I’ve done pretty well seeking out off-beat, hippie destinations in each of my countries so far, but Pai really takes the cake – the sweetest, most colorful, most eccentric cake imaginable.
In one day one can run into Captain jack sparrow. Have a Japanese woman make you a beautiful dress and headpiece (I have wanted this since asking a girl two months ago in Otres Beach where she got hers – answer is Mai in Pai).
What I love about Pai is what I love about Burning Man: there is no standard mode of operation. Nobody cares how you dress or act and nobody really minds. Everyone wears their best hippie garb, and pretty much everyone embraces each other and makes friends. The setting is beautiful, and you are completely free.
I drove myself around the beautiful countryside every day on my motorbike, through winding, steep roads, past scenery like this:
I can’t believe I refused to drive one of these for so long. There’s really nothing to be scared of on roads that are this devoid of traffic. Almost all my fears were removed and I had fun driving canyons that would have terrified me months earlier.
It also feels nothing like the rest of Thailand. It doesn’t even necessarily feel like you’re in Thailand when in Pai, but, if I’m honest, that doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a parallel universe and that makes it fabulous.
There were waterfalls to slide down:
With cute little Thai boys at the bottom who helped me out of the pool of cool water.
There were waterfalls to swim under:
There were steep canyons to do tree pose in:
There are land cracks to stop for lunch in, where you are fed hibiscus fruit drinks, potatoes, tamarind, and most importantly, PASSION FRUIT, in exchange for a small donation.
All-in-all, Pai is one of my favorite places I’ve visited so far on this trip. It is a vegan-friendly, designer tea, bamboo-tattooed, rainbow-haired (really, a friend of mine got a rainbow hair dye-job here), dread-locked, paradise in one of the most beautiful settings imaginable. I made friends here I’ll never forget and will always cherish. I made memories here I’ll always hold dear.
Go to Pai. You’ll be glad you did.
*Though did not ask me to do this nor compensate me for doing so, I’d like to recommend Spicy Pai as it was an amazing place to stay, or just hang out. Jack took us all around the area in a big convoy of motorbikes just for fun, without expecting anything extra from us. It has a very social vibe and I attribute much of the great time I had to staying there.