Pai is infamous for the magic mushroom shakes and easily obtainable drugs. Me being very drug repelled thought I would not like the place. Despite the initial protest my friends convinced me to come.
While on the trip I did not touch a single drug (besides the blunt I passed to my friend so he could store away) and I still had one of the most fun times of my life. This while spending half the money I did in Chiang Mai (which was very little). Drugs I dislike, but the people taking them were empirical to my beautiful experience there. The excess of hippy love overflowed me every day.
How to Get There
A minibus from Chiang Mai will cost you about 180 baht (5 dollars), if you take the tourist prices which is not bad because it is a 3-hour trip. The minivan is mostly comfortable even with all the turns on the road (making it a very dangerous route for scooters).
The Average Day
The day starts off walking to Circus, the hostel where they teach you how to be a circus performer and everyone looks like a high school drug dealer. There I would jump into the pool and wait for the morning Yoga classes. After the yoga came the guitar playing, you would feel no judgment as everyone would just sit down and play music. A lovely experience I would skip to eat lunch at the Thai place right in front of Circus.
In the restaurant I met a travelling couple who admitted to me that the restaurant was the thing they missed the most out of their 9 months travelling. I don’t blame them, great food, big portions and for a cheap price. 2 plates filled with chicken and a side of eggs cost me one dollar and the ladies working the place were wonderful. Then, A few hours later at 4pm the circus lessons would start at the famous circus hostel. Juggling, hula-hooping, tight rope, all these were taught by the staff. I had to excuse myself as I was getting the best massage of my life.
There is a lot of things to do in Pai and you can find a lot of them by accident. I’m a simple man, I had massages and ate all day while I was there,but other people recommended these places to me while I was there:
Things to do in Pai (not involving drugs)
Great and relaxing, people fully recommend this place out of everything else I’ve asked. It’s about 30 minutes from the center.
They are 1 hour and a half away but an unforgettable experience and well worth it, this is according to other people, cause aint nobody got time fo’ dat.
Unlike the Chiang Mai Grand Canyon, the Pai canyon has no water games or jumps. It is dry and is where people go multiple days to watch the sunset along with the White Buddha.
When I went there it was dry seasons so they were all dried up, but supposedly cool when it’s flowing.
Visit Circus Hostel:
As described Circus is a great place to visit it’s 3 dollars to get in (although word on the street is you can just walk in) has great lessons and events. There never is a boring time in this eccentric hostel. I fully recommend staying at Circus at least one night.
Amaaaaaazing massage, completely changed my perspective about Thai massages and it was only 5 dollars, what a wonderful world. If it weren’t for my early trip back to Chiang Mai I would have gotten two.
Pai For All
I did it sober, undrugged and loved it. People book Pai for a few days and almost always end up staying more time. There is a real love for the community and for good reasons. Pai is a worthwhile visit, probably a bit more if you do like drugs, but I liked it a lot without.