17th - 23rd October
One of those old hippie stops, Pai, is now packed full of aging fareng coining it on the tourism trade - those dirty sell outs. It's also a a damn good time surrounded by serene mountain jungle packed full of insects the size of your fist.
Here's where we lay our heads at night.....a sweet bungalow shack with stalks of green bamboos growing on all sides.
Our first full day happened to be Phil's 30th birthday so Pat and Tom planned a white water rafting trip down the Pai river.......but not before we got Phil completely hammered the night before.
The next day, as the hangover was creeping back, we tightened our helmets and lifejackets and boarded our rafting boats. Down the Kong and Pai Rivers, we passed some killer waves and scarry whirlpools...Tom's look says it all.
Another stop down the river was a 7 meter cliff from which almost everyone (minus Zhenia) jumped into the rushing waters. Here, Tom cliff jumping mid-stream....
After a day of recovery we rented bikes and headed out of town and over the mountains to the Mo Paeng waterfall. But before we got to the waterfalls, we passed some Elephant camps with many baby elephants.
Here, Tom takes a dive down the rock slide.
That day we decided to continue our expedition and see the Lot Caves. Here, Tom poses with mini Sean on Pai's lookout.
The Lot Caves rise in height of nearly 60 meters. It's a wild scene when one realizes that all the shapes and contours within the cave were caused by water. In one of the caves a wooden coffin was found so there must have been a civilization that lived in this magical darkness.
We needed to take a bamboo raft to get to the main attractions in the cave.
Later....a view of Pai from above from the Wat Mae Sen.
Fanny (from Paris), Pat and Zhenia took a ride through Pai. Rice paddies grow wild here.
We never got to our destination but took a walk through the jungle that surrounds Pai. The fullness and vastness of life here is unimaginable. It is everywhere you look.
Many of nights were spent at Taku Art Bar, a chill loungy venue with great artwork by our friend (from Chiang Mai) Suwat Arvui. Here is the large gecko he sculpted from metal that hangs above the bar.
Here, he poses holding a marble (yes, the stone) lamp. Zhenia and Ursula swear by it.
Note: A GREAT BIG thanks to Suwat for all his advice on Pai, the best Thai food we EVER had and for all your 'love and happiness'. You're truly a guru!!