Pai is paradise. A very small town, it has been developed over the years to perfectly accommodate the backpackers that turn up here for a night and always end up staying for more! We stayed for four nights, sleeping in a small bamboo hut set on the hills that looked at the mountainous valleys beyond and the quite town below. Our hut was very basic, with just a bamboo bed in it and we had a shared bathroom and toilet. The communal area had hammocks and floor cushions to relax on and look at the incredible view. There is not much to do in Pai other than chill out! We rented a scooter for 3 days costing us just a pound a day! It enabled us to visit nearby waterfalls, chinese villages and a swimming pool - it was a great way to unwind and we met lots of people there too.
Whilst we were there, the local people of Pai were celebrating a group of young men who were about to become monks. For the entire four days of our visit, trucks toured the town with a new monk and their family in the back, banging drums and drinking Sangsom (Thai whiskey). They started at 6 am and went on til at least midnight! The celebration culminated on our final night in Pai when a stage was set up in the temple Thai pop artists performed to the very drunk crowd (the Thai's really, really like their drink!) We joined in the celebrations and danced with the locals until everything came to a halt at 11pm. It was a fantastic evening. We found it fascinating the way such a religious celebration was fuelled with so much alcohol. Pai provided us the opportunity to plan our ongoing journey to Laos. From here, we booked a three day travel package which started with a 7 hour bus journey to Chiang Khong, leaving on our final day in Pai at 7pm