Posted by: James Shannon | July 7, 2012

Smoky Skies And Muay Thai Fights: The Rest Of My Stay In Pai In February 2012

 Returning from the Hua Chang Waterfall hike in Pai District in February 2012. I had plans to stay in town for several more days, but with smoke obscuring the horizon, what was one to do?

With the big secret waterfall hike out of the way, I had few other plans in Pai other than to relax and enjoy the company of my good friend Katie. Sightseeing would not have been a great choice, as the abnormally thick forest fire smoke (coming from fires visible in the hills at nighttime as hellishly red scars) obstructed the view completely, as you will see in the photos below. Instead, I just chilled out, enjoying afternoon/evening/late night drinks at the many character-filled bars in town, afternoons by the pool at Baan Kratang Resort, and gourmet meals at a sharp discount compared to home.

Insofar as new, unique activities went, I took in a local Muay Thai event, as documented below as well … enjoy!

 The sun attempting to shine through the thick shroud of smoke at around midday…

 On my way to Katie’s house, the smoke combines with a vacant lot on the edge of Pai town to give the appearance of an apocalyptic wasteland.

 Towards sunset, the smoke finally lifts enough to reveal an outline of mountains in the distance, and grants the sunset some brighter shades of orange and red as Katie BBQ’s up some pork and beef we picked up at the market earlier.

 The Charn Chai Muay Thai gym in Pai was hosting their third ever fight night, playing host to fighters from Isaan, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, facing the hometown boys from Mae Hong Son Province.

Pork balls! Git your pork balls heeeaaarrrrr! Pork Balls for everyone! Delicious, nutritious, good for the hart! 😛

Muay Thai fighters practice a ritual before every match, bowing & genuflecting before each turnbuckle. I’m not clear on its significance, anybody out there know … let me know in the comments!

Apologies for the green line interference in the video below … here’s hoping that the videos from the new camera turn out OK!

The next morning I left Pai to do two weeks worth of work on my blog … but it wasn’t all nose to the grindstone time, as you will see in the next photo essay … see you then!

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