Today we sorted out what clothes to take to Pai, it did not make sense taking two huge back packs to Pai, especially when we were only going for two nights. We left the backpacks at the Gurdwara. The Gianiji had to check with the president if that was okay. Luckily it was, quite amazing the president did not have to call a committee meeting to discuss! (Sarcasm!!) We went over to the Gurdwara to drop bags, chatted to Gianiji for a while, he showed us the library and where Gurmat / Gurmukhi classes are held, we left our back packs there. Gianiji came out with us and hailed a red song thaw for us to take to the bus station. He explained that the standard charge for these is 20 baht (per person), wherever in Chiang Mai you are going. That makes the 250 THB we paid to the Songthaw driver last night seem very steep!!
We were at the Arcade bus station (terminal 3) by 11am, so in good time.
There was a lot of activity at the bus station, including people handing out sim cards – I took one, well it was free!
Our minivan was packed. There was no room inside for passenger luggage so it went on top of the van. We set off at exactly 1130 and tried to make ourselves comfortable for the next three hours. The minivan was clean and the ride fairly comfortable, though the driver would speed over bumps every so often leaving us a bit shaken! We sped up 107 and then turned onto 1095 near Khilek where the views were very scenic.
We drove through amazing unspoilt forest, climbing up some very steep and bendy roads. We saw villagers going about their everyday business. There were some stunning wats (Buddhist temples) to be seen along the way and the mountain views were truly spectacular. We arrived in Pai at 2.45pm. The iPhone map displayed Phu Pai Art Resort (where we had booked accommodation) as being around 1.5km from the centre of town, so we decided to walk. Map was wrong – again!
After almost half an hour of walking in the sweltering heat, some locals explained that the resort was actually 5km out of town (which is what we were expecting) in the opposite direction!! So we went back into town with the intention of catching a taxi. We ended up at a vegan restaurant :
Chew Xin Jai
222 Moo 4
T: +66 85 7173628
The restaurant owner was very helpful and gave us a map showing us exactly where our accommodation is and also directed us to where we can hire a scooter, after a delicious meal, we headed to the scooter hire company, walked round quite a bit, searched for an ATM, picked up the scooter and headed to the resort. With all the walking we did, we actually managed to see most of the centre in the space of a couple of hours. Pai seems very relaxed and a bit of a hippy town. People seem to come here to get away from the troubles of life.
Back at the hotel, we were blown away by just how tranquil the setting of the resort was. We were the only guests around – our own personal resort!
we popped over to the lobby for a stronger wifi connection so we could make some arrangements to extend our trip a little and arrange necessary transport / accommodation. It got very cold at around 8 / 9pm, it’s a strange feeling, something we haven’t experienced for a while!