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Life in Pai

Pai Travel Blog

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Pai, Thailand!

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.

Chillin' in my reading spot next to the River Pai.
  Chloe is my new hippie-child, Stanford alumni, singer/songwriter, yoga instructor, spiritually inspiring, Ukalele playing, cool, laid-back, and beautiful new friend. 

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 were on the hunt for a place called, "John's Cave Lodge".  And, we found it - just in time for dusk. 

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.

The river in Pai.
  And so it was hard to leave her.  We had exchanged books, layed on hammocks, played music, shared iPods, floated through dark caves, raced motorbikes through mountains, ate Panang curry out of a coconut, and sat in hotsprings under the stars.  But, it was time to move on with my journey.  I still had to travel through Laos and into Vietnam before February 3rd when I start some volunteer work in Saigon.  And, Chloe had a two week massage course to take in a local hill-tribe village.

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....

 

martinikitty13 says:
great blog. :)
Posted on: Feb 03, 2008
oldschoolbill says:
Khob Khun Mak Krab for story & Great Pics
Posted on: Feb 03, 2008
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Pai, Thailand!
Pai, Thailand!
Chillin in my reading spot next t…
Chillin' in my reading spot next …
The river in Pai.
The river in Pai.
Bungalows in Pai, Thailand.
Bungalows in Pai, Thailand.
My chillout reading swing next to …
My chillout reading swing next to…
Chloe is amazing.
Chloe is amazing.
The reception desk for the bungalo…
The reception desk for the bungal…
Welcome to Pai, Thailand!
Welcome to Pai, Thailand!
if that is not a sign then reall…
if that is not a "sign" then real…
The kitchen that made my favorite …
The kitchen that made my favorite…
My art car for Burning Man 08!
My art car for Burning Man '08!
Pai, Thailand!
Pai, Thailand!
A place to stay in Pai.
A place to stay in Pai.
I love sunflowers.
I love sunflowers.
The local gas station.
The local gas station.
Yes - these boys were hitch-hiking…
Yes - these boys were hitch-hikin…
on their way to.....?
on their way to.....?
Nude jumping!
Nude jumping!
There he goes....
There he goes....
Thai cowboys.
Thai cowboys.
Sean and I.  You gotta hear his Br…
Sean and I. You gotta hear his B…
Cloe and me: Ready to roll....
Cloe and me: Ready to roll....
The look.
The look.
Inside the bungalow.
Inside the bungalow.
Outside the bungalow!
Outside the bungalow!
ONE MILLION Swift birds entering t…
ONE MILLION Swift birds entering …
Swift birds on the ceiling of the …
Swift birds on the ceiling of the…
View from my bungalow in Sappong, …
View from my bungalow in Sappong,…
so cute.
so cute.
Me and Chloe.
Me and Chloe.
Entering the Tham Lod Cave
Entering the Tham Lod Cave
Tham Lod Cave
Tham Lod Cave
From the inside of entrance of Tha…
From the inside of entrance of Th…
from deeper inside.
from deeper inside.
another shot.
another shot.
The damn at the entrance.
The damn at the entrance.
baby puppies in the village of Sop…
baby puppies in the village of So…
The bugs are out in force at dusk,…
The bugs are out in force at dusk…
Chloe and me
Chloe and me
Pai
photo by: Stevie_Wes