There I was all set to head up to Chiang Rai when someone had to go and ask me a silly thing like “Why?” “Well,” I replied, “I guess because I’ve heard of it.” My interrogator frowned and shook his head. “Don’t go to Chiang Rai – it’s f#@king boring, mate. Listen, ‘ave you ever heard of Pai?” “Hmmm…” I said – “Well …I can recite it to three places.” “Eh? Look, come and have a geeze at me map.”
And so it was that I was swiftly persuaded to change course for a little town I’d never heard of. Apparently many people have heard of it though — I haven’t seen so many white people in one place since leaving Australia. Makes me a little uneasy, frankly. Anyhow, the main town is so small you can walk it from end to end in a couple of hours, so motorbikes aren’t really necessary.
A tad pudgey from one too many American breakfasts (bacon, eggs, jam on toast etc, every day – it adds up calorie-wise), I decided to rent a bicycle, go exploring and burn off the “pum pui” (fat) belly at the same time.
After Phuket, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, it was astonishing to see a mere three 7/11’s in this whole place. It certainly has it’s share of cafes and guesthouses though – as well as a few rivers running here and there with people tubing down them. Apparently the classy gent in the pic above can drive you ten minutes out of the city and drop you off with a large rubber doughnut, which you then proceed to float back into town with. 150 baht all in – that’s about five bucks for a lift, a tube and a whole lotta leeches. The river even flows right past my bungalow. How convenient! Be advised: “It’s not includes beer.” No worries – I can ride my trusty rusty bike to one of those three 7/11s and stock up on booze before taking the tube. ‘Dee mak mak’ (sweet) indeed.