Travel Tuesday; Pai

In the beginning of the year I traveled with Bibian to the North of Thailand. We visited Chiang Mai (read more about it here) and Pai and had an amazing trip. I would love to go back again one of these days!

Viewing point in Pai

 

Pai is a small town in the northern Thailand, near the Myanmar border, about 80km north of Chiang Mai, which is a 3hr drive by minibus. {If you easily get carsick, don’t forget to bring your medication as the trip can be very bumpy and the road has many hairpins due to the mountainous area.} Pai is well-known for its relaxed atmosphere, and the town is full of bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and much more. There are several waterfalls in the vicinity of the town and its great for trekking and visiting hill tribes.

We got recommended to travel with Aya Service minivans, however we were unable to find them on the bus station where we were dropped off. We though this would not make too much of a difference. However it does (as we learned on the way back), as Aya does not fill up the busses as much as other tour operators. Besides that (but maybe we were just lucky) the driver of Aya was way more careful on the road. So please look out for the Aya busses and join them!

In Pai we were staying at Lychee Garden Bungalows {http://www.lycheegardenbungalow.com}, which was recommended to us by a friend. The service is really good, great communication via email in advance, and they will pick you up from the city centre  of Pai to bring you to the bungalows. It is about a 15min drive from the beautiful village of Pai (about 2km), so to get back and forth you really need a motorbike to get around. Luckily you’re able to rent them at Lychee Garden for a reasonable prize.

When we visited, they only offered 4 bungalows – however they were building a couple more. The rooms are small but nice, with private bathroom, a big terrace and situated in a beautiful garden where you can relax during the day. Besides that they offer Aircon and free Wi-Fi.

02. Lychee bungalows

Most of the time we were driving around Pai with our motorbike, visiting the vicinity and relax in the lovely city centre of the town. It was amazing to see the sites and we went to several beautiful viewing points.

04. Driving around Pai

 

As one of our activities we went for a cooking class. After passing by several cooking classes we decide to join a cooking class at Savoei – which is a restaurant/ cooking school on the main road in Pai just behind the May World Travel. You can decide to do the morning class learning to cook 6 dishes, or a night course with only 4 dishes.
We joined the morning class, which started with a visit to the local market, and followed by cooking several dishes. Even though I liked the visit to the local market, I would recommend doing the night course as the food is way too much to finish (they do offer you to bring it back home). The class was great, the cookery school looks very clean and is done in the garden of the restaurant (mind you it is covered), and the chef speaks proper English and is a great teacher; so definitely worth a visit.

03. cooking class

 

The rest of the time we enjoyed walking around this small city, sitting down at several restaurants for a drink or a meal. My favorite places where:

  • Na’s Kitchen:
    I think that we have not seen Na’s kitchen empty one single time when we were in Pai. It’s a great place to go for dinner – even though the location is not the best. We loved the fried fish in tamarind sauce – an amazing dish!
  • The Curry Shack:
    This small curry place is located of the main street, and run by one guy who does absolutely everything. We went here for lunch, before the place gets super crowded. As the guy does everything by himself it will take quite some time before he is able to serve you. The food (we had a red and a green curry) is very nice, good quality and a very reasonable price. We would have definitely come back again if our trip to Pai was not so short!
  • Good life: herb and health restaurant:
    We were send here by a friend who visited Pai a couple of time. I have to say that the menu was huge – especially for the teas and juices, which tasted amazing! We went here for breakfast as you can sit outside in the sun. The atmosphere inside and outside was nice and relaxing. The prizes for breakfast are reasonable, however I would not recommend the Bagel…
  • Jikko Bar:
    On the main street of Pai is a great place to sit and watch people go by. They have great cocktails which are made at the outside bar.

For the rest of the time we’ve eaten at the night market – the food there was amazing. And we loved sitting outside and watching the different types of people passing by.

05. eten en drinken

 

Owh and one last tip – if you happen to go to Pai in around January, do make sure to bring long pants and a sweater or two, as it tends to get cold at night and early mornings!

Hope you will have the chance to visit this amazing place, or that you have already been there. If you have any other tips, do share them with me. As I am sure to go back to Pai soon! 

4 thoughts on “Travel Tuesday; Pai

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