We had been told about a small town around 100km’s north of Chiang Mai, called Pai. Anyone who had been there raved about it, so we decided to go and take a look. Although it’s only 100km north of Chiang Mai, it takes 4 hours by buys. We soon learned why. The road is through the mountains and it contains nothing but hair pin turns. We were talking about that when I asked Andrew how many turns does the “Tail Of The Dragon” have? (Google it, it’s where motorcycle aficionados go to frolic) and he said maybe a couple of hundred. I said this had to have more. It turns out we were right, this 100 km stretch has 762 turns! We arrived in Pai and fell in love right away. It’s a small town set among the mountains, with a quiet atmosphere. The days are hot but nights are quite cold at around 12 degrees Celsius. I know for those of you in Canada right now you are not feeling sorry for us, but trust me when you sleep in a bamboo hut with no warm clothes, 12 degrees is quite cold. We rented a bike and started exploring the region. The scenery is amazing and we have seen some great sights. Unfortunately Andrew has been sick for the past couple of days, but the bright side is that I have finally been able to ride the scooter. It is so much fun! I spent the better part of yesterday running errands. From getting Andrew medicine, to getting food and tea, but I have also been able to explore the area on my own. I don’t even care where I go I just want to ride the scooter! It’s a lot of fun.
In Pai we found a cheap bamboo hut with hot water! for 250 Baht per night. That’s around $8 a night. It’s actually quite charming, and the best part is that it’s cheap. The only down side is all the chickens and roosters it’s surrounded by. They are not right in the courtyard, but in the neighbors courtyards. That does not prevent the roosters from crowing at 6am and waking us up. Every day. And there is not just 1 rooster. Each neighbor has around 4 or 5. And it seems everyone has chickens and roosters in Pai, so at 6am you hear all of them. I think we are slowly starting to get used to it however, since we now wake up but are able to go right back to sleep and sleep through it.
Unfortunately our visa is expiring tomorrow (Nov. 12) and since we feel like we’re not quite done with this part of Thailand we decided to do a visa run. That basically means we have to leave the country (go to Myanmar or Laos) and then cross right back to get an additional 15 days. So tomorrow we will be going to Myanmar by bus to get our visa so we can continue exploring Northern Thailand. The original plan was to rent a big bike (500cc or so) and do the trip ourselves. This was really an excuse for Andrew to ride those 762 turns mentioned above. Since he’s been sick however, we thought it was better to do it with a tour company. Of course Andrew will not let us be here and not do this stretch of road, so when we come back we’re renting a motorcycle and will be completing the 762 turns, times 2. There and back. I’ll post again to let you know if we survived.
This is a complete side note but while on Koh Phangan, my kobo (the electronic book reader) broke! I was so pissed off because I had bought 10 books before we left! So this is for those people considering buying an electronic reader: DON’T! The good news is I was able to download those books to my ipod. Although the reading won’t be as easy, at least the money I spent on the books won’t go to waste. The $150 I spent on the reader itself will.