One day after our arrival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, we hopped on a minibus and drove up into the mountains to a quaint little hippie-village known as Pai. The road is curvy (762 curves to be exact- which we know because they sold shirts that say it!) and not for those who have a weak stomach. But if you can power through that portion of the journey, a beautiful village with understated scenery awaits. In spite of the laid back personality and vibe in this area, there are some more unusual things happening in Pai. Our experience brings to mind three particular occurences.
- The thai massage. This isn’t specific to Pai, but it’s worth mentioning. We had read about a traditional thai massage and what it consisted of before we went in, but boy were we in for a surprise. This was the best and most intense massage we’ve ever had, all for just 150 baht ($4.30) per person! Good luck getting a massage for ten times that in the states. At various times I thought “how many people are massaging me?” Of course the answer was one, but their simultaneous use of hands and feet was truly incredible. And the intensity? It put to shame most every deep tissue massage I’ve ever had! Which begs the question: what is the deep tissue massage like?
- The night/morning symphony. We stayed in a bungalow out in the farm fields of Pai, where there is no shortage of insects and animals of every kind. What we didn’t expect to witness was the intensity of the noises produced by said creatures! We’ve never heard more lizards chirping, cicadas as loud as a jet engine, and various species of birds sending calls from dusk til’dawn. It truly was a jungle!
- Elephant traffic. We are definitely planning to visit an elephant sanctuary during our time in Thailand, because quite frankly, elephants are awesome. But the first elephants we laid our eyes on were “elephant cars.” On one of the back roads running through Pai there are a number of elephant camps all on the same road. If you drive through on a motorbike you will drive past a number of them giving a lift to tourists. Though we aren’t sold on the use of elephants for that purpose, it was still really cool to see them walking the steets and maintaining proper lane usage!
Our time there was short, but Pai is definitely a place we hope to return to someday! The food was incredible, the people are super friendly, and there is a lot of beautiful land to be explored (on foot or via motorbike). We will certainly see you again, my lizard friends.