For the second time driving up to Pai we dropped our luggage to Aya Services and rented 2 scooters this time as there was 3 of us. Leila decided to do the three to four-hour drive herself whilst Harry drove with Daisy on the back. We went to the same waterfall and same witch cafe that visited on the previous drive so that Daisy could experience the same that Harry and Leila did the first time. The drive up was a bit harder than the first when coming out of Chiang Mai because it’s really busy so trying to communicate with Leila where to go wasn’t easy. Also, at the beginning of the drive we got pulled over by the Police which we managed to avoid the first time round. They pull over every foreigner driving up to Pai so that they can get money off of them. The police asked us for 2,000 Baht as we didn’t have an international driving licence only our English one, at first 1,000 Baht for each driver but caused a bit of a fuss and managed to get away with paying only 500 Baht for the both of us. As long as they get their money they’re not fussed. (Later we learned that you can drive in Thailand for up to three months with an English license!) Apart from that the drive was successful. Once we got out of Chiang Mai we remembered the whole way back to Buzza’s Backpackers Hostel where we decided to stay for three nights but changed to four.
Upon arrival in Pai the three of us were a bit peckish and suggested to Daisy that we went to a really nice burger place last time and took her to ‘Queens Burger’. We all enjoyed a sweet mash and pumpkin burger and a few chips. Afterwards we walked around for a bit as we had to wait for our luggage to arrive at the Aya Services in Pai. When we checked on our luggage Harry’s and Daisy’s backpacks were there but Leila’s unfortunately must have been on the next bus up so we took what backpacks we had back to the hostel and just chilled there before having to go back and grab Leila’s in an hour or two. We took it easy the first night and chilled with a few people round the table including Singh who is an amazing chef that was still working there from the last time Harry and Leila visited.
Once the three of us were finally awake it was around lunch time and Leila found a really nice restaurant called ‘Om Garden Cafe’ which was delicious! The plan for the day was to go back to the Canyon for sunset and to find a tattoo shop as Harry had an idea and Daisy wanted to ask about a cover up. We remembered in Ho Chi Minh City we met a guy who got a tattoo in a shop called ‘Space Bamboo’ so we had a look. We asked a few questions and had one of the guys re-create the picture Harry showed them so agreed to come back around 7pm to have a look and so that we still had the whole day and we could enjoy the sunset at the canyon. Before heading there we went back to the hostel so Daisy could grab her camera and the girls decided to visit the ‘White Buddha’ while Harry waited until they were ready to go to the Canyon. Harry met up with the girls on the drive there and we had a walk around and enjoyed the sunset and made the most of the views. We had to make sure we were back by 7pm to check the tattoo.
When we got there Harry was satisfied so they could fit him in straight away, which he decided to go for. Harry would have loved a bamboo tattoo but it was about £100 more and was told it may have taken an hour longer so settled for the tattoo gun instead. Whilst having his tattoo done Leila had come across a couple of ideas for a small bamboo tattoo which she was debating on but decided to go for it later that evening! The three of us were starving after having to wait two hours for Harry’s tattoo to finish so we went to the walking street to have some street food. We headed back to the tattoo shop for Leila had hers done! Leila decided to have a bamboo tattoo of an elephant at the top on the side of her rib cage. It took about 20 minutes but she said, ‘never again!’ The nice thing about having the bamboo tattoo there is that you get to keep the bamboo which they tattoo you with which makes a nice souvenir. After we spending most of our day in the tattoo shop we took a walk back to the hostel as it was about 11pm. We played a bit of monopoly with the cards Harry and Leila bought from Nha Trang in Vietnam then went to sleep.
The following morning we drove into the walking street and had breakfast there before deciding to go to the ‘Mor Paeng’ waterfall. It was really hot during the day so it’s not the best idea to have a tattoo and spend most of the day in the sun or the water so Harry covered his leg and went a long for the ride but due to it being dry season the waterfall wasn’t gushing as much as it had since Harry and Leila were last there. We spent over and hour there and Daisy managed to get some nice pictures. Upon arrival we were greeted by a Scottish man advertising his ‘Bamboo Mini Golf’ business which he recently set up, we took an interest and thought about visiting before leaving Pai. Daisy also had a tattoo in mind so we went back to the tattoo shop from the waterfall to discuss what she wanted. Daisy managed to get one of the tattoo artists to draw this idea of five different tattoo’s into and the outcome was really cool. Daisy instantly liked the drawing and was happy to go ahead with the idea as a bamboo tattoo. ‘Space Bamboo’ had a slot ready within thirty minutes so it made sense to just wait until they were ready. It reached about 4pm and not knowing how long exactly it would take the three of us were cutting it fine if we wanted to eat at ‘Om Garden Cafe’ again for lunch/dinner, so Harry and Leila went before it closed at 5pm. The idea was to eat and get Daisy a take away once we had finished but at 16:40 she rang to say that she was finished so while Daisy was on the phone to Leila ordering what she wanted to eat, Harry drove to pick up Daisy from the tattoo shop. By the time we got back, Harry and Leila’s food had just arrived and Daisy’s came just 5 minutes later so it all worked out in the end and we managed to enjoy another lovely meal. Once we had all finished we had to grab Leila’s bike from the centre of ‘walking street’ (where the tattoo place is) before it got too hectic because trying to drive through there in the evening is just mental. Almost like trying to get somewhere in the centre of London. We took the bikes back to the hostel and chilled for a bit there before deciding what to do. The hostel mentioned that if anyone wanted space brownies they would be available in about half an hour as they were baking in the oven. We then knew what to do for the rest of the evening. The rest of the night consisted of eating space brownies, getting food, playing more monopoly and Daisy stating that she feels really intelligent because her head was really heavy after being unable to lift it from the pillow!
The next morning we got up around lunchtime and decided to eat back at ‘Queens Burger’. Considering it’s the only place we have come across that make this delicious sweet potato and pumpkin mash burger we wasn’t going to go just the once. As it was our last day in Pai we thought we should visit the ‘Bamboo Mini Golf’ because who doesn’t like mini golf?
When we got there it was definitely not what we expected. It was just cut grass amongst acres of land and most holes looked the same! When we grabbed our bamboo Golf clubs and tennis balls he took us to the first hole and gave us at least a thirty minute tutorial on how to hit the ball! The three of us wanted to go for a bit of fun but you could tell this guy takes his mini golf very seriously. From the certain stance to where you should be looking before hitting the ball this guy covered everything and was not leaving until the three of us completed the shot perfectly. Eventually he let us get on with it and it wasn’t the best but it definitely passed some time. The three of us also wanted to have a mushroom shake but considering Buzza’s never had them this time round we heard ‘Sunset Bar’ was the place to get them. We dropped the bikes back to the hostel and walked down as it was only a 5 minute walk but when we ordered them the drink was blue and it tasted like it had Coca Cola in it. Nothing like the strawberry shake Harry and Leila tried the previous time they were in Pai. That was very tasty! I’m not going to sit here and describe exactly what happened but we all had a great time. The three of us went for a long wander (but we weren’t lost), everything looked brighter and better, (almost like putting an Instagram filter on everything) and then placed 3 chairs in the middle of ‘Pai Circus’ and watched the starts for ages before a couple of girls starting Irish dancing in front of us and making us feel like we were part of an audience. It lasts about 4 hours but once we left’ Pai Circus’ it started to wear off so we walked to the market, grabbed some food and headed back to the hostel as we were getting up fairly early the next morning to ride our bikes back to Chiang Mai.
That time and feeling had come where we had to leave Pai again. We really wanted to stay longer but we knew we had to go to the islands down south as we had not explored them yet. We left around 9am, drove all our luggage back to Aya Services hoping that they would be on the next bus to Chiang Mai but it wasn’t for certain. They said it could be on a bus between 5-9pm as they were really busy that day. That threw the idea of getting a flight out the window, so all we could do is head to Chiang Mai and hope our luggage was there early enough to be able to jump on the 6pm train to Bangkok. We decided to take Daisy to ‘Rock Me Burger’ while we waited and once it reached 5 we went to Aya Services and luckily all our luggage was there!! It worked out perfectly so we grabbed our stuff, jumped in the taxi and arrived at Chiang Mai station for 5:30pm and grabbed the only three tickets that were left! Unfortunately we weren’t next to each other and we’re in different carriages but we managed to take the only three tickets that was left for the train so that was lucky enough.
Tip: Everything in Pai is great, the food is amazing and cheap, theres loads of things to do, so just dive right in!