Northern Thailand’s Pai: dreamy, gypsies and splendid sunsets

When people say small town in a positive light, I’ve come to equate it with the smallness (and charmingness) of this little Northern Thailand mountain and river village of Pai. It’s too small and too charming, it’s easy to imagine it was a movie set.

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Chasing monks and silences in Chiang Mai

A barefoot monk walking around the monastery grounds in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai wasn’t the small town picture that I drew in my head aboard the night train from Bangkok. It wasn’t. But the smaller city was still a welcome change in ambience and pace. After a few days in dense and ultra modern metropolis, Chiang Mai proved to have  a rawer and slower cadence which I offered was the truer Thailand I came to see.

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The streets are alive with the sound of pedals

I learned that you can circumnavigate the island of Batan in less than a day, using a bike. It sounded like a romantic proposition—pedaling between hills, going in and out of villages, with the wind in your hair and the grass on your feet—until I tried to leave the relatively flat terrain of Basco and came face to face with my first twenty degree uphill slope. It took my legs two minutes to convince me to turn around and go back to town.

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