Life in Pai
Pai Travel Blog› entry 26 of 46 › view all entries
Life in Pai is simple. When I got here, I kept asking what all the fuss was about - why does EVERYONE throughout Thailand want to go to Pai? It just seemed like a small village in the countryside along a river and surrounded by hills. And, it was just that. So, when I arrived, I asked a cool local guy who owns an amazing organic food cafe-lounge, "What am I supposed to do here in Pai?" His answer was something I have not yet heard on all of my trip - in any of the cities or places I've visited. His answer was, "Nothing. Just meet people and do nothing. That's all you do in Pai." And, somehow that was exactly what I felt like doing.
And just like that - within two 2 hours in Pai, another angel in the form of an amazing woman named Chloe entered my path.
So, after a few days of doing nothing - laying on hammocks, reading on swings, drinking banana shakes and sitting in hot springs (with Carson & Melissa from Portland), the two of us rented a motorbike scooter and hit the road - 50 kms out of town. We had heard about the biggest caves in Thailand - and the daily migration of one million Swift birds that swarm into the cave at dusk. So, weaving around mountain-side roads and swerving past slow motorbikers, we raced to a village in north-west Thailand near the Burmese border called Sappong.
We tossed our bags into an amazing river and hillside bungalow and walked through the forest to the Tham Lod Cave. For 35 minutes every night at dusk, there are over one million Swift birds that swarm the sky and descend into the cave to sleep for the night. And, as they arrive, the nocturnal bats leave the cave and ascend into the night sky. This exchange cannot be described in words. It is simply a combination of sight, sound and feeling that make this experience surreal and special.
Spending time with Chloe was priceless. She actually understood my Buddhist philosophy and meditation experiences without having been there with me.
So we raced 50km back to Pai - wizzing around corners and past rice patties as the sun set. And just as it did, my time with Chloe came to an end. So did my time in Thailand. That night, I had a bus to catch - to the border of Laos. My month in Thailand was more than I could have ever dreamed. It started on the hot islands and ended in the cold hills. But, knowing that I will be back here in March after my time in Ethiopia makes me overwhelmingly happy and excited for everything that lies ahead....