Since I am so behind on posting, I have actually been to Chiang Mai three times, and Pai twice. I can’t get enough of the energy up there! There isn’t one quality that stands out, rather the entire culture. It’s much different from southern Thailand – or the main tourist islands I should say, which is where I went.
Chiang Mai is a huge city, but it never felt that way to me. Traffic is manageable and somewhat clam, the old city walls around the downtown area and mote that circles the core is beautiful. Clustered with street vendors selling everything from silly magnets to delicious Khao Soi. There are small streets you can wonder and get lost checking out cafes or hit the bar street any night of the week for a good dance party, live music fix, and even a good old Irish bar. What else do you need?!
And than you have Pai. A beautiful little town three more hours north of Chiang Mai. To reach this gem you encounter 762 turns along the road, through the mountains. I wish I had a chance to scooter up – it’s fairly common for tourists to do, I just didn’t find the right opportunity. Next time. Anyways, Pai is filled with cafes, yoga and mediation, night street market and heaps of waterfalls, hot springs and canyons to explore. I also may or may not have found my favourite bamboo tattoo artists here, Korns Bamboo Tattoo. His talent is incredible, and prices in Pai are much more manageable than his Europe shop – so when in Pai 😉
I can not wait to return to this area of the country.