I’ll have a nice slice of Pai!

I write to you with a sore head. I can’t provide you with the statistical proof but I am pretty sure Thai people, on average, are short. Either that or the purposely build low beams and roofs for me to hit my head on. I’ve lost count how many times I have done it now. Ow!

I have been in Thailand now for nearly two weeks and I am starting to come to terms with the culture and the people. Browsing the stalls one day I came across some ‘bottoms’ which were apparently authentic dress. A backpacker had recommended them to me, really comfortable and practical, apparently. They looked something reminiscent of what a kung fu master would wear in the movies. They would wrap them round, tie it off and pow! Kick some bad guy’s ass.

I saw a pair with Chinese writing down one side, they just looked cool! Got them home, wrapped it round me, tied it off and then… I caught my reflection.

It may look cool in the movies but really, I was just a guy in a skirt. Ahem, moving on…

I’ve not met a single backpacker who has not raved about Pai. In the middle of nowhere in North West Thailand it’s a tiny town with massive character. I can see why international and domestic tourists make the trip to Pai.

Every day in Pai feels like a Sunday. Everyone is just really mellow. Even the dogs just chill out in the middle of the road, not even flinching when someone goes past. I would estimate that a third of the people here have dreadlocks and a lot more are high (on life or drugs, who knows). Even so it is a rather picturesque paradise where you can really relax, do yoga, collect your thoughts, listen to reggae or jazz or drink Chinese tea. You get the idea. People get trapped in Pai, they go for a day and stay for seven. I’m trying to avoid the same trap.

Today I rented a motorbike. £2 for the day and a £1 to fill the tank up. Outstanding!

‘Ever rode bike before?’ said the mechanic.
‘Nope.’
‘Here’s key, don’t crash.’

Things are just too easy in Thailand. I don’t know why I spent four years at university. You can buy a degree here for £6.

I can’t say I knew what I was doing or where I was going but sticking on my aviators, getting on that bike and just blasting through the countryside was just amazing. Wind in my hair (?), sun on my skin and a grin on my face I just ate up the tarmac. I found myself singing Blur – Song 2. Don’t know why it just felt appropriate somehow. The monsoon rain came about an hour into my ride but I didn’t care. I was wet, so what. I’m free and happy and the rain just felt like it was watering my soul.

By the time you read this I will be on my way to Laos. One day on a bus and two days on a boat. Sounds painful and it probably will be but even the ‘bad’ stuff here is still great. Still I think I would come back for more Thailand holidays. It’s such a great country to travel around.

The adventure continues…

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