I’m pretty confident that there’s a 50% chance you die on your way there, but I would take those odds every time if it meant I got to spend another day in Pai. It is one of the coolest places in the world. It’s a paradise tucked up in the northern mountains of Thailand. A 3 hour mini bus ride took us up and over the mountains on roads most would deem unsuitable and speeds that seemed inappropriate. The driver also had a few empty beer cans under the passenger seat that I just prayed weren’t his.
I arrived alone around 8pm and my new friends weren’t joining me until the following afternoon. The town is quaint with small boutique shops and restaurants lining the streets. The night market was in full swing when I arrived and my new hostel was right off the main walking street. I had to navigate through the crowds and stalls until I arrived. Once I was settled in, I decided to head out to the market and see what the little town had to offer. After grabbing a skewer of chicken and veggies from one of the vendors I started navigating the streets. I must have looked exceptionally lost, because an Italian guy asked me if I’d just arrived. We chatted and he offered to show me around as he’d been living in Pai for 4 months. He explained that the vibes were very relaxed because everything was so affordable; even for the locals. Rent typically costs around 2000 baht per month (about 57$) and the local merchants typically have no problem making that from their stalls.
After I’d walked the entire town (only took about 90min) I called it a night. The next day would be my first of the trip on a moped.