A Scooter Trip Around Pai


pai canyon

After spending my first day in Pai manically running around and posing with weird statues, I decided to spend the next day riding our rented scooter around the sleepy country roads of Pai.

pai countryside

pai countryside

pai countryside

pai countryside

Pai town itself is tiny and most of the main attractions are within a 10 kilometre radius from the main backpacker area. Within ten minutes of leaving our guesthouse we stumbled upon Pai Canyon – rather optimistically referred to as Thailand’s version of the Grand Canyon.

pai canyon

pai canyon

pai canyon

A place where health and safety does not exist, I enjoyed wandering dangerously close to the edge of the canyon and almost plummeting to my death on several occasions.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long. With little shade to protect us the midday sun began to tighten its grip on my weakening body and I desperately needed to cool down. Barely able to speak and with sweat dripping into my eyes I motioned to Dave that we needed to move on and so we lept back onto the bike and set off in search of more adventure.

Just a few minutes later we spotted a sign directing us to the vaguely-named “viewpoint”.

Within minutes of turning off, the smooth and manicured road narrowed and soon became riddled with potholes. As we zoomed haphazardly around sharp corners and did our best to avoid the stray roosters in the middle of the road, we were soon coated in a layer of dust and gravel.

riding around pai

The dirt track steepened and deteriorated even further as we wound our way up the side of the mountain. We were just seconds away from the viewpoint when the dust cloud and loud whine of the scooter indicated that we would be unable to take the bike any further.

Thinking quickly, I lept off the back of the bike and smiled to myself as I watched Dave dejectedly wheel the bike back down the slope.

Having come this far, I wasn’t about to give up and join him so I turned around and hiked the short distance to the top. The view from the lookout was absolutely gorgeous.  

pai viewpoint

 

pai viewpoint

pai viewpoint

pai viewpoint

Fed up with waiting for me, Dave hiked up the hill to join me and as we watched the sun lower towards the horizon it was sadly time to head back home.

It felt good to get out of the polluted city air of Chiang Mai, if only for a couple of days, and spend our days scootering along random country roads and relaxing in hammocks at night. We only saw a small part of Pai and there are many more things to see and do – waterfalls, bat caves, hot springs, zip lining and you can even go tubing. Even so, spending some time relaxing and exploring the Thai countryside was one of the highlights of my first few weeks in Northern Thailand. 

 

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10 Comments

  1. The World of Deej
    February 15, 2012
    Reply

    Awesome pics…Nothing like an adventure that involves nearly plummeting off cliffs:)

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2012
      Reply

      Thanks, Deej!

  2. Christine
    February 15, 2012
    Reply

    Wait, why did I not go to Pai?!?!? Regretting that now.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2012
      Reply

      Another time! ;)

  3. Micamyx|Senyorita
    February 16, 2012
    Reply

    Just arrived here in Chiang Mai :D I wonder if it is still possible for me to explore that part.

  4. Someday I'll Be There - Mina
    February 17, 2012
    Reply

    Amazing pictures! good job ;)

  5. Sam
    February 19, 2012
    Reply

    Awesome, looks like you did a little dirt road scootering too. Love off-road scooter riding.

  6. Leslyn Kantner
    February 21, 2012
    Reply

    Really beautiful pics – makes me want to pack my bags!! Sounds like there will be more stories to tell. Looking forward to it.

  7. wandering educators
    February 22, 2012
    Reply

    it’s gorgeous! i didn’t imagine the dirt being so red-orange…

  8. Vicky
    April 5, 2012
    Reply

    Gorgeous photos! Quick questions regarding your lens — which one do you end up using most often? I read in your packing list that you brought a 50mm, 18-55 and a 55-250 lens with you. I currently have all 3 of those but have been considering selling the 18-55 and 55-250 to replace them with an 18-135 and just bringing that along with the 50mm. What has worked best work you?

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