Posted by: James Shannon | May 30, 2011

The Life Of Pai, Episode VII: High And Dry @ Pai Canyon

Though my ultimate destination over the next week was the landlocked country of Laos, I couldn’t breeze through Northern Thailand without spending time in one of my favourite places in Southeast Asia: Pai District, three hours northwest of Chiang Mai.  It seemed, along with a brief stop in Chiang Rai to the north, the proper way to bid Thailand farewell (at least for this trip, that is!)

Ah, the simple beauty of the Pai Valley … it was great to be back!

My home for five days, as Katie was busy at that time mobilizing her house for the move back to Canada…

… but that quite okay, as she got got an awesome deal on a bungalow close by … 200B ($6.67) for a 300B ($10) a night suite!  It was cozy and idyllic as the above pic indicates!

Katie’s friend Paul (not sure if the name is right) is presently constructing a bar on the outskirts of Pai, out on a road known locally as Country Road.  Here, we unofficially christen the place with Chang/Leo!

Twilight slips away as night overtakes the hills of Pai

The next day, I went to check out the Pai Canyon, so I jumped on my motobike and made for the hills south of town … but first, a pic to demonstrate what the dry season does to plant life in Thailand.  It hadn’t rained in Pai since December, and it was the end of February at this taking of this picture.

Damn, I forgot to fill up in town … no worries!  Just visit your local gasoline vending machine and be on your way in no time!

This is Pai Canyon … on either side of that thin path ahead is a 50 foot+ drop.  When you’re in Thailand, who needs trivial things like guardrails?

A scene emblematic of the height of the dry season…

Sunset approaches; time to get back to the bike, but not before admiring the sun slipping behind the Northern Thai Mountains

Note the tinder dry, leafless trees in this panoramic picture…

… and contrast it with the green, lush irrigated fields in the distance, towards Pai Town … without, there would be a big food supply problem during the dry winter months!

Down in the valley, the sun bids me adieu for another day … and what a way to exit, stage west…

Seeing how Pai was a favoured destination for me, there is at least one more episode (maybe two) of Pai goodness still to come.  Again it bears saying: if you’re going to Thailand, COME HERE!  You won’t regret it.

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