So where to begin with this one...the blog blackout can effectively be owed to the fact I've been bunkered in Pai for almost 3 weeks. It wasn't intended beforehand, but such things happen I guess!
Before I landed in Pai, I flew to Chiang Mai. I arrived reasonably late the first day and I was hoping to get the bus straight to Pai. Alas though, the final bus for the day was fully booked by the time I reached the bus station! I proceeded to the hostel in Chiang Mai and just effectively chilled out for the evening. A friend I was hoping to meet in Pai was travelling to Chiang Mai the following day, so I stayed there for two days.
I did very little on day two because I just couldn't be arsed moving...think I read my book for 6 hours solid, before my friend arrived! We smashed a surprisingly good wood fired pizza before going out for a couple of drinks. It was a relatively quiet one until a couple other random travellers turned up at the (closed) bar, wanting more booze. Naturally, since the bar was closed, we joined them on the ultimately successful hunt! It turned into quite the late one…but it was very random and very fun! We also convinced the two of them to stay at the same place I was gonna stay at in Pai.
Unsurprisingly, I woke up the following morning was a bit groggy. I had to catch the minibus to Pai, but fortunately I had the foresight to book it for later in the day! The road to Pai contains about 760 hairpins, so I was also fortunate to be riding shotgun next to the driver! That turned it into a pretty epic trip and I enjoyed every second!
So that brings us onto Pai...I was there for too long and did too little to even think about running through it in date order, but suffice to say, I stayed in Pai for almost three weeks for a reason! Or, as it probably turns out, more than one reason. For whoever doesn't know where or what Pai is, Google can probably provide a better description than me. But for me, Pai is one of the finest places I've ever been to, where I met some of the finest people anyone could wish to meet...a few of whom will be friends, brothers & sisters for life.
But back to the beginning...the first night there was one of their jungle parties, which is effectively a rave at a location in the jungle! I wasn't at 100% from the night before but decided it would be rude not to attend! Glad I did because it was a cracking night of drinking, dancing and people watching! And since I effectively moved to Pai, it turned out to be the first of three jungle parties.
The following day turned out to be quite relaxed given the exertions of the previous night...plus I was committed to doing a pretty challenging hike to a waterfall the following day, so I decided to be sensible. The hike to the waterfall was much fun...the trail was small and there was a river / stream which needed crossing quite a number of times! We also got lost a couple of times, which added to the adventure. At the end, the waterfall was pretty cool, but even without it the hike would have been worth it!
Not gonna lie at this point...after that, all the days have kinda merged into one! So all I'll say is there was a lot of relaxing, a lot of partying, a lot of time spent at the adopted local (Mountain Bar!) just to play pool, a lot of time spent with some amazing people, a lot of time spent spending far too much money on the walking street food market, a little bit of sightseeing, a little bit of sleeping and probably a whole host of other things that aren't springing to mind!
There was also Christmas, which was spent with the adopted Spicy family. Both Christmas Eve & Day were brilliant. We did a secret santa on Christmas Day, which everyone was involved with so was real fun, followed by all you can eat BBQ and drink...some got carried away and rendered themselves incapable of going into town! I turned into a very late but very fun night for those of us who can handle ourselves!
I loved Pai so much that I nearly volunteered at my hostel, and love it so much that I may return in April before flying to New Zealand!
So...thank you to Pai and everyone I met there...I'll see you all again one day!
I'm now in Phu Quoc in Vietnam for the next week or so. It was quite the mission to get here over the last 24 hours, hence the need to relax for just one night at least!
Until next time!