Friday, January 18, 2013

Riding the bus to Pai is like being on the teacups ride at Disneyland for 3 hours straight

January 6th, 2013
Ashley here

After 6 days in Chiang Mai we decided to bus our way to a nearby mountain town called Pai that we'd heard good things about.  Kim was especially eager to go there because it was supposed to be full of hippies and you know that girl likes to get her hippy on from time to time.

Here's a sneak peak of just how hippy the town turned out to be
The one problem with deciding to go to Pai next was that we'd heard the bus ride there was pretty awful.  We can now confirm these rumors are 100% true.

Riding the bus to Pai is like being on the teacups ride at Disneyland for 3 hours straight.  You're crammed in there, all sweaty and annoyed, sliding back and forth between the window and the person next to you every time the bus goes around a corner, and unfortunately this road has exactly 762 corners.  It's so bad that people have counted and they make t-shirts saying "I survived the ride to Pai".  I honestly think I hit my head on either Kim or the window about 760 was pretty terrible.  Thank god we were warned before the ride about the road and were able to take some Dramamine before we left, otherwise we may have suffered the same fate as the girl who spent the entire ride puking into her Cheetos bag until it almost overflowed.

<just imagine a picture of a little Chinese girl neatly puking in a bag of Cheetos here>

All smiles before the journey starts.
To make matters worse- almost 3 hours into the trip our crazy driver still had not pulled over for a bathroom break and I was pretty sure I was going to pee my pants.  He didn't speak English and I was in the very back of the bus so I wasn't sure how I was going to get him to pull over.  Right as I was about to start yelling "TOILET" towards the front of the bus, the only Thai lady riding with us managed to convince the driver to pull over at a rest stop.  Every girl on that bus literally dove out the door and we all ran towards the bathrooms.  That's when I saw it.  My first squatter toilet.  Nothing I could do about.  I couldn't hold it, I couldn't try to find a different place to go, I just had to roll with it.  All I'll say is thank god I was wearing closed toe shoes. :/

At least they had a sink?  Even if they didn't have soap.  Or toilet paper.  OR  anything you might actually want.
We finally got to town in mostly one piece and were then picked up by the owners of the hotel we were staying at....on a motorcycle with a side car.  Kim got on the back of the bike and I sat in the side car with our backpacks.  At this point any type of transportation was better than being on that bus to Pai.

Our VIP ride to our hotel in Pai.  Note- This photo was taken from a side car.
We fought over who got to ride in the sidecar and I won :)

On a happy note, the city way exceeded our expectations!!  It was definitely the cutest town we'd seen so far, with the markets, and mountains, and shops, and we were super excited to start exploring.

That first night we had an amazing dinner for $3, we got our first Thai oil massages which definitely wouldn't be our last, we tried squid jerky from a street vendor which definitely would be our last, we met some people from Colorado who also were obsessed with Macklemore's new CD and they let me play the whole Heist album on the bar's sound system, and we froze our booties off in our bungalow because we had no idea how cold it was going to be in this new city!

This mixed veg was like 5 cents!! Made me want to be a vegetarian for at least 10 minutes.

This is the bar where they let me play Macklemore on their speakers and we had a dance party with our new friends.
Here's me dominating pool.  Stop judging my tennis shoe/dress combo.  I'm traveling ok!  I can't explain it!

Kim pretending to like dried squid
Me pretending to like dried squid

Lots more on the lovely city of Pai to come! :)


  1. hahaha I JUDGE JUDGE JUDGE that outfit! also I enjoy that you def have this same pic from every bar in seattle with a pool table, standard.

  2. I am a little upset that Kim didn't get a picture of you in the sidecar!

    1. Hi Jen!! She did take some! We just haven't been able to download pics from her camera yet... I'll update when we do :)

  3. Laura! I had been traveling all day and it's easier to wear those shoes than pack them. If you're going to judge judge judge- take a look at that hair. Frizz-ease scmizz-ease. Nothing works!