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State of Pai


BugJackBaron
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I'm going in a week, and some hotels are listed as sold out (usually the pricier end), so Pai seems on the upswing. I'll report back.

 

Relatedly, the Old City of Chiang Mai def feels a bit busy for a post-covid rainy season. 

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7 minutes ago, LaosLover said:

I'm going in a week, and some hotels are listed as sold out (usually the pricier end), so Pai seems on the upswing. I'll report back.

 

Relatedly, the Old City of Chiang Mai def feels a bit busy for a post-covid rainy season. 

It was like that in Jomtien too with a lot of the tourists Thai or Vietnamese.

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10 hours ago, mania said:

I think it is flooding like crazy right now isn't it?

Pai for sure because of the river bursting its banks. Rain on the mountains.

No. Not for Chiang Mai City. There was localized flooding on Friday when the big rains hit. You can always get pics on the news of some floods somewhere in the city or province. Driving to the Gym on Saturday morning some busines still had sandbags out, that from the day before. It has pushed a lot of accumulated debris into the river. The Ping river is ACTUALLY moving again, it had been a stagnant ditch for a couple months until the last ten days.

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No wait, I spoke too soon, upon late afternoon arrival.

 

At 10 PM on a Friday night, it's hard to get a seat at any bar on the main drag and that goes for the side sois too. Street vendors are busy too.

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15 hours ago, LaosLover said:

No wait, I spoke too soon, upon late afternoon arrival.

 

At 10 PM on a Friday night, it's hard to get a seat at any bar on the main drag and that goes for the side sois too. Street vendors are busy too.

So Israelis like before, and how about the others? Thai?  young backpackers?

I would expect some cannibals scene as it was always underground.

Has it got bigger than 12 years ago? Are there still 20 dollar a night hostels to be found>?

 

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......Did the full day tour of attractions, but bailed early. Forgot to bring a towel to the hot springs and then when they drove back to town, went to the gym instead.

 

The diff between the half and full day tour is the hot springs option in the AM.  200 baht admission for the springs on its own if you have a bike, 300 baht as a tour.  Thai person price is 20 baht. They also toss you a passable  plate of fried rice and a bottle of water.

 

After the springs, they head back to town to pick up the people who opted for the the other 300 baht segment -stuff like The Pai Grand Canyon and a big Buddha. That gets back around 6 PM. Done it in the past, maybe a letter grade B as an outing.

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22 hours ago, LaosLover said:

I was here 12 and 5 years ago too. It doesn't seem appreciably bigger, but I have not explored the outer edges (and why bother?) to see what's developed there. But if anything did, Covid certainly killed it. There are plenty guest houses here without a single guest.

 

I am staying at the slightly posh Yotaka Huts -maybe 4 of the twelve room have someone in them.

Yotaka Huts review: beautiful property, good value. downside: Band across the street is playing Hotel California at room-shaking volume. Till midnight. I like the Yotaka chain and will book them again in Bangkok. Will be moving to the super-quiet Ban Pai Resort tomorrow.

 

$20 seems a little on the high side of the hostel range. I saw plenty of rooms on Expedia between $6 and $12. You have your Israeli mixed groups of 4 to 5, and your 90 pound young Belgian women traveling chastely in pairs. A lot of 30-ish couples doing the Khao San Road, Chiang Mai Elephant Camp, Pai, and then down to Ko Phangan circuit. The route outlined in the movie, The Beach, is still their route.

 

Oldies like me are maybe 5% of the mix. In fact, every oldie I've met is a long term resident who put in some long Chiang Mai years first. You can rent a small house here for between 5-10K. In December, maybe 8-12K (based on talking to a single agent and not walking around). The agents here are Westerners.

 

Food wise, it's not all that vegan beyond say, half a dozen restaurants out of 60 and some food carts. Most restaurants have the same picture menu of pasta bolognaise juxtaposed with papaya salad as everywhere else in Thailand.

 

Cheese Madness (huge grilled cheese sandwiches) is good and is well-represented on Youtube, if you want to preview your cheese sandwich before you get here -which I actually did. Weed-wise, I'm going to say a third off of Old City Chiang Mai prices and a bit nicer weed. Prices are a further 20% off if you wander down a side soi a fair bit.

 

I'm here on a fitness holiday. Hommy's Gym is good for oldies and the two yoga places are solid. The competition to be a yoga teacher in Pai must be slightly more manic then getting a diving instructor job on Ko Tao. Can't fault them at all. A great place to take a private yoga lesson (500 baht).

 

For my purposes of doing a sort of personal retreat, abetted with healthy food and meditation, it's fantastic. For the average AsianNow older reader, 3-4 days would likely do it. They have some hot springs, a big Buddha and the usual small list of natural attractions like a waterfall to see. Think of it as Chiang Rai on a budget.

 

The walking street is prob the best I've seen in terms of imaginative offerings and stuff like Khao Soy Noodles done up right for 50 baht. If you like Thai cover bands, again, they gotta be pretty good to get a gig on the main drag, or even off of it. Not my taste so much, but I'm not their demographic.

 

I liken Pai to the New Orleans French Quarter in that you have the mix of very diff age and reason for being there-people all on the same party street, but not too crazily.

 

Excellent  review- you review drug dope was this before the changes in law?

What's the girl P4P situation?

 

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My drug reviews are as of an hour ago.

 

I am unsure how explicit I am allowed to be here about drugs, but it is available in at least every 4th bar. Brownies are less frequently spotted.

 

P4P is a hard sell to hippies who brought their own thin GF with them. Def some crazy thinness going on with the young women of today.

 

I'm sure it's around. Locals seem to be on the light skinned and Chinese-looking side. Dispatch SparkTrader immediately.

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On 8/14/2022 at 9:02 AM, BugJackBaron said:

How is Pai doing? Any expats still living there, tourism picking up?

Been years since  I was there  What's the scene like?

It's alright. Well covered already above, but did notice quite a few expats last month... easy immigration office for those guys. The digs certainly weren't full then but some of the bars on walking street were busy. Good to see Pai still ticking over (still has the backpacker vibe); some really good eating to be had still... Ganita cafe is outstanding.

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On 8/22/2022 at 4:54 PM, LaosLover said:

My drug reviews are as of an hour ago.

 

I am unsure how explicit I am allowed to be here about drugs, but it is available in at least every 4th bar. Brownies are less frequently spotted.

 

P4P is a hard sell to hippies who brought their own thin GF with them. Def some crazy thinness going on with the young women of today.

 

I'm sure it's around. Locals seem to be on the light skinned and Chinese-looking side. Dispatch SparkTrader immediately.

Great review LaosLover - far better than the whitewashed   , "nice spin" youtube videos

that are current about Pai- maybe you should vlog!

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I went to the Ganita Restaurant mentioned above. It's the only place in town with a line out front. It was very good. I've eaten in about 6 vegan restaurants and rate it as the best.

 

Due to cutthroat competition, you can't get a bad meal here. Also worthy of mention:

The Lemon Thyme Cafe for breakfasts and sandwiches (has a/c, pretty rare here).

 

The Nong Beer Bar has a full Northern Thai menu, slightly toned down heat-wise for western tastes in a proper old shophouse. Best Thai food I've had here, but it's all much better than you'd expect from a place with a hippie hell hole reputation.

 

The Falafel lady (near the end of the walking Street, against the white temple wall) also usually has a line. Up there with any falafel I've had anywhere, and very generous with the falafel balls and tahini sauce.

 

I still find grumpy old forums are the best place for info. I'll bet Mark Weins looks in here for ideas. No influencers here, just people who will tell you if the green curry is worth the trip or the extra 20 baht.

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5 minutes ago, Sparktrader said:

Im bored in Isaan. Think I might go north!

 

You seem to be bored everywhere you go . 

Changing locations doesn't seem to change that 

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6 minutes ago, Mac Mickmanus said:

You seem to be bored everywhere you go . 

Changing locations doesn't seem to change that 

Phuket was good

Isaan isnt

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On 8/21/2022 at 6:18 PM, LaosLover said:

I was here 12 and 5 years ago too. It doesn't seem appreciably bigger, but I have not explored the outer edges (and why bother?) to see what's developed there. But if anything did, Covid certainly killed it. There are plenty guest houses here without a single guest.

 

I am staying at the slightly posh Yotaka Huts -maybe 4 of the twelve room have someone in them.

Yotaka Huts review: beautiful property, good value. downside: Band across the street is playing Hotel California at room-shaking volume. Till midnight. I like the Yotaka chain and will book them again in Bangkok. Will be moving to the super-quiet Ban Pai Resort tomorrow.

 

$20 seems a little on the high side of the hostel range. I saw plenty of rooms on Expedia between $6 and $12. You have your Israeli mixed groups of 4 to 5, and your 90 pound young Belgian women traveling chastely in pairs. A lot of 30-ish couples doing the Khao San Road, Chiang Mai Elephant Camp, Pai, and then down to Ko Phangan circuit. The route outlined in the movie, The Beach, is still their route.

 

Oldies like me are maybe 5% of the mix. In fact, every oldie I've met is a long term resident who put in some long Chiang Mai years first. You can rent a small house here for between 5-10K. In December, maybe 8-12K (based on talking to a single agent and not walking around). The agents here are Westerners.

 

Food wise, it's not all that vegan beyond say, half a dozen restaurants out of 60 and some food carts. Most restaurants have the same picture menu of pasta bolognaise juxtaposed with papaya salad as everywhere else in Thailand.

 

Cheese Madness (huge grilled cheese sandwiches) is good and is well-represented on Youtube, if you want to preview your cheese sandwich before you get here -which I actually did. Weed-wise, I'm going to say a third off of Old City Chiang Mai prices and a bit nicer weed. Prices are a further 20% off if you wander down a side soi a fair bit.

 

I'm here on a fitness holiday. Hommy's Gym is good for oldies and the two yoga places are solid. The competition to be a yoga teacher in Pai must be slightly more manic then getting a diving instructor job on Ko Tao. Can't fault them at all. A great place to take a private yoga lesson (500 baht).

 

For my purposes of doing a sort of personal retreat, abetted with healthy food and meditation, it's fantastic. For the average AsianNow older reader, 3-4 days would likely do it. They have some hot springs, a big Buddha and the usual small list of natural attractions like a waterfall to see. Think of it as Chiang Rai on a budget.

 

The walking street is prob the best I've seen in terms of imaginative offerings and stuff like Khao Soy Noodles done up right for 50 baht. If you like Thai cover bands, again, they gotta be pretty good to get a gig on the main drag, or even off of it. Not my taste so much, but I'm not their demographic.

 

I liken Pai to the New Orleans French Quarter in that you have the mix of very diff age and reason for being there-people all on the same party street, but not too crazily.

 

You been to Chiang Rai for comparison?

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I just had 4 days in CR. Pretty dead, partic ro-mance-wise. I went up to the Chinese village for their Saturday night walking street (def a one and done -and Mark Weins really oversold the noodle soup). Some action there in the 500 baht range, Trang can only dream of those options.

 

I was just at sitar concert at the Jazz pub -you really can't get much more Pai than that- and I saw a lot of broken down old geezers (well, 3 anyway) with anorexic backpackers.

 

Could this be a new demographic for you to pursue? The Trump love that you so generously share here, tho -def a hippie chick groin-dryer. Try not to mention Hunter's laptop if you think you're going to get a nibble.

 

You told me to uh, you-know-what-off about meeting up for a drink, but if Pai entices, all is forgiven.

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4 minutes ago, LaosLover said:

I just had 4 days in CR. Pretty dead, partic ro-mance-wise. I went up to the Chinese village for their Saturday night walking street (def a one and done, ). Some action there in the 500 baht range, Trang can only dream of those options.

 

 

Is that the cost of sex ?

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I recall KK as the most spread out and downtown-lacking of all the Issan towns. I'm not going to recco Khorat as your best option again.

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