Pai, Thailand – The road to Pai is legendary for the curves, 762 to be exact over. It is a 3 hour drive by mini-bus in a slalom like race up and down a windy narrow road through forest and farm land. The curves are in the last 90km of the ride and getting car-sick is not unheard of.
Our minibus driver is clearly training for the 24 Hours of Le Mans and used our trip as a training run. I was lucky to be seated behind him and my view of oncoming traffic blocked. Sadly, Dave was seated in the center of the first row with a clear view of all the questionable driving decisions that were made on the trip up. It was a white knuckle drive the entire time.
Thankfully we both survived and no-one was sick. I felt that we had some good Karma on our side with a minibus full of monks.
On our way up we passed Mark and Kim who made the crazy decision to ride their bikes up to Pai. They claim it was a great ride and no big deal. We are super impressed with their journey. There are a few turns the minibus barely made it up in first gear. Of course they did a little harder to earn their beers and were probably safer on their bikes!
Pai is known as a backpackers mecca and now I know exactly what that means. A small town completely overrun with young backpackers, hippies and rastafarians. We were definitely a bit too old for this party town and lacking the requisite dreadlocks and stinky armpits.
We stayed at a small ‘resort’ close to the river and next to a late night jazz bar right in town. A pool, koi pond and free breakfast were not enough to make up for a crappy bed, luke warm shower and obnoxious smoking neighbor.
Pai is lacking is the Thai feel and hospitality. The entire area is awash with tourists and not a native Thai to be seen anywhere. The street food is made up of pizza, burritos and lasagna. Missing is the amazing Thai food.
I guess you could say, it’s not my slice of Pai.