Pai, Northern Thailand


3 days, good coffee and a festival in Pai.

Pai is a super cool little hippy town in northern Thailand, near the Myanmar border, about 4 hours on a SKETCHY mountain road (full of various animals) north of Chiang Mai.

I arrived in the evening and had loads of trouble finding accommodation as there was some big ‘Pai’ festival happening the next day (which i didn’t know about before hand). Anyway, i met this girl who was in the same situation as me, so we decided to look for a twin room as there was more chance of us finding one, than 2 singles. She had a moped with her, but didn’t really know how to drive it, so i offered to drive as we’re looking for somewhere to stay. It was so funny/stupid, as there were 2 of us on this moped – plus 2 massive backpacks – plus 2 days bags – plus a guitar!!!! Almost fell off a lot of times! But we eventually found somewhere and it was sweet (although later in the night when coming home i tried to open the door and the key snapped off inside the lock. After trying to climb through the window, we had to call the owner out to fix it).

On my 2nd day in Pai i hired out a moped, and went to some local hot springs. They were cool – i especially liked the ‘No Boil Egg’ sign (which basically means that the Sulpher from the springs smells like boiled egg – but alas, there is not actually any egg’s on the boil – gotta love the Thai/English translations!).

That evening was the night of the festival. It was really cool. There are only maybe 4 main roads in Pai, but they were all closed off with stages put up on each road. There were new local bands, as well as traditional Thai dance/music etc. And there were LOADS of awesome Hippys (but like, proper hair-down-to-their-arse 60 year old hippies, who have been living in Pai since they discovered it many years ago). They were dancing most awesomely. There was also some fairgrounds which were all Lomo-tastic.

On my 3rd day in Pai, i discovered perhaps the COOLEST coffee shop in the universe. It’s called ‘Coffee In Love’ – its a bit out of town, but its built overlooking miles and miles and miles of green fields and mountains. And the coffee shop was all open air, so no windows or anything. Just good coffee, a cool breeze and stunning views!!!!

After getting my coffee on, i carried on exploring and found some waterfalls. As i was driving along the dirt roads to get to the Falls (bearing in mind i was in the middle of nowhere!) this dude came out of his hut and walked into the road, making a gesture like he was asking if i had a lighter, so i slowed down to see what’s up, and then noticed he was holding a massive machete so i kinda crapped myself and sped off. Then this other woman ran out the house and kinda did the same ‘lighter’ gesture but more aggressively. Was a bit weird, was half expecting to see them running after me in my rear view mirrors. I think they were just trying to sell me weed. Anyway, the fall’s were really cool, and local kids were sliding down the rocks!

Go to Pai, its super cool and chilled! Oh – and also – go to the Coffee shop made from a converted VW Camper van!!!!

written by dannyfresh on 2009-10-10 #places #travel #festival #coffee #location #thailand #pai


  1. sugiyamasatomi
    sugiyamasatomi ·

    AMAZING gallery! WOW!

  2. quaisoir
    quaisoir ·

    cool!!!that shot of the VW van is enuf to really make me wanna go there!

  3. takezzo
    takezzo ·

    yeah, i been there before and i really liked its laid back atmosphere and surrounding nature. i rented a motorcycle and had enjoyed two day staying there before heading back to bangkok.

  4. northwardnimbus
    northwardnimbus ·

    amazing! great stuff here! i just came from bkk and i didnt want to come back to manila no more. heeh.

  5. panelomo
    panelomo ·

    and... i want to go to thailand now.

  6. stouf
    stouf ·

    Wonderful colours !

  7. eva_eva
    eva_eva ·

    omg. love the colours!!

  8. jayday
    jayday ·

    I already love you , Pai

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