After the local bar last night, we hailed a red safari truck to go to famous backpacker bar in Chiang Mai. The Thai guys we were drinking with were pretty upset that we wouldn’t ride with them there on their motorbikes, I was with them for a solid three hours and saw how much rice liquor they slammed in that amount of time. I’m sure some people would have loved “Spicy,” but after our amazing chill night at the car-mechanic-turned-vibey local-bar, it really wasn’t my scene. It was pretty much a bunch of sweaty teenagers listening to popular techno music, drinking totally overpriced alcohol while preying on defenseless drunk girls. Luckily it closed pretty soon after we arrived, so we ran over to an “American Burger” joint to grab some grub.
Getting back to the hostel at 4am, apparently they were fully booked, so I had to stay at the hostel across the street. I was alone here, but the walls were paper thin so when the chatty cleaning crew came in at 7am, I was up for the day. They were gossiping and chucking with squeaky high-pitched voices (Thai is also quite a high-pitch squeaky language as it is), so I went in the hall and did a little bow and put my finger in front of my mouth to ask them to shush. They apologetically stopped talking for about five minutes and again I was frustratedly woken by their gossip. It’s one annoyance to be woken up by other backpackers, but soooo much more annoying when it’s because of the staff because you’re PAYING them for a peaceful stay there! Now I understand our “tip-toe” policy at my family’s Inn in Hawaii!
Since I trusted the lady at my other hostel for a meal suggestion, I went to her again. She sent me back to the same place as yesterday to try something different. I guess they’re a famous place for all types of noodle soups and there were constantly people flooding in and out, parking their mopeds under the canopy out front. I immediately regretted trusting her suggestion when I was handed a bowl full of gelatinous cubes of jellied purple pork blood. Too hungover for this! I maneuvered the blood chunks to my side plate and covered them in napkins to hide their scariness from my view. I ordered a Thai milk tea and an avocado, spinach, banana, cacao smoothie as I tried to focus on not regurgitating the soup.
We booked bus tickets to Pai and went for a massage in our neighborhood pick-up location while we waited for or driver. The elderly woman plunked my feet into a bucket full of warm lemon water and began rubbing my toes with the lemon juice. I honestly felt bad for her because my feet are so gross after traveling for two months… the only shoes I’ve worn the entire time are my Chacos, and they really give the weirdest calluses in all the wrong places. Poor little old lady! The drive to Pai was supposed to be incredibly winding (762 hair-pin-turns to be exact), so my friend urged me to pop a motion-sickness pill with her. It put me into a super weird daze where I wasn’t actually sleeping, but I definitely wasn’t awake the entire trip. I guess at least I didn’t get sick??
Pai is really so absolutely adorable! It’s this tiny little town near to the border of Myanmar with really tranquil vibes and dozens of sweet small local bars and open-air restaurant. The streets are quiet though they’re bustling with live music and hundreds of tourists. The local people here look very different from people in other areas of Thailand. They’re much taller with darker skin, sturdier stances, and dreaded hair. Lots of people sell their handcrafted jewelry, shoes, and artwork on the streets and they almost have a Jack Sparrow sort of look to their outward aesthetic. We found a cozy restaurant on the river where we sipped lemon teas over the symphony of chirping frogs and crickets. It really is one of the most romantic places I’ve ever seen! Red and yellow lanterns softly light the streets of this little town and love seems to be everywhere you look.
Alena Horowitz | Miss Potato