Oct 7 - Pai
We took the van-bus from Chiang Mai to Pai (pronounced "pie"; prices ranged from 180-250 bahts at this time) and were picked up at the bus station by Aad, our host along with his wife Noi from the Pura Vida Resort Hotel. After the van-bus negotiated the 764 curves along the route (yes, someone must have counted them all; the 764 number is on T-shirts sold in town, so...) just getting off the bus was nice. We met one guy who took Dramamine before the ride; another hitchiker wasn't so keen on the never-ending curves either. At any rate, sailors know motion, right? The Pura Vida Resort is a quiet sea of tranquility about 6 km outside Pai. The gardens and pond with connecting canals reminds one of the Netherlands, where Aad is from. This was just the quiet we were seeking. The area of Pai and its surrounds have about 24000 people. There's a lot of New Age stuff around, and the farangs are plentiful. It reminded Sue and myself of Port Townsend, Wa. in the late 1970's; talk about a flashback! Pai itself is in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains. It's Vegetarian Festival thruout many parts of Thailand this week, so finding veggie dishes was easy. We, on the other hand, had a wonderful hamburger at the Hamburger House. Heathen, right? After walking around town the next day, we walked back to the hotel to get some exercise, arriving in the late afternoon. We made arrangements to go to Thaton, and basically just chilled. Aad and Noi's hospitality is lovely, and we highly recommend you check them out if you come this way (email@example.com).