Life of Pai

I never wanted to have a set plan when I set off on my travels but I did have a route in mind. After Chiang Mai I was going to head to Laos, but after many recommendations I changed my plan and decided to visit Pai. I had no idea what to expect as I had never read about it, but the not knowing just adds to the excitement.

Making the decision to leave the group of friends I had been travelling with I set off on my journey to Pai with a girl I had met in Chiang Mai.

The journey involved a 5 hour drive up hill with 762 curves in a minibus, not the most comfortable drive but the views were amazing. The bus drivers in Thailand do not drive as slow as bus drivers in England and so it was impossible to get any pictures of the beautiful scenery.

Again, we hadn’t booked anywhere to stay but on arrival it was quite obvious this wasn’t going to be a problem. Pai is a small town in the mountain and you can walk around the town in about half an hour. It has become a hot tourist destination and so the streets are lined with places to stay, bars, restaurants, massage parlours and tattoo shops. Very similar to an island called Phi Phi I visited in Southern Thailand a few years ago, but surrounded by mountains instead of the sea. Don’t let my description put you off, it is still an amazing place to visit. It has a real laid back hippy vibe, beautiful surroundings, a good social scene and the street food is amazing!

I hired a moped, (along with almost every other tourist) and headed away from the shops and bars into the moutains. One day we drove to a stunning waterfall, took a dip and then spent a few hours just driving through the mountains. The second day we cruised to some Hot Springs. This was the first time I had seen hot springs and I was like an excited child. Once I had calmed down we spent a few hours just lazing around in the different temperature springs. I am now truly spoilt as the spas back home will never compare to these beautiful natural springs!

3 days in Pai is plenty, as it is a small place. So I am about to set off on a 15 hour bus journey back to Bangkok. I have decided to miss out Laos and head straight for Cambodia as I do not have enough excitement for Laos. Whilst in Cambodia I will ponder over my next destination.

I just love the freedom of travelling!

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Bucket List: ‘Swim in the pool of a waterfall’

4 days into my travels and I’m able to tick something off my Bucket List already.

‘Swim in the pool of a waterfall’.

I booked a trip through a travel agency with 2 lads I met in the hostel. The trip cost 1000bht and this included transport, lunch, entrance fee and 2 stops.

Erawan waterfalls are in Kanchanaburi which is about 2 hours outside of Bangkok. There are 7 beautiful natural falls and their beauty has been maintained as they are kept by a National Park. This does mean there is an entrance fee (about 200bht) to see them but it’s worth it to see the unspoilt wilderness.

Its a long, and in some parts challenging, walk to the waterfalls. The first 3 falls are easily accessible by well laid paths and signs, the others involve, steep muddy hills, climbing over rocks and using tree roots as stairs! Although slightly hard work most people seemed to manage it. I was wearing my walking trainers and this made my trek so much easier.

It was at the biggest waterfall that I chose to take a dip and although I was a bit more nervous than I expected, I loved it.

The second stop was to see the famous bridge over the River Kwai. This bridge was built by the Japanese during World War II to create a rail link between Burma and Thailand and they used Prisoners of War to build it under appalling conditions. This led to to an estimated 16,000 deaths of Prisoners of War alone. The train line over the bridge is still in use even though it is overtaken by tourists.

Even though I was pretty tired after a day of trekking, it was my last night in Bangkok and had to finish in style. Myself along with about 15 other people I had met at the hostel partied on Kho San Road until the early hours. My next night will not be quite the same, instead I have a 12 hour night-bus journey to Chiang Mai…

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