At 11 o’clock, we parked our bike outside of The Good Life Fermentary. The rotund grey-haired facilitator, Les, explained that a larger group was taking the class tomorrow and that it would be more fun to join them instead of doing it by ourselves. After some thought-provoking chit-chat, we headed to the Wednesday Market, which is apparently where all the locals shop. It was essentially an open air Fred Meyer, with tents spread out across a field of dead grass and gravel.
Did I mention that Thailand is hot? Have I communicated just how hot yet? In March, Thailand is can be over 37 C (98 F) at midday in the sun. Cute name for a boy band, rather miserable as a daily occurrence. There are two ways to maintain sanity. One, don’t go in the sun, find dark cool places and stay put. Two, completely drench yourself and your clothes at regular intervals. In order to visit the white buddha situated on the mountainside of Pai, we chose the latter option which required a quick dip in a pool along the way.
A recent construction, the gigantic statue is still a work in progress with rickety scaffolding cleverly hidden behind his back. Walking around the stone platform barefoot was a throwback to hot lava monster in grade school, but with actual hot lava and no monster. We spent ten minutes running across scalding tiles to tiny shade patches.
Our evening activity was an authentic Thai cooking class at Savoei (A Taste of Pai). After a quick trip to the market and an informative tour by our cooking coach Minh, each of us got to make four single-serving dishes. We departed with full bellies and two recipe books. When I get home, I want to share some of the recipes with you all. Authentic Thai cooking is super simple, healthy and delicious.
Here is proof that we had a wonderful time:
Throughout the day, we had seen modest-sized flyers promising live music and free Phad Thai at a place called On Earth. I mentioned that Pai has only two main roads. Anything located on those roads is really easy to locate or stumble across, but if its not on those roads it’s nearly impossible to find. We drove all the way around, outside of town, to the other side of the river to find On Earth before discovering that we could have parked our moped two blocks off the main drag and walked over a rickety bamboo bridge instead. We obviously didn’t need more food, but got a few beers and settled into a set of cushions on a bamboo platform to listen. I took advantage of the free wifi and book our overnight train tickets from Chiangmai to Bangkok. As fate would have it, I also booked our next two nights at the hostel next door. As you will soon learn, my cavalier sentiments about the lack of air conditioning in said bungalow was to be a grave mistake.