Pai was our last city we visited in Thailand. It is in Northern Thailand so if anyone has been keeping track of our trip it is pretty strange that we went from Chiang Mai to Koh Phi Phi to Railay back up to Pai. We did this because our main group of friends couldn’t get as much time off as Becky, Sarena and me so we did what the group wanted and then headed off on our own again and we didn’t want to miss Pai.
We had two full days and two nights in Pai and this is where Becky and my trip took a little turn for the worse. On the infamous ride up 1095 and all 762 turns to Pai Becky started to feel queasy. We didn’t really think much about it because people get sick on the drive often because of how windy of a ride it is. But once we check in to our adorable bungalow cabin at Pai Village Boutique Resort and Farm she got sick, stomach sick. She had to spend the day in bed getting over whatever bug she had and Sarena and I headed out to see the Memorial Bridge, Pai Canyon, and Pam Bok Waterfall.
We had quite the adventure. We set out and easily found the bridge. The Memorial Bridge was built in 1942 by the Japanese to bring military supplies to Burma or Myanmar as it is now called during World War II.
After that we went to the canyon and climbed around. It was beautiful and very scary to me. We were walking and climbing on paths that are about eight feet wide and cliffs on both sides.
After this we headed to the waterfall. Directions were hard and we were trying to use our Google Map on our phone but we ended up on the wrong path for about a good hour. We turned back and figured out which side road was correct and decided we had enough sun light to still make it to the waterfall and set off again.
It took us longer than expected because the side roads were very unkempt roads. We found the waterfall and took a dip and were ready to head back out when we realized we had a flat tire. We were probably eight kilometers from the main part of town at this point. No cell service, nobody around, and it was dusk and we were going to eaten alive by malaria mosquitoes—logical I know. With the situation we were in we decided we had to just ride on it and go. We made it about a mile when we realized with both of our weight we could be doing some serious damage to the bike. I decided that we were only a few miles from the main road where someone would stop and help us so I would get off and run and Sarena could take the bike. As I started to run, and by this I mean took one step, we came up on a house and there was a lady standing at her gate. I pointed to our bike and tried to use hand motions to say flat tire and she understood. She went to her shed and got a tire pump. It was like our prayers had been answered. We start pumping up the tire and gave it about a minute and then we heard a giant pop—we blew out our inner tube. Awesome. We made it worse.
She started to motion to us about using her bike and our bike and we just could not communicate or understand what she was trying to say. Finally she points for us to get on her bike and she gets on ours. Next thing you know her little two year old hops on our broken bike as well and they set off down the road in the dark and we follow. She rode our broken bike back to the main road and we thought this was where she was going to leave us but no she continued on to a bike shop. Here we paid $5 to get the tire fixed. We could not believe how bad of a situation we were in and how well it turned out. AND how helpful she was even with her child! It was amazing. We made it back to Becky about two hours after we thought we would and she knew there was a story coming. Luckily Becky was feeling better and we headed out to the night market.
Still on my high from not having to walk 5 miles back to town with a broken bike I dove straight into the street food. Sarena and I ate everything we could from friend chicken to bacon wrapped mushrooms. We shopped and strolled the streets and then went to Jikko and had some beers. Here we met an Australian and American couple and enjoyed their story of how they met and how they work for a few years then travel for a year and continue this cycle.
We were in bed by 10ish and I was so excited because the next day we were going to a cooking class! I was texting my dad telling him about how almost everyone had gotten sick on the trip (Sarena had a stomach bug in Chiang Mai) and how I have such a strong stomach! Dumb, dumb, dumb! At about 11 pm I started realizing my stomach was off and then by 1 am I was barfing. Luckily I had Cipro with me so first thing in the morning I took it and I was pretty much back to normal in 12 hours but that day was so long and hard. I felt so weak like a bus had ran me over and the worst part was I could barely function at our cooking class. I had so much FOMO though I didn’t want to miss out on anything. Our hotel had a farm and you could go visit so I skipped out on that (still sad about this) to sleep more but the rest of the day I pushed through.
We also went to Mo Paeng Waterfall and the Pai Hot Springs. At Mo Paeng there is a sign that says “Do not climb to the top of the falls” but of course everyone was and sliding down. I couldn’t believe that I was brave enough to do it but I was and it was a blast!
Pai is a chill hippy town. It has definitely been Westernized but it was still a great town to see. It was much smaller than the other towns we had been too and had more nature actives. We felt at home here.