Saturday, January 03, 2009

10 day solo travelogue to Pai - Part 1

Finally had the time to sit down & start writing the LONG awaited blog of my 10 day solo adventure. Yes, I know, a lot of u have been bugging me for this blog since forever, but u noe missy here has other things to do leh.. Had to write my resolution (tt’s my previous blog), arrange my photos & upload them b4 I start blogging about the trip! Now tt all those have been done, it’s time to start blogging!! Now where to start?? How abt right from the beginning! Think I’m going to split the blog into parts, easier to read!

My adventure started on 22 Dec 2008, with a 2hr flight to Bangkok. Met up with my Bangkok friend, Ing, at the train station for a chit chat & coffee! Thanks to her, I was able to get my train ticket to Chiangmai! Just to let you guys understand the transport, I was to reach Pai, a town west of Chiangmai. So the only gateway to there is through Chiangmai! That means, after my 2hr flight to Bangkok, I had to take an almost 14hr overnight train to Chiangmai, followed by the last leg of bus travel about 4hrs long. That brings the total traveling time to almost 20hrs!! I flew to Bangkok cos bloody budget airlines DO NOT fly to Chiangmai!
Me & Ing at the train station

So travel weary & 16hrs later, I reached Chiangmai to take the bus to Pai. Having chosen the local bus, it took abt 5hrs for me to get into Pai (cos local buses r slower & pick up/drop off locals along the way). It doesnt help that the bus broke down midway & had to wait abt 30mins for it to be fixed. Word of advice; take the minivan if you DO NOT want to be stuck in the bus for too long. Minivan takes abt 3.5hrs & cost 150B, only 38B more expensive. Another word of advice: Don’t eat too much, cos the road to Pai is bumpy & winding, u MIGHT get car sick!

After 20hours of traveling on 23 Dec, finally PAI!!! Checked into my guesthouse – Darling View Point & got a nice bungalow to myself! 550B per night (not cheap but good for money though). It’s good enough to sleep 2 or even 3 small sized pple, with hammocks just outside the room!! N the view is fantastic!!! Overlooking the rice/garlic fields, u just see a lot of greenery! Went for a short walk in the town of Pai & the night market. After a long day, I turned in early the night. FYI, as u’ll discover later on, I have developed a very healthy sleep routine, turning in before 10pm every night & waking up early the next morning feeling fresh!

Lalang or wat?

2nd day in Pai begins my cycling expedition to discover the surroundings of Pai!! Excited & all ready, I embarked on the trip with map in hand at 1030am. Mr Sunshine decided to bring on his best face tt day, shining brightly throughout the day!

1st destination – Mhor Pheng waterfall! Along the way, beautiful scenery greeted my eyes! I also just happen to chance upon a nice little lotus pond! Of cos, this unlikely discovery left marks on my beautiful gams – scratched my legs while trying to cycle into the bushes, didn't realized tt the bushes were thorny. But it was worth it, cos I would have missed the nice scenery! N this is the exact pond tt got pple praising it on facebook.
Lotus pond. I know u guys love this photo!!

1hr into cycling, I finally reached a sign that actually points to Mhor Pheng waterfall being 2km away. There were absolutely NO signboards before this, I cycled just purely based on the roughly drawn map & kept going straight as instructed. Happy that I was so near, I kept on cycling. But the real test is about to begin! What followed was up up up hill!! Another 30mins passed, with another sign that points to the waterfall being 2km away! Now, tell me do they know how to measure distance?? N how long do u have to take to cycle 2km? 15mins later, there was ANOTHER 2km signboard!! WTF!!

Finally, really exhausted, I reached the waterfall after almost 2hrs. Jelly-legged, I dismounted my bike, excited to view the waterfall, but when I saw it, ‘Tang tang tang tang’!!! I cursed myself for taking on the trip. It looks more like a BIG rapid than a waterfall. Damn it. But I consoled myself with the beautiful scenery which I would have missed if I had not gone on this trip!

Look at this & tell me if u feel the same 'That's it' feeling...

Heading back was 10times easier!! It took just 20mins, whizzing past FAST along the road. After a short water break, I continued on to the 2nd destination – the war memorial bridge & Pai canyon.

The road to the 2nd destination was not any much easy. Damn it, y r all the roads in Pai full of uphills!!! Along the way, I passed by ‘Coffee in Love’, a popular cafe made famous by a Thai movie. Being a tourist, I just joined in the fun to take pictures keke…

The famous cafe. It has a pretty nice view though...But i'm not a coffee lover

75mins later, I finally reached the war memorial bridge across the Pai river!! The view is FANTASTIC!!! So beautiful! Mountains, river, bridge, like so romantic!! All memories of the perspiration, messy hair, merciless sun & painful butt melted away upon seeing the view! Wah, didn't realize I can be so poetic!!

The memorial bridge

What a fantastic view!! It looks better when u'r there

Then it’s off the Pai Canyon! A small hill up where u can have a view of the surrounding. Pretty ok view though not the best.

Then it’s back to town & onto the last destination of the day – Mae Yen Pagoda! By the time I reached the top (it was a 365 steps uphill on foot), I was exhausted beyond words. But the view was great!! It was a nice feeling just to sit there & stare ahead, resting my poor legs…& that ended my 2nd day in Pai, a full 6hrs of cycling (extreme workout) physically exhausting but mentally recharged! Makes me think of Pulau Ubin cycling -- I wana go there to cycle again!! ANy kakis??

1km? I don't think so...
365 steps up. Yes i counted, when u'r tired & have nth bter to do...

Must take photo even tho my hair is messy


My dinner. Noodles with sauce for 20B
Went for a walk in the night market & had local food for dinner. The noodles was nice!! SPicy i like! That night, I slept like a baby zzZZzzZZ, feeling my toned legs & bum (ooo how perky they've become!!) & not to mention superbly tanned (almost chao da) arms

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