Thursday, November 21, 2013

Goodbye Chiang Mai, Hello Pai!

Hello everyone!!! Today has been extremely hectic but I have calmed down. I took some deep breaths, remembered how lucky I am to be in Thailand and got over it.

Here's what happened. I usually book all my hostels on but they didn't have very many for Pai (which is apparently pronounced Bai but spelt Pai). So anyway I started to look on and found one that looked cute and modern called Dorm Pai Hostel. So I took the four hour bus ride from Chiang Mai to Pai today and when I got here one taxi company wouldn't help me because they didn't know the address of this hostel. (On agodas website there is no phone number or e-mail address for this hostel, on hostelworld there usually is only this hostel wasn't on it). Before I left my hostel in Chiang Mai I had them translate the address to Thai for me thinking that would make things easier. I then got a taxi company to agree to take me, dropped me off at the end of a dirt road and told me the hostel was there, I paid him, he left, I walked up the road and there was no hostel. I was in the middle of farmland. Luckily there was a farmer there who called the tourist police who drove around with me for an hour trying to find the hostel, he asked about a million locals for help, let me use his home internet to get a map, we went exactly to where it was supposed to be and it wasn't there. He took me back to the town and I called agoda's customer service line. She said she had the number to the hostel. I took it, gave it to A NEW taxi company and it was for a different hostel! At this point I had been trying to find this place for about three hours and was done! I booked into a guest house right in town for $15 Canadian just for the night. I also sent two angry e-mails to agoda telling them what happened and that it would be very uncool of them to charge me a cancellation fee. I still haven't heard back but I'll keep you posted. Going forward I will stick to what works and book my hostels through!

O.K now to saying goodbye to Chiang Mai. I LOVED Chiang Mai. So far it has been my favorite place in Thailand. The day I checked out of my first hostel Eco Resort I went with some Irish and South African people I had met at the hostel to a day of flowers, butterflies, waterfalls, rafting and elephants. They are teaching english here and it was organized through their school but I was aloud to come. So far its been my favorite day in Thailand.

Flowers and Butterflies

The Waterfalls

The waterfalls were my favorite part!

You could actually slide down one of the waterfalls which of course I did! 

Here's me on my way..

Here's me at the top...

And here's me freaking out as I'm landing in the water...

Here's me under a different waterfall. It was super strong.

Now as far as the elephants go, I am not sure how well they were treated at this training camp. I didn't research it as I was just kinda tagging along with the rest of the day. I really wanted to go visit the Elephant Rescue Center but it was booked up until the day I was leaving for Pai.

The girls

These girls were so much fun and so funny!

I wasn't really into doing this but I did it anyway. The girl I was with on the back of our elephant (above) was freaking out the entire time. It was quite entertaining though I did wish I could've helped..

We went rafting as well but of course I couldn't take my camera due to all the water involved in rafting but it was fun. I was nervous but it was extremely beginner so I was O.K.

Now the second hostel I went to was $4 canadian a night called Aoi Garden Home. It had excellent ratings on hostelworld so I went for it but when I went from the Eco Resort to that the pretty factor decreased significantly. The first night I thought I was going to check out early but I met a new friend from Ottawa the following day and stayed for three nights. I am so happy I did! The people who run the hostel are amazing, so helpful and friendly and I met some really cool people there. I even ran into a girl I had hung out with when I was in Koh Lanta. Another plus, they had a cat!

This is Meow. I smothered him so he didn't like me very much.

Me and my new friend Matt from Ottawa explored some temples on our first day there.

My last day in Chiang Mai I went zip lining with Dragon Flight. It was so fun!

 The is "handsome" one of the guides. He was fun.

 Beautiful views!!

 This was a free fall, the guide made sure I went fast, scared me half to death.

My zip lining crew

My last night in Chiang Mai I went for dessert with some people from my hostel and at the coffee shop there was a big cat bullying a kitten so I took the kitten away from it. Later the kitten curled up on my jacket next to me and cuddled with me all night. Made my day! I'm sure I have flees now though.

I am now in Pai with one night booked at a guest house as of right now. My friend recommended I come to Pai because it was a relaxed hippy town. (She was here 10 years ago). It's definitely tourist-y now but there are yoga and meditation places everywhere and it looks like a ton of hiking is to be done. I think I will be here for awhile anyway. I like the vibe I just need to figure out where I am going to stay. 

I will keep you updated!

Xoxo- Michelle

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