazing, like a hot bath that never got cold! I could have stayed there all day but it takes 2 hours to walk back to town and the sun had started to get low in the sky.
Because of the many motorbikes we could see in Pai, it gave us an ingenious idea. We found out from one motorbike shop that they had another office in Chiang Mai. So we chose our bike, our helmets, and we biked as fast as we could out of hippy heaven and looked forward to four days with me, Daniel and the bike.
Good-bye stereotypical wannabe hippies... Hello open road....