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Pai, Thailand - My Favorite Town!

Keeping Busy “Doing Nothing In Pai”!

It’s late Friday afternoon and I just got to my Pai hotel. The mountains were so green on the way up, and I’m sitting st the Quarter’s peaceful garden swimming pool listening to the birds. I’ve already seen a dragonfly and a few butterflies and bumblebees. The air is clean!

The ride up today was slow. My driver drove a stick shift Mitsubishi. He was very careful on all 762 switchbacks and on the steep grades. It took us more than 3 hours but I’m not complaining. Like the Upper Valley, Pai is difficult to get to. The bus and minivans that make the trip are cheap They race up and their safety records are far from perfect. Over the 10 years I’ve been coming to Pai I’ve seen improvements to the road. There are steel guardrails and concrete barriers on the steepest narrowest sections now. And the police and border patrol checkpoints will fine you for not wearing your seatbelt. After our stop at Coffee Hill, the last 52 kilometers seemed to take forever. But also like the Upper Valley, the places that are hard to get to, they are the ones that are worth the trip.
The first evening I walked through the night market streets to see what’s new. I ate at Na’s. For fresh made Thai food with healthy ingredients and a sit down restaurant, you cannot go wrong. Each dish is prepared while you wait. It’s very cheap, but that’s not what we go there. Folks go there for Na’s food!
On Saturday night I was determined to try the night market food. Everything looks so fresh and good. It was so hard to choose where to eat, but I ended up at Street Vegan 1 where I had a delicious gluten-free Vietnamese crêpe filled with fresh salad and Massaman curry. Oh my, what had I been missing not eating on the street in Pai. I picked up a Bamboo cup and have been drinking tea all week. Refills are 10 baht .30 cents US.
The many Pai tourist night market food vendors come with their prepared food specialties. It reminds me of our local farmers markets, in Lebanon, NH and Norwich, VT where we can try prepared foods of different types from different vendors. But instead of once a week, and Pai, the local “farmers market food” happens every night. If you check the blog table of contents link at the right & scroll back to last year’s blog entry from Pai, there are lots of photos of the night market. Here are a few more.
On Sunday night, we celebrated my friend Jay’s retirement and return to Pai at Jay and Wat’s nearby home. We’ve been friends for 10 years! It’s always so good to be together! Lucky the pup was happy to see me too. I thoroughly enjoyed Chef Wat’s delicately seasoned vegetables and squid. You can’t get that on the street in Pai! We also had dinner together one night at Ganita’s standby Mediterranean TKK restaurant. And I tried her yummy new Vegan Restaurants too!
Monday night, I was back on the street with my friend Reinier. I had met Reinier in Chiang Mai and he was coming to Pai this week too. We had hired a driver in the morning, and had a wonderfully busy and relaxing Pai tour day. We saw beautiful scenery, ate fresh organic food, and detoxed in the hot springs. Check out my next blog entry to see wonderful photos of the interesting places we visited . We had a great day but we were famished!
We started out at the little pan fried Gyoza stand. Yum! Then moved to the Gyoza’s with steamed dumplings too. Reinier ate his way down the street, trying satay’s and other meat dishes and I had a yummy aubergine gluten free quiche and salad back at Street Vegan 1.
The vocalist at the Pai Siam Bar on the corner almost to the Pai River Corner was phenomenal. We had drinks and listened, enjoying the unique Pai vibe for more than an hour!

I’ve been going to Pai Yoga Shala for yoga. https://paiyogashala.com/schedule/
The outdoor studio is underneath a 200 year old restored Thai home. It’s in a quiet location, you pass a temple and through rice fields to get there. It’s a beautiful place to practice and both teachers I’ve taken with have been terrific! It’s not far from town by car or moto. Did I mention that they will pick you up and bring you back before and after! You can tell a good studio by the props! Check out the truck!
Tomorrow is my last day here, although I am never ready to leave Pai when I must. I’m planning a Wellness day! I’ll start with yoga class, and I’ve scheduled A self treat at SaPaiYa, the very best spa in Pai. Before I found them last year, there were never any capable, knowledgeable wellness spas in Pai. Sure you can have a massage or a foot massage and any number of street places. It’s fun to do too & good to help the local shops in business. But if you want competent advice and services, go to SaPaiYa!
I love being home in the Upper Valley. But now you too can see why Pai is my away from home happy place during the cold and darkest season of the year at home.

Stay tuned to the blog!
Love, Nancie

Posted by Nsevers 20:18 Archived in Thailand Tagged food springs friends hot pai yoga

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