January 12, 2023
Woke up after 9 hours of solid sleep. Thank goodness! Started to get out from under my covers only to find it was freezing. These places have no heat or air conditioning, and the walls and ceiling are thatched materials, so they match the outside temperature. In this case that was about 53 degrees. Eventually I climbed out of bed and into the shower. I took a shower that made me colder, then dressed in pants and a sweatshirt for breakfast. My bungalow offers a free breakfast from a number of options. I opted for the fruit muesli and ate as my feet got colder and colder. When I got back to my room I put on sock and shoes, took a short walk, then did some jumping jacks to warm up.
I sat on my porch and wrote about Singapore for a few hours. The dense fog clung to the mountains, muting most of my view. I could still tell it was beautiful. then dropped off my laundry for service. 60 baht, pickup at 7pm. I walked around town a little more, then back to my bungalow.
Pai is exactly what I was hoping it would be. Beautiful, laid back and slow paced. Thank goodness that ride was worth it.
I went back into town to refill my water bottles and found a peanut butter banana smoothie for lunch (40 baht). Then I collected my things and walked over to Pairadise where Amy was staying. Her place is every bit as tranquil, perhaps even more than mine. It’s a little higher up and has a slightly better view of the mountains and a pond that doubles as a swimming pool in the center of the property.
Amy had rented a scooter, a Scoopy that she was very excited about because it’s her favorite type of scooter. We doubled up and drove out to Pai Hotsprings Spa Resort. For 100 baht ($3) per person, we had access to the hot springs and a nice swimming pool. It was too hot for the hot springs when we arrived so we went to the pool. It was deceivingly cold. While we were there, someone spotted some elephants across the river. I was so excited to see elephants! At some point I was going to seek them out but to see them unexpectedly was even better. They appeared to belong to someone who was using them to clear the riverbank. Even after going back to the pool I couldn’t help but keep looking over to see if they were still there.
We unexpectedly ran into Nick, someone Amy met in Koh Phangan a year or two ago. Southeast Asia seems like it could be a small world where many long-term travelers continuously cross paths. Nick is from Denmark, though it sounds like he’s been living in Thailand for quite some time. He told us about his scooter accident last May. He’s still working on regaining all of his mobility in his knee, which was among many injuries. He also shared his experience in a Thai hospital which sounded about as bad as the accident.
Scooter Driving Lessons
When we began to leave, Amy suggested this would be a great place for me to learn how to drive a scooter. She gave me a short lesson in the parking lot and then I got behind the steering wheel. After a few minutes practicing accelerating, slowing down, turning both directions, and beeping. I think I have enough confidence to drive myself at some point.
Next we drove off to dinner at Charlie & Lek where we met up with another one of Amy’s friends, Jeromy. We enjoyed a delicious Thai dinner including pad thai, green curry and avocado spring rolls. My chicken pad thai cost only 65 baht which is about $2. Jeromy talked about working in the Silicon Valley before switching to a specialization in EMF.
I used the restaurant bathroom which involved using a bucket to pour water into the toilet to flush. It took me a few minutes to understand the instructions as there was no tank on the toilet, just the bowl. After using the toilet, I poured two bowls of water into the toilet bowl and somehow it magically worked.
After dinner, Amy and I walked through town to collect a little more food then parted ways.