When you book your holidays in Thailand you will be faced with many options as it is a really large and diverse country. You have the amazing street food and city life in Bangkok, stunning beaches of Southern Thailand, and the tranquil countryside of Northern Thailand. Each person will like a different area, it all depends on tastes but I can tell you from experience they are all fabulous places and worthy of visiting at least once.
People ask us all the time,"do you miss home (CT) or living in Costa Rica?" We always say, "no" and usually glance at each other with that knowing smile. We all feel the same about it really but it seems people have a hard time understanding it. Those same people also ask us if we miss any of the places we have visited in our travels or if we came across any spot we could see ourselves living.
For quite a while the answer was also a resounding, "no"! But after visiting a small town in Northern Thailand that answer changed and now 1 year later Pai, Thailand is still a place that we all long to go back to. We reminisce about our time in SE Asia often and Pai gets the most attention each time.
I have written about Pai before but I am not sure that the true love affair I had with that town came across. I told you why it was a good family spot and I detailed 5 fun things to do with kids but I never showed you a tour of our days so you could really see why we loved it so much. I shall attempt to paint a picture through a timeline of our typical day:
8am Wake up, slowly and when our bodies woke us up. It was Jan-Feb when we were there so we always woke with a nice chill in the air. I am not one for cold weather but it was just lovely to get up throw on some sweats and a hat and sit out on our porch cuddling.
9am Breakfast out on our personal picnic table at the hotel. We enjoyed coffee, bagels, and fresh fruit. Bagels may not sound exciting but after 5 years in Costa Rica without any we were really enjoying it! The hotel we stayed in, Pai Chan, was perfect for us. We had a private cabina that had 2 bedrooms an exterior lovely bathroom, thatched roofs and our own little porch with sleeping mats and a picnic table just for us. Sounds luxurious but it was only $25 a night! Thank goodness it never rains, we could see stars through the holes in the roof (and the occasional cat), but we didn't mind at all.
10am At this point in the morning the weather had warmed. The boys nearly everyday would head out on the scooter, Dylan driving, and go about 3 miles down the street to where all the elephant camps were. They would pet and feed them and when T was lucky he got a free ice cream from one of the sweet ladies across the street. The boys were like superstars here! While they did that I got some work done.
11am Around this time we would do 1 of 2 things. We would either head into town and meet up with friends for an outing or we would hop on 2 scooters and go off exploring ourselves, eating lunch out along the way. We hit up many waterfalls, wats, rode Chinese ferris wheels, played with and rode elephants, played at the local pool, relaxed at hot springs, explored caves...the list could go on and on but each and every day was different, spent outdoors, and a true pleasure. On an absolutely perfect day we would position ourselves near the giant strawberry where we would enjoy the most amazig smoothies ever!
4pm We typically would return around 4, give or take. Jeff would have been working the time we were gone so he was refreshed, caught up, and ready to spend time together. We read, played cards, swam in the pool, hiked through the rice patties, or took a nap if the mood struck. Relaxation at its finest!
6pm Time for dinner! Pai has so many amazing restaurants and more diversity than I have found elsewhere in Thailand. We had Mexican, Thai, street food at the nightly walking street/market, American food, Italian, pizza, Indian. All excellent and most importantly fairly priced so eating out was never a stress. I secretly loved this part, no cooking! This was usually the time a couple days a week when house keeping would come in and clean our rooms. No cooking AND no cleaning, is it no wonder I loved it?
8-11pm We would often times hang out in town a bit conversing with locals or meeting up with friends we made while there. The walking street was loads of fun and great for a nightly dessert! After returning home we usually watched a movie on our computer or played games outside as the night cooled. Usually all falling asleep between 10 and 11, thrilled at the prospect of starting the day all over again!
There you have it, a day in a life of sorts. Every new place we go our days look different but in Pai we were probably at our happiest and most relaxed. The only reason we left was due to visas and an incoming relative visiting us in Bangkok. It really was one of our favorite spots and a place I think of often to return for a more long term stay. Is it hard to see why?
What do you think? What does your perfect relaxing day look like?