Monday, April 20, 2009


From Chiang Mai, I went to Pai, a small mountain village known as an artist/hippie community. Happily, some of my SpicyThai hostelmates were headed that way too, so we took a mini-bus together. Of the five of us, only I suffered motion sickness. The mountain roads are so crazily winding that I was making mental emergency routes of how/where I would puke if it came to that. I managed to keep it together, but when the bus arrived in Pai, I poured out of that vehicle like I'd been beaten.
We checked in to a hostel and proceeded to rent motorbikes, the most popular form of transportation in these parts. They were 100 Baht per day (roughly three dollars). Normally I'm against motorcycles, but the motorbikes were the best-suited thing for what we wanted to do, and the traffic here is so light and slow that the bikes are easily managed. Plus the locals know to watch out when "farang" are scooting by.
My first trip on the bike was to the gas station. They rent the bikes to you with an empty tank. Maybe that's why the rental is so cheap-- they don't expect you to make it to the end of the block. From there, the five of us headed to the hot springs. (For pictures, see facebook). At the source, the springs are 80 degrees, according to the sign, and the fact that the water was actually
steaming on a hot day was enough to keep me from touching it. The spring water flows downhill a ways, and each section of it gets progressively cooler. Our party dipped into the fourth or so pool, which was about standard hot tub temperature.
Near the first sign up at the top was another sign that declared: "NO BOIL EGG." In flagrant disregard for this stern message, we saw many locals bringing bags of eggs to cook in the water. Personally I would be put off an egg picnic considering the whole place smells like rotten eggs (sulfur), but to each his own.
PS Sorry, I haven't figured out how to rotate my images on this thing.

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