February 26, 2014

Pai, Northern Thailand...it really is a hippie heaven!

Back in Chiang Mai, we had plans to head east to Laos for a couple weeks, pick up Burmese visas in Vientiene then hop on a train to Bangkok to catch a flight to Myanmar. 

On our last day in Chiang Mai, our travel buddy Denis had to get some stitches the day so at the last minute we decided not to cross the border and hang out in Northern Thailand until the stitches could come out. 

One night we met crazy nudist Nancy from New York who said Pai in Northern Thailand was amazing. Our Finnish friend Jussi and his brother just got back from motorbiking around Pai too and they said it was awesome. Hmmmmm...interesting...

If traveling in SE Asia has taught me anything, it has been that plans can change fast...really fast...so flexibility really is your friend. One night we were thiiiiis close to booking a flight to Myanmar and the next second we're coming up with Plan B.

We were bummed we couldn't explore Myanmar but we were pleased to see that motorbiking in Pai for a few days (before crossing over to Laos) and lounging on the beaches in Palawan, the Philippines, for 10 days fit into the Myanmar gap verrrrry nicely. So Pai and Palawan it is!!

Thanks to Jussi and crazy nudist Nancy from New York for the Pai recommendation and a very big thank yooooou to Denis for getting a few stitches that sidelined our plans for Myanmar but meant we could motorbike around the lush hills in Northern Thailand for a few more days (and added the beaches of Palawan to our itinerary!).

If you head up to Northern Thailand, keep going north! Pai was one of the highlights of our time in Thailand :)

P.S. It's worth the extra effort to find the Pai hot springs which are a bit farther away (and cheaper entrance fee). And who doesn't love hot springs in the jungle populated with only a handful of other tourists? (And a crazy local Thai guy sipping on some moonshine).

Looking for a cheap central place to sleep? We walked into Pai Walking Street Backpackers Guesthouse and got a cheap room with a front row to the nightly food market.

{Life is more fun in a pod :)}

{Delicious eats at the Pai nightly market}