Unfortunately my trip through Laos ended very abruptly, after a pretty bad Scooter accident on one of the very bad, rough and dirty roads in Laos, with a lot of wholes and puddles. This post is not about the accident itself, but more about what to do if you are ever in a situation like this. Let me tell you - it is NOT EASY! Especially travelling alone (this is the part where you wish a loved one or family member was with you, to not only help you figure things out, but for emotional support as well). Hope that the accident is not in the outback, far away from any civilization, in the middle of nowhere, because then you are screwed...
I was initially only going to stay in Pai for a few days and ended up staying for more than a week. As soon as you arrive you are welcomed by a very calm and peaceful feeling, everything goes one step slower, and there is just this special vibe the place has to offer. It was my favorite place in the north of Thailand and I can definitely see how people end up staying there for a few weeks. It's the kind of place to relax for a few days, read a book in the hammocks, rent a scooter for a few days and explore the mountains and hot springs. It is a very hip and cool young place with a lot of backpackers and people to meet. Keep reading to find out more about my favorite spots, best restaurants and places to eat, the cheapest way of getting there and back and what not to miss while there!
Let's start by how to get there: there are a few different options, Minivan or Local Bus. The best and cheapest option is taking the local Red bus from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 (Arcade Bus Terminal) for 80 Baht.
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Pai in its full beauty
Renting a scooter for two days and exploring the area - so much fun!!
Thailand is a beautiful country, the south as much as the north. Many people leave out the north, but it is definitely worth checking out! My personal favourites: Chiang Mai and Pai (see my post about Pai to read more). Some general word of advice on the people, the food, accommodation and transport, that I have gathered and experienced from the last four weeks of travelling through the country:
The people are super friendly with huge smiles on their faces and as long as you treat them with kindness and respect they will treat you the same way. Thais have this beautiful way of putting their hands together and bowing when saying thank you (Khop Khun Kaa/Kaap), part of the Buddhist teaching. They are always friendly and calm, I have not once met or seen an angry Thai. Most are always willing to help and go out of their way to show or explain something to you.
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Sunset over Koh Phi Phi with its beautiful boats and clear turquoise water
White sandy beaches and turquoise water on Koh Larn