After a few days in Chiang Mai, our plan was to take a bus to the town of Pai. We had heard all great things about this town and really wanted to visit a waterfall. Only problem? Pai is a motorbike town.
Getting to Pai was easier than we expected. Our hostel, Deejai Backpacker, could book the ticket and have the bus come and pick us up right at the door but the earliest one the hostel could book was noon. They said we would have better luck hopping on a morning bus if we went straight to the bus station.
All packed up we walked outside and hopped on the first tuk tuk we could find. We told him we wanted the bus to Pai and he knew exactly where to take us. The tickets were cheap and we only had to wait about 30 minutes to catch the next bus out. The buses here are actually more like large shuttle vans.
The ride is 3 hours and half way through they stop for a bathroom break. We hopped back on and the second half of the journey took us around hundreds of twists and turns through the mountains.
We arrived in Pai hungry so we stopped to grab some food before getting a truck to take us to our new hostel, Spicy Pai. I am very glad we didn’t have to walk our backpacks all the way there because although Pai is small, Spicy Pai is on the edge of town and it was hot. We would have to find motorbikes to hop on eventually.
We were surprised to find out we would be sleeping in a big, open hut full of bunk beds. No AC. No closed doors which is why our beds came with bug nets. I had to sleep in that bunk all the way at the top.. the third one up! A little skeptical at first, but we decided to trust all the great reviews and it ended up being a very fun place to stay.
After dropping our backpacks in a corner we walked back into town to explore. We sat down along the road at a cute little place and drank some Changs. When we finished it was late afternoon and the street stands were opening. We walked around and did some shopping. We have always done our best shopping after a few beers.
The rest of the night continued in the same fashion. Walk, shop, drink. Walk, shop, drink. We finally found ourselves at a tiny bar on the edge of town with live music and a very local vibe.. everyone was Thai but us. We tried to order a drink and the bartender, a bit confused, handed us each a wine cooler. I guess that’s what he thought two American girls would like.