What a day! We were up early to check out of Tony’s, as Lauren had another crap night’s sleep ‘cos the mozzie net is riddled with holes, the sheet keeps pinging off the mattress, and she has a slightly irrational hatred of the building which means she just lays there stewing in anger. Tony said we had to pay the full weeks’ worth that we’d booked. Fair enough I suppose, but we’d booked a ฿150 room and had been staying in a ฿200 room and he wanted to charge us ฿200 x 3 for the nights we weren’t staying. I guess charging the extra nights is fair enough as we did book it, but not ฿600. ฿450; that was Lauren’s main point. Anyway, Lauren hates it there so much that she wanted to pay the ฿450 herself and still leave. So Lauren came back and told me that he was being a douche so we decided to make him pay. I got the app up so we could threaten to cancel through there (so he’d only get ฿150 or every night we were there), I made a puddle of beer to attract more ants, and did a massive poo in the toilet and let it lay there half submerged in the water for him to find.
We gathered our stuff and left prepared for an argument, but after saying about the app he just charged us ฿150/night for the nights we were there and for the three nights we weren’t. We’d been ready to pay ฿200 for the first four nights and ฿150 for the three after, so I suppose that was a good outcome. I felt a bit bad later though, as even though he wasn’t great about it we’d essentially got an upgraded room for four nights for free, made a new ant colony under the bed, thought about nicking a towel, and let Tony know what we thought of him with the present I’d left sliding down the porcelain.
We got to the Easy Guest House and dumped our gear. We went off to get a scooter and scoot around the main attractions. It was ฿150 and a full tank was another ฿50. Lauren was on the back and she was quite scared, she told me later. After slating Tony we had asked him for recommendations and a map so we knew where to go. We followed the main road for a little while and then turned off down a rickety old road where every rock and pot hole could have meant our deaths. We came to the land split: an area of land that had a couple of fissures in it made by earthquakes, the deepest being maybe fifteen metres deep and 100m-odd long. The guy couldn’t farm there anymore, so he marketed his land as a tourist attraction and just asks for donations. He was also giving away some fruit juice on a donation basis, but I didn’t take any as I felt I’d have to give more than the ฿6 I’d already put in the pot.
We hopped back on our pink moped and carried on down the scary windy road for another two miles through some quite nice jungle and mountainy farmlandy scenery until we got to the Pam Bok waterfall. There was a little uphill path through some trees alongside a stream and some industrial sized hoses (that we thought might be the source of the waterfall when there’s not enough rain) that led to a rickety wooden bridge that crossed the stream, and then there was a path down to the water where there was a shallow bit with about twenty people paddling about in it. Further up there was the waterfall but you couldn’t really see it as it was around a corner unless you went down to the water which we didn’t want to ‘cos it was crowded with pot mongs and shoeless hippies from Pai. Could just about see it though. We weren’t impressed that much by it. Pretty standard waterfall tarnished by the noisy boys and girls pathetically trying to impress each other by jumping in and wearing tiny bikinis. The ride up there was good though, apart from the condition of the road.
We headed back out to the main road and a couple of miles later we saw Pai canyon but drove past accidentally so just went to monument bridge first. It was like a mini Bridge Over the River Kwai type deal, built by the Japanese to transport weapons in the war. It was maybe a car’s width and a couple hundred meters long and has holes all over it and a banged-up rickshaw chained up on it. They left this bridge alone and built another proper road on a concrete bridge next to it. Not much more to say about it.
Drove back to Pai canyon. This place is crazy dangerous. People must have died here. It’s hard to explain, but it’s like a natural stone ridge that sprawls out into the near distance over the top of the trees with a sheer drop on both sides. The walkways were only about a foot wide in places and there was no railings or safety measures at all. Lauren made us go across the first bit but we decided not to carry on as neither of us had grippy shoes and the ridge was sandy so I feared for our lives, especially going over the narrow bit. I got on my belly at one point and poked my head over the edge and told Lauren I could see a body. She said it was probably rubbish. It was an interesting natural feature and definitely worth going to as I’ve never seen anything like it before. It goes on for quite a while so if you were brave/stupid enough to walk the whole lot it’d keep you busy. Plus, the views were great apart from a few radio towers. Again, there were a few people knocking about but I didn’t mind here ‘cos then at least if we fell off someone would see and (hopefully) get help. There was one mad Chinese girl who went over to one narrow overhanging part of rock to pose for a photo and couldn’t turn around to get back on. Not wise in my opinion. Safety first kids.
Got back on Scrappy the Scooter and burned off back over the bridge to our last stop the
white Buddha and the wat that’s opposite (forgot the name). Again the drive was good apart from a few retarded Thai drivers. Some nice rice fields and a tunnel of trees that we had to go through. The best thing about the Buddha was the steps up to it. The Buddha itself is just a big white stone deal that had scaffolding all over it but the steps up to it were numerous and wide. It felt like and accomplishment getting to the top and there was a great mountainy view from the top. Loads of people kept ignoring the “please take off your shoes” signs which really annoys me. Regardless of whether you agree with the principle or not, you’re in someone else’s country and on a religious site that requires you to do something. They’re letting you up for free and you don’t even have the respect to put down your selfie stick and take off your shoes?!
Anyway, that pretty much concluded our scooter ride or the day. We got most of the main attractions in apart from the hot springs ‘cos they were ฿300 to get in and there was no way we were paying that. It was a good day. The attractions were better than expected and the drive was scenic too. We also found a local market/funfair where the prices were actually good (฿40 or a light blag polo jacket, ฿30 for shorts, ฿39 for some Hell’s Angels flip-flops that I bought, etc) It was down the road quite a bit if you come out the bus station and go right and carry on straight you can’t miss it. Dunno if it’s only on on certain days though.