Last weekend Charmie and I took the motorbike 3 hours north to the little mountain utopia known as Pai. The ride up was amazing. It reminded me of home…making the winding trek from Tennessee to North Carolina. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect with the sun when we reached the bottom of the valley. The view of the rice fields in front of the layering mountain silhouettes was wonderful. It almost felt like I was looking at an illustration that belonged on a “Visit Thailand” postcard.
We stayed at this incredible little bungalow village that sat across the river from the town’s main street. At the entrance of the village there was a small field of flowering plants as tall as our heads, with only a small little path to walk between. We slowly walked through in awe at how beautiful the scene was….butterflies fluttering around the purple plants with whiffs of reefer in the air. I started to wonder if there was something else growing in the middle of the towering plants, but with heaving coughing coming from all directions, I quickly figured out the game. Upon checking in the guesthouse owner whispered with a straight face, “If you want cannibas, I have.”…The tone for the weekend was set from there. It reminded me of being at a summer festival again. During the day people chilled out in their huts and hid from the sun. The streets were empty, with people rolling out only to grab food. Pai came to life at night. It seemed almost every bar had a firepit for people to gather around. The first night we watched a fire spinning contest and met some interesting people from all over. We shared a spliff with two dreadheaded chicks – one crazy looking one from Turkey and the other from Russia, and also a guy from Iran. As usual, I didn’t say much. I just sat there grinning at the thought of sharing that moment with those people from such far-out places (far-out to me anyways). Our backgrounds couldn’t have been more different, but we were all there together…at a small little mountain town in Northern Thailand.
The whole town felt like home. I met a leather artisan name Oil and asked if he could make me a pair of moccasins. He told me he could make them the following day and invited Charmie and I to come have coffee and hang out while he worked on them. We took him up on his offer and drove the bike up to his place the next morning. Him and his friends were incredibly hospitable. They gave us Chinese whiskey to sip on with our coffee and then cooked up some extremely spicy but delicious Thai food. It was a prefect day to end a beautiful weekend.