birthday // pam bok waterfall
today is your birthday and you’re on your way to pai meet up with a group of people you met at the hostel in chiang mai. the (birth)day starts with a bumpy 3.5 hour drive in a minivan. the driver is fast and the corners are sharp. apparently people tend to throw up; although a few people look a bit sickly, luckily your van is spared. you arrive at your housing in the middle of the jungle, and by chance, you bump into a friend who came back to get his gopro. you run to your hut, drop all your things, get changed and go with him to meet up with the rest of the group.
the day is spent speeding through the countryside on scooter, travelling from waterfall to waterfall.
you’re not really a birthday person — you tend to think it’s all a bit of a social construct and that, ultimately, it’s just a day. regardless, it was a good day.
birthday // bars
pai has numerous bars with good cheap alcohol and good live music (and shroom shakes). you spend the night of your 20th at such a place. a dog sits with your group — it’s cute but you keep your distance because you didn’t get the rabies shot because it was too $$$$. you play beer pong, and you’re just as good as you are back at college (not very). instead of a candle atop a cake, you blow out a flaming shot.
amazingly, you manage to stumble your way back through the jungle to the hostel in one piece. must be birthday luck.
pool // fluid
who knew public pools could be cool? well this one sure is because it serves great burgers, fries and alcohol. you spend the day surrounded by other travellers, reading and floating.
would recommend going early to grab a spot under one of the umbrellas.
brunch // big’s little cafe
this is the place to go for brunch. eggs, avocado, (beer), bacon, hash browns — any brunch staple you need. you talk to a cute boy who motorcycled from chiang mai to pai, and is planning to continue his journey across the rest of thailand.
cute and impressive.
*pic from google: didn’t snap a good one at the time
accomodation // suandoi backpacker resort
this is an experience. you stay at a traditional wooden thai house in the middle of the jungle. you do yoga in the morning and it’s as cliché-ingly tranquil as it sounds. the place is beautiful, but boy are there are a lot of insects. funnily enough, you kind of get used to them — apart from the giant, flying, hissing cockroach.
you would recommend trying this place at least once
(but probably just once).
thought // pai
you recommend pai as a destination. it’s an interesting place.
you enjoyed your time there but definitely felt ready to leave after a week.
you liken it to black mirror’s ‘san junipero’: nearly everyone is young and good-looking. all people do there is eat (the food is really good, but consists much more of western fares than traditional thai cuisine) and drink — which really doesn’t sound all that bad.
however, this easy-going lifestyle ultimately feels unsettling. you meet people who intended to stay there for a week, but have now been there for a month. the general lack of urgency makes you feel restless.
you find it kind of weird how a ‘boho paradise’ has been fashioned to exist in the middle of rural thailand.