Pamela and her husband Adam are The Weegs. A year ago they got married and bought a one-way flight to Costa Rica, and they haven’t come back. So far they’ve been in Central and South America, New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Please enjoy this week-in-the-life of The Weegs in Thailand!
This was a fun week; our last after two and a half months in Thailand! We left our apartment in Chiang Mai and went exploring Pai and northern Thailand.
There were a mix of emotions going on for both of us; we were sad to leave, excited to see new places, you know how it is… but in the end we felt very satisfied on how we spent our time. There is always something more to see regardless of how long you stay in one place, but we think we did our best in the time we had.
Day 1: Friday
Our last day in Chiang Mai
Morning – The only thing left to do that we had been putting off was visiting Wat Pharathat Doi Suthep, the most famous temple in town. After a quick breakfast of eggs and potatoes (Adam cooked up in our small kitchen) we made our way there on motorbike. The temple was just another temple, nothing extraordinary about it, but the ride and views of the city were spectacular.
Afternoon – Back in town we returned the motorbike we’d been using for almost two months. As we rode for the last time, our perception started to change and we started seeing everything with a little bit of nostalgia. We like to keep a mental picture of all the places we visit and the roads we drove many times thinking we were part of the city.
Evening – As the sun set over Chiang Mai we had everything packed and went to the restaurant downstairs. We ordered our favorite meal: green curry and thick Chinese noodles and drank our last beers with our expat friends until midnight.
Day 2: Saturday
Morning – The mini-bus left Saturday morning direct to Pai. Derek, our friend in Chiang Mai, warned us that the road is very curvy so we both took some Dramamine right before we got on the bus. Ten minutes later I was half asleep; waking up every time my head was falling to the side or on a big curve, trying to not fall asleep with my mouth wide open. It wasn’t too long before I completely passed out.
Afternoon – After what seemed like a short ride thanks to the pills, we arrived to our guesthouse in Pai and the owner showed us around. Our room was gorgeous as well as the whole place, right next to the river. We dropped our bags and went exploring, searching for lunch.
Pai is a very small town (compared with Chiang Mai or Bangkok) and the majority of people in the city center are backpackers or the hippy-type. There are all sorts of organic coffee and tea shops, western restaurants, and spas.
After filling our bellies with Thai food we went back to the room. We were both still feeling some effects of our bus ride so Adam said “Let’s just lay down for a cat nap”… yeah, we didn’t wake up until it was dark out! A quick shower and some TV (taking advantage of having HBO!!!) revived us and we headed out again.
Evening – The owner of the homestay hooked us up with a couple of umbrellas to keep us dry (it started to rain during our marathon nap) and we meandered down the main road finding a very lovely street market with plenty of places to eat, including a pizza by the slice stand that Adam couldn’t resist. After dinner we walked around the square that forms the whole city center. It took us less than an hour to go all around with a couple of stops for ice cream and shopping, or better said “for looking”, we don’t do much shopping since that means more weight in our pack and consequently, for our precious shoulders.
Day 3: Sunday
Morning – The next morning we planned to go to a more remote area an hour away from Pai, but we were so comfortable that we decided to stay an extra day. After the perfect Sunday breakfast of eggs and bacon in our homestay, I went to take some photos and walk across the river.
Afternoon and Evening – We took advantage of the good WIFI; I updated the blog and Adam did some programming.
Aside from a bit of work, we pretty much did the same routine as the previous day: relaxed; read; walked around town; watched a couple of movies; and had dinner out.
In general Pai has a very relaxed vibe, I like the fact that it’s easy to move around and a five minute bike ride will take you to the more traditional Thai town and markets. It is definitely worth your time to stop and check it out.
Day 4: Monday
To Cave Lodge
Morning – We woke up at 9am and took our time packing up and enjoyed a late breakfast. In case you haven’t noticed we are not morning people and highly enjoy our morning coffee and food. It is one of my favorite parts of the day, besides noon and evening 😉
Afternoon – We rented a motor bike in Pai and made our way north to the Cave Lodge. It was a very pleasant ride, passing rice fields and through a jungle-like wilderness area. It can be entertaining to ride the bike with both of our bags, butt hanging off of the back, going up steep hills on a 125 cc., but Adam got us there in one piece. After many months of Southeastern Asia motorbike driving you get pretty good.
Evening – The place we were staying was in the middle of nowhere and the jungle. We loved it! The cabins are built on a steep hill next to a river. The owner, John, is an Australian that has been living in the area for 30+ years. He even wrote a book about it called Wild Times. John is an excellent writer and I was entertained all night in the cozy main area of the lodge reading some of the articles he has on display for guests. We spent some time talking with him and enjoying the coziness of the jungle and fire pit from the common area.
Day 5: Tuesday
Exploring wild caves
Morning and Afternoon – After a good breakfast and our morning coffee, John gave us a lift to the start of our wilderness caving tour. It was about 10am by the time we met our guide Wat. He is a hill tribe local; maybe in his 50’s (it’s hard to say with Thais), that knows the area like the back of his hand.
He looks like a wise man. We followed diligently behind him through trees and over fields, only pausing when Wat would suddenly stop and stand still, observing everything around him, as if he can hear something we can’t.
We visited 3 caves in all. Crawling and climbing through these caves left us completely caked with mud, wet from head to toe, and very, very sore the next day.
We dragged ourselves through underground streams, hiked through the muddy jungle, fell down (more than once), saw bats and amazing cave formations, looked over a 90-foot-tall underground waterfall; it was a full 8 hours of non-stop adventure.
As we hiked back to the lodge, Wat pointed out coffee plantations, pumpkin and corn fields. He found edible wild mushrooms and knew which plants were good to eat. We both loved this day; it was no doubt one of the highlights in Thailand so far.
Evening – We finally made it back around 6pm. By the time we showered, cleaned our gear and had dinner we were exhausted and fell fast asleep.
Day 6: Wednesday
The Cave with thousands of bats and birds
Morning and Afternoon – Adam was feeling sick this morning, he suspected from eating coconut (apparently he doesn’t do well with it). He stayed in bed all morning while I wrote the adventures of the prior day before I forgot the finer points.
Around lunchtime I went to eat to the main area of the lodge and met some lovely people from Barcelona and Canada. I spent all the afternoon writing some more; the jungle got me inspired.
Evening – Around 5:30pm we set off from the lodge along a jungle path to catch the sunset at another cave. Forty minutes and a few wrong turns later we arrived, watching thousands of swallows and bats flying above us in and out of an enormous cave. An incredible sight!
Soon after we started our walk back to avoid getting stuck out at night without flashlights. A minute into the trek the rain started to pour.
Adding to my bad luck I didn’t bring the case for my camera and one of my sandals broke. It was quite the adventure to get back in the rain, through the jungle, with no shoes, and in the slippery mud, but we managed to make it with a few good laughs along the way. (Me slipping on mud and Adam stepping in a HUGE cow pie)
We finished the night by candle light, listening to the storm, and sharing stories with everyone at the lodge.
Day 7: Thursday
Back to Chiang Mai for the night
On Thursday we drove back to Pai and then to Chiang Mai. We picked up the rest of our stuff that our friend kindly held on to for us. Tomorrow we leave Thailand and spend the next two months traveling through Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The Weegs roamed around Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam for a couple of months before making their way to Spain to rent an apartment near Barcelona. Adam is learning Spanish and Pamela is taking photography lessons, and they’re both enjoying a slice of Spanish life. Check out their adventures at TheWeegs.