Winter 17/18 – Even in Pai time does fly

A Trip to the Mountains

Pat wanted to take Brigitte for a ride to the Burmese border. He asked us if we wanted to come. Mailin went with Mark on his bike, Addye on her Scoopy and I got a Yamaha for the day.

My ride today: A 115 cc Yamaha Semiautomatic
My ride today: A 115 cc Yamaha Semiautomatic

"Fall" is almost the best time in Pai
The beginning of "Fall" is almost the best time in Pai. It is dry and everything is green. The best thing: There is still not too much burning and the air is clean and blue!

Extensive farming cuts a lot of roads into the mountains
Extensive farming cuts a lot of roads into the mountains

There is a small stream coming down the mountain
There is a small stream coming down the mountain – it does fuck the road

One pipe could easy fix this in the dry season
One pipe could easy fix this in the dry season

Some Bee construction
Some Bee construction. Not sure if the farming honey here.

Burma in the distance
Burma in the distance

Up on the hill in the middle is the Myanmar Army base
Up on the hill in the middle is the Myanmar Army base

The last Village before Myanmar

The last village before Myanmar
The last village before Myanmar

This is where the road ends. A small hamlet in the middle of nowhere. Last year the government build a new school for the kids from this village and the other ones around. For the opening they Thai Princess flew in. Must have been the biggest day ever for this village.
There are a few basic shops and an army outpost on a hill next to the school.
They even have a solar field to generate some power.

Like everywhere here - dogs greet you when you enter a village
Like everywhere here – dogs greet you when you enter a village

A solar field on the right and the new school up the hill on the left
A solar field on the right and the new school up the hill on the left

Most of the houses look like this
Most of the houses look like this one. A super basic construction with a tin roof.

This woman is over 100 years old!
This woman is over 100 years old!

View from the Thai Army base
View from the Thai Army base. Pat knows a few guys here so we could drive into. Got some water and chilled a bit in the shade.

The new school
The new school

On the way back some sad remains of the big trees that stand here before
On the way back some sad remains of the big trees that stand here before

It looks green but some sort of farming is going on all over the place
It looks green and unspoiled but some sort of farming is going on all over the place

More fun on the way back
More fun on the way back

The best time - blue sky and almost no smoke
The best time – blue sky and almost no smoke

Nice rocks in between the green
Nice rocks in between the green

On the way back I stopped at the little temple
On the way back I stopped at the little temple

There was only one monk sweeping leaves. Quite peaceful.
There was only one monk sweeping leaves. Quite peaceful.

More rocks and the start of all evil - cows
More rocks and the start of all evil – cows

Time to head back before it gets dark. The light on the bikes are not really good at night.
Time to head back before it gets dark. The light on the bikes are not really good at night

Empty roads and Myanmar somewhere in the distance
Empty roads and Myanmar somewhere in the distance

Our trip today
Our trip today. I switched it on a few kilometres after Pai

Music Nights at Mojo

The new place in town if you want to hear loud handmade music. The pictures are from a few evenings.

Back at Mojo - Supaporn Santi on the guitar
Back at Mojo – Supaporn Santi on the guitar

Wiriya Wiseatkun - the Pai Multitalent
Wiriya Wiseatkun – the Pai Multitalent

Always nice to listen to her
Always nice to listen to her

Only one song but nice
She sang nly one song

Open mic - everybody can come on stage!
Open mic – everybody can come on stage!

Kittideis Bunthanom
Kittideis Bunthanom

Evenings like this!
Evenings like this!

And there was this guy! Tepraksa Aekchai
And there was this guy! Tepraksa Aekchai

He is 110% full power all the time
He is 110% full power all the time

Full power
Full power

There you go!
There you go!

The base players usually prefer this corner
The bass players usually prefer this corner

Rock' n' Roll it is!
Rock' n' Roll it is!

The other bass man in the back
The other bass man in the back

Nate
Nate

The one and only KOB Drummer
The one and only KOB Drummer

Jason long hair
Jason long hair

Mr Base
Mr Base

One of the house drummers
One of the house drummers

And the usual Pai Days

Breakfast is included with the bungalow at Twin Hut. They stop serving before 11 so you have to set the alarm at 10:50 and order at last. I have only a fruit salad and black coffee every day and so the day starts.
You meet everybody at the breakfast tables and sometimes you sit here and chat till way after midday.
After that it is usually email and internet and before you know it is time for the sunset beer. From time to time somebody might visit, you might need something from town. The days fly and so do the weeks.
Evenings usually are filled with music or a birthday party or something like that. Some evenings we are too lazy to go out and hang at our campfire. If I am lucky somebody does a BBQ.

In the begin of the season one is about 0,50€
In the begin of the season one is about 0,50€

Sundowner in the hammock
Sundowner in the hammock

Fresh from the tree in front of the bungalow!
Fresh from the tree in front of the bungalow!

The Twin-Hut gang
The Twin-Hut gang

Fat Cat Vegetarian Burger
Fat Cat Vegetarian Burger

Woah - even the filter is golden
Woah – even the filter is golden

Monster Khao Soi Tofu
Monster Khao Soi Tofu

Laundry day for Children Day
Laundry day for Children Day. Great idea! The kids collect their old toys and they get donated to kids that have no toys. recycling at its best!

In the night they got moved under the roof
In the night they got moved under the roof

Khao Soi again!
Khao Soi again!

White sleeps and sleeps
White sleeps and sleeps

Nice colours
Nice colours

Winter 17/18 – Back in Pai

The big question every year – how much more fucked up is the town. How many new buildings, how many new bungalow places and how many old places are gone. And I am surprised by the change every year. Some buildings do not even survive one year. And let’s not talk about businesses. In the daytime, I only care about the view from my bungalow of course. Still OK but was so much better a few years ago.
 
View from my bungalow - more empty bungalows over the field
View from my bungalow – more empty bungalows over the field

Guess I have to use the hammock this way. I see more green but less mountains
Guess I have to use the hammock this way. I see more green but less mountains.
Breakfast at Twin-Hut is still the same. I have coffee and a fruit salad every day.

White - still sleeping
White – still sleeping

Pai Walking Street

Rahel never used her new camera in the night so we went to walking street for a few shots.

Pai Thai Tapas
Pai Thai Tapas

Pai Crêpes
Pai Crêpes

The master at the wok
The master at the wok

A bit like a show kitchen
A bit like a show kitchen

But why not?
But why not?

Doing what they do best
Doing what they do best – every stall tries hard to get some biz. Some do better some not. There was a time when you could not walk in walking street in the main season. It was too crowded. Now you find days where not even the hawkers come out and sell something on the street.

Preparing jummy food
Preparing jummy food

Sure thing you have a Shushi guy
Sure thing you have a Shushi guy

Rolls and since a few years Potato Twist as well
Rolls and since a few years Potato Twist as well

We do not have the white ones
We do not have the white ones

And the fat street dogs waiting
And the fat street dogs waiting

Me need discount!
Me need discount!

Swiss perfection
Swiss perfection

He he
He he

Relax at the tables
Relax at the tables

Mojo Bar

The transformation from a Pizza Place to the new music hot spot in town. Mojo became my favorite music place for this winter trip. I sure hope it stays that way for long!

The best man at the drums
The best man at the drums

Stay cool
Stay cool

The Master
The Master

You are my pride and joy
You are my pride and joy

The second Bass Man
The second Bass Man

Supaporn "Boy" Sunti on guitar
Supaporn "Boy" Sunti on guitar

The Swedish house mafia
The Swedish house mafia

Other than that – my favorite food place is gone as well. Rent got so high that they could not make any biz anymore. That was the worst of news on this trip.

A new Khao Soy place
A new Khao Soy place

Still sleeping
Still sleeping

Breakfast at Twin Hut
Breakfast at Twin Hut

Time for a shower
Time for a shower

Clouds do make for better sunsets
Clouds do make for better sunsets

At THE walking street coffee place
At THE walking street coffee place

Winter 17/18 – From Rayong over Bangkok to Pai

Ban Hua Khod Mangrove Forest in Rayong

Dee’s brother was in town with his girlfriend and we went all together to the Ban Hua Khod Mangrove Forest near Prasae. When we arrived there was almost nobody there. We took a boat out to the open water and back into a pier that leads to elevated walks in the mangrove forest.

From the Golden Meadow (Tung Prong Thong) we took a boat out of the mangrove forest
From the Golden Meadow (Tung Prong Thong) we took a boat out of the mangrove forest

Saw some birds on the way
Saw some birds on the way

The ocean is coming into view
The ocean is coming into view

Open water ahead
Open water ahead

To protect the marsh from the open sea they build a wall
To protect the marsh from the open sea they build a wall

Once outside we turned back
Once outside we turned back

And they let you out at a pier. From where you can walk to Prasae the Estuary Viewpoint (จุดชมวิว ปากน้ำประแสร์) and back to your car again.
And they let you out at a pier. From where you can walk to Prasae the Estuary Viewpoint (จุดชมวิว ปากน้ำประแสร์) and back to your car again.

And from there back to the car again

Rayong

We stayed in a small place downtown close to the market. Went with Gerben and the Monkey to a big playground and after the little one was tired we circled back to the hotel again.

Walk in Rayon
Walk in Rayon

Found a little place with food and beers
Found a little place with food and beers

And full of collectibles
And full of collectibles it was

And the former king of course
And the former king of course

Dee took us to a meeting with her former class mates. I catched the biggest cold in centuries there
Dee took us to a meeting with her former class mates. I catched the biggest cold in centuries there

Finally a place that understands customer needs
Finally a place that understands customer needs. We had dinner at the night market.

Bangkok

Spend most of my time in Bangkok in bed fighting my cold. A few shitty days and worst of all X-Mas approaching and all the busses out of Bangkok are full. Everybody leaves the city for a few days.

Former food places
They been here for 30 years or what? And now they had to go. A government crackdown on the small people. My favorite Fruit Shake place – Gone. My favorite daytime snack/lunch place – gone. Great Job!

They killed the old wood house as well. And instead of cleaning the place up they left all the rubbish there...
They killed the old wood house as well. And instead of cleaning the place up they left all the rubbish there…

This is good news. Now one can see where the bus goes. For the 1st time :-)
This is good news. Now one can see where the bus goes. For the 1st time 🙂 Well I use here since years and it tells me which bus goes where and where to change etc. A great app if you travel and it does work offline as well!

Merry X-Mas!
Merry X-Mas! Due to my cold, I almost went back from the bus stop. to bed. But the bus came round the corner when I started to walk back to the hotel. So I want and we had a bit of an X-Mas party and Hello Hello at Scotts place.

My favourite hideaway bar - gone. Replaced by the stupid shutter shops
My favourite hideaway bar – gone. Replaced by the stupid shutter shops. There was a little mom and pop shop and behind a hidden bar / restaurant. Great place in the center of it all but nobody knew about it. So usually only a few locals at the place. Well, that was it…

At last these guys are still here. For more than 40 years and still the best Tom Yum Goong in Bangkok
At last these guys are still here. For more than 40 years and still the best Tom Yum Goong in Bangkok. Since I do not eat animals for quite a while now it is not really useful for me but if you are in town. Go and try!

Breakfast for Champions
Breakfast for Champions

Since the portion is small and cheap...
Since the portion is small and cheap…

... I might as well have two of them
… I might as well have two of them

Off to the North

If you ever been to Bangkok a few days before X-Mas you know how fast the city gets empty as soon as X-Mas is here. Everybody gets out of town for a few days. By cold was better and I wanted to be in Pai for New Year’s Eve.
My usual choice – Bangkok Bus Lines (Read my review here) was booked solid. Now what? Could not even choose anything – was happy I got a VIP bus in the end.
It was chaos at the bus station! So many people and all slots full with busses. A lot of busses had no slot so they loaded customers in between. After more than an hour, our bus finally arrived – one guy came to our ramp and hushed us out in the rain. The bus was waiting somewhere far from the ramps. And there where many busses. Big confusion who goes where since 5 or 6 busses were parked next to each other. In the end, I had my seat and was happy.
And what is it with that rain? In the good old times, there was no rain in the dry season! Global warming eh?

On the bus to Chang Mai
On the bus to Chang Mai – OK seat in the front.

Not my usual one but still ok
Not my usual company but still OK. Note the rain – it is still raining.

My seat on the window
My seat on the window

Chiang Mai

The bus arrives at the new terminal. It still rains so you get a bit wet on the way to the old terminal. Got my ticket to Pai and all the mini busses where full for the next 2 hours. Which leaves me some time to get breakfast at my usual place. The restaurant at the right corner when you walk from the old to the new bus station. It is there since forever and one day and I stop there every time I have to wait for a connection.

I see egg but no pork - where is it?
I see egg but no pork – where is it? Never mind – I take the same as usually.

If I have time before the minibus to Pai I go here for years. At the corner between the two bus stations. And have the same two dishes usually.
If I have time before the minibus to Pai I go here for years. At the corner between the two bus stations. And have the same two dishes usually.

On the Way to Pai

After breakfast, I had a coffee from the coffee place next to the restaurant and wheeled my bag back to the minibus stop. Still raining – how wired!

At the stop on the way to Pai. They do roast their own coffee
At the stop on the way to Pai. They do roast their own coffee

Cat-Car
Cat-Car

Still raining - the mini bus to Pai
Still raining – the mini bus to Pai

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