No one eats pies in Pai
Pai Travel Blog› entry 10 of 16 › view all entries
Our journey from Chiang Mai to Pai was a little hairy - a small mini buses taking hairpin turns at seemingly unfeasible speeds left our tummies a little worse for wear. After 4hrs we arrived in Pai, a small rural town nestling on the banks of a small river - there is even a cute little bamboo pedestrian bridge to get from one side to the other.
Guesthouse was nice and easy to find - ours is a little outside of the town so we benefit from lovely views as well as homemade bread every morning for brekkie! On our first day full day we decided to get acquainted with the area and rent a bike for the day - great choice. The scenery was beautiful, at times we weren't sure whether we were in Thailand! The rolling hills and mountains had striking similarities with the Swiss Alps and the many orange groves felt like we were in the Mediterranean.
After a nice easy first day we decided to do just a one day trek the next day - the main advantage being that we could get back to our nice bed in the evening. We walked at a fairly brisk pace for all the morning, the guide took us through lush woodland with streams and then on to agricultural land full of garlic. At lunchtime we stopped at a village, the home of the Lisu tribe. It was pretty big, full of traditional Lisu bamboo houses on stilts (chickens and pigs live underneath). The villagers we saw were mainly young mothers, old ladies or children - everyone else was working the fields.
We actually had lunch inside on of the houses - interesting and took our breath away at the same time. The reality of their living arrangements was unbelievable - 7 people living in a bamboo hut on stilts, certainly no bigger than a double garage.
The following day was a bit of a wash out since Neil was struck down by the dreaded bacterial infection and was up most of the night sitting on the toilet. After a quick and totally useless visit to the hospital we got back to the guesthouse to find out that 50% of the guests were suffering and so was the village! Lets just say we're highly suspicious of the sanitation in Pai.
Unfortunately I succumbed the following night, but thankfully we were fully prepared! Our final day in Pai has been relaxing, still feeling a bit weak. Considering we've been in SE Asia for well over a month now, I think we've done pretty well to get away with little illness.
Tomorrow we're off to Huay Xai, crossing the boarder into Loas to catch the boat down the Mekong for two days. We have a few reservations after reading a few comments from other travellers, however we'll certainly be purchasing a cushion for the trip!