January 11, 2023
After flying into Chiang Mai, I grabbed lunch then collected some water and a power converter at 7 Eleven. 7 Eleven is everywhere in Asia. A couple hours later, Amy flew in and we met at the bus station for our trip to Pai. Shortly after we left, we stopped for gas, and the driver rocked the van side to side for about 30 seconds. I was the only person who found this strange. Amy thinks it’s so they can fill the tank all the way full. This is not normal to me 😂
The road to Pai is not for the faint of heart. Between Chiang Mai and Pai Route 1095 has 762 turns! This, coupled with a driver hellbent on making record time, made for a queasy trip. Slower traffic ahead of us yielded a brief reprieve until we tailgated them through a few curves before taking the risk to pass, often on blind hills and hairpin curves. I have no idea what would have happened if we encountered oncoming traffic while we passed someone, and I’m happy we didn’t find out.
I did well for the first half, but decided to take a couple Dramamine when we paused for a bathroom break halfway. It was too late. I spent the second half of the drive concentrating mightily to not throw up. Somehow, I made it with my stomach fully intact.
Three hours after leaving Chiang Mai, we arrived in Pai around 7:45pm. The bus stop is on the walking street, and it was abuzz with people out and about. Lots of stalls lining the streets selling food, drinks and pot, which was recently legalized. We each grabbed a serving of mango sticky rice and retired to our bungalows. I’m staying at the Nest House and Amy at Pairadise. $19/night, breakfast included.