When I travel, I prefer going to different places to explore new sights. However, I also have this habit of going back to the places I love. My stay in Thailand and Cambodia for 5 months were proof to this. Instead of moving on to that next adventure, I get stuck at those places and I allow it to happen. When I first travelled to Pai, one of the towns in the Mae Hong Son province in northern Thailand, I immediately realized that that trip was not going to be my first and last one.
When I first came to Pai, I was quick to judge the place without giving her the chance to know her better. I immediately labeled it as a ghost town. I tagged it as one of those fake touristy towns where travellers get sucked because of the artsy stuff lying everywhere.
Little did I know that I would soon eat my words the moment my eyes betrayed me. For when I decided to explore Pai’s countryside, I fell in love with Pai and found solace there.
Pai’s beautiful countryside is its best asset. You will see greenery everywhere you go. I know other places offer sceneries like this but there’s something magical about Pai.
I used to dream of going to Ireland. I want to see leprechauns in Ireland’s countryside. 😉 I used to imagine roaming the castles of Scotland. My friend Marge even persuaded me to visit Edinburgh when she learned that I wanted to travel to Europe. She told me she’d be my tour guide to see Europe’s castles and its countryside. But after seeing Pai, I felt happy. Although it may take a while before my feet find the roads of Europe, I was happy to be given the chance to experience something similar in Pai.
For your knowledge, majority of the travellers that roam around Southeast Asia are Europeans. Seldom would you find travellers from America or elsewhere. These folks tend to travel to the tropical countries of Asia to escape the cold climate in Europe. Some of them return to their country after the winter season is over. Others who get stuck stay behind.
And I think this is one of the reasons why you would see a similar design in the architecture or other establishments in the countryside of Pai. The Europeans who have claimed Pai as their second home made an imprint in the lives and culture of the Thai people living in Pai.
I find it sad that Thai’s rich culture got overshadowed by these foreigners. I guess Pai just had to adapt and conform to change. I know I can’t do much about this since I was just passing through. With my short stay in Pai, I think I can say that Pai’s rich culture is still safe though unlike what happened to the town of Vang Vieng in Laos. I just hope Pai doesn’t end up like Vang Vieng.
If Thailand is on your travel destination list, I also encourage you to visit Pai. It’s actually almost 15 hours travel by bus but you can also ride a plane to Chiang Mai. Travelling to Pai from Chiang Mai will only take 3 hrs. There’s also an airport in Pai if you want to avoid the long and winding road when going there.
I wouldn’t get tired having a view like this every single day.
I promised myself I will go back to Pai in October to witness sunflowers bloom, and by December to January to see the beautiful sakuras during the province’ winter season but I guess I’ll have to take a rain check on that.
These beautiful small flowers will do for now… 😉
Discounted Accommodations in Pai