The magical land of Pai is a place I have been looking forward to going for ages. It sounded like just my kind of place. Its actually alot like Phi Phi (which is the other place I got stuck!).
Pai is at the north of Thailand, and is abit of a b**** to get to, so there aren't that many people, although this is constantly changing as Pai has such a fab reputation among travellers. Its a real hippy town and home to alot of Hippy Ferangs, who come here and never leave. I'm not suprised!! You can walk the length of Pia town in about 10 minutes, although the chances of doing this are slim as lovely locals often see you and offer you a lift in their truck. There are only so many places you can go in Pai, so mostly people are headed in the same direction!
We became particurly partial to ReTox (previously the Shisha bar) and owned by a very cocky British guy, Jim, who is actually fab. Its tiny, but you can play whatever music you want and have a free shot of deadly whisky with every drink. Plus there are challenges that win you prizes and more importantly to most - your name on the wall. This all adds points and increases your country's 'status'. However, the challenges are not easy, and as the photos show, Matt's attempt at Gold was a painfull one. Its hilarious out here though. Matt drank 12 double tequila slammers within 2 hours - he broke a chair, fell over and was sick everywhere. They guy literally couldn't walk, but we wanted to move on. The guys carried him into Ting Tong, where he proceeded to throw up everywhere. However, rather than being thrown out, the owner said, 'these things happen' and gave us a free bottle of water for him! I love it!!
There was a huge gang of us - Pai is so small that you just all hang out together. There are a few really good bars, most of which have live music every night. The best one for this is Bee-bop, which is where we spend our first night. It was just the most amazing atmosphere, and so chilled out. Missed Alex alot though that day - becasue he would have just loved it so much!! There are a few more cool places like that, then you get the late night bars, 'Don't Cry' and 'Fubar'. I don't think there was one night that I didn't end up at one or the other. Just end the night will a big fire and talking lots of rubbish!
I was so lucky aswel, because the beautiful Marita (my Australian friend) had recommended somehwere to stay (and if anyone ever goes, then stay at Pai Chan)!! Its amazing - the most chilled out places I have ever been. There was a pool, and my room was beautiful, and so cheap. Then after a few days, my room was booked out, so they moved me to a double room for the same price. I was paying the same as I was on Khao San Road for a police cell!! And I could fit 4 people in my bed!!
We spent one day on the bikes, finding the waterfall and watching the sunrise over the canyon - then having a mission down in the pitch black!! The bikes were wicked, but pretty scary as the night before two Thai women had crashed, and one had died. You could see the bits of bike, and the whole place was pretty shocked by it. Needless to say helmets were not laughed at - although mine was particularly funny - and very 'Brighton' i thought!!
I also did a Thai cooking course - which was immense. It was with a guy called T and was fab. I am sending the cook book back to Alex, so if anyone is interested then ask him. Its alot of ingrediants which may be more difficult to find, but oh my god, it tasted good. I made a green curry, and bean salad and chicken with cashews. We got to invite all our friends to eat the outcome, so a small party was had that night!
Anyway - got me a flight to Singapore to see Jay and SJ and also meet Clare and Jen (from Phi Phi), so very excited. Big kisses all x x x