I wrap up my backpack, bidding goodbye to the kindest hotel receptionist in Chaing Mai and head to Pai, a low-key oasis on a mountain four-ish hours away. The ride in the mini-bus is bouncy and fun, our bodies tossed like dolls as we climbed up the curvaceous mountain road. Driving on the left is still a mystery to me despite experiencing such behavior now in India and in Thailand. I never seem to know how to cross the street properly.
I meet some super fun friends in the van, an Irish, a Swede, and an American, all staying together in a larger and seemingly exuberant group of travelers who will join the following day. I share some info about shamanism and my time at John of God with them and they seem a bit skeptic but agreeable to listen. We will all play perhaps later.
The streets are super narrow in Pai, the minibus driver carefully navigating his way to the bus stop, passing yet another lively night market. Thailand. You truly know how to spend your evenings. Check into a recommended hotel, a place with individual cute bamboo huts and head out to feast my eyes and my belly on the pedestrian only streets. The markets get more and more creative as one ventures out of the main cities, the colors of the foods more electric, the offerings more exotic. Sensational.
(I made friends with the galactic Thai tea man.)
Pai is like the Woodstock of Thailand, with vegetarian eateries, tea houses, artistic craft shops, outdoor adventures, yoga, healing arts.
Hippy dippy everything.
I LOVE PAI.