We rented mountain bikes today to get around Pai and see some sights! The original plan was to see the Pam Bok waterfall.
Turns out we didn’t quite account for the hills.
We made it up the first (massive) hill.. barely. It was super hot, super humid, and seemed to go on forever. Luckily, there was a viewpoint by a cafe called Coffee In Love where we happily stopped for a break. Apparently, a movie called Pai In Love was filmed here and has made the cafe (and Pai) quite famous! I had no idea of any of this while I was there, but I did notice a tour group stop and take pictures of the yellow house. Now I know why!
We stopped mainly because of the view, and to get out of the sun for a few minutes.
We biked on, up and down hill after hill. It’s a bittersweet feeling; the downhill sections are quick and breezy, but in the back of your mind you know you’ll just have to laboriously pedal back up them again later.
After what felt like only uphill stretches, we came to the Land Split! This attraction (#2 in Pai!) was previously farmland, but has been ravaged by splitting earth since 2003. The pragmatic landowner saw a lucrative opportunity arise from the ashes of his farm, and turned it into a tourist attraction.
When you walk in the entrance, you are greeted with a “Welcome to the Land Spleeet! Juice for you?” by a smiling man in a bamboo hut. He also has a cornucopia of different fruits and vegetables (bananas, potatoes, peanuts, papaya, roselle jam, and more!) laid out. He’ll happily give you some of everything, and you can have a little healthy feast in the bamboo huts and hammocks strewn around. It’s all completely by donation too!
We decided to walk up to the land split first, which is about a 10 minute walk through the jungle. There have been several splits – in 2003, 2009, and 2011, I believe. They are quite massive, and have definitely ravaged the farmland here.
Interestingly, they still do farm on the remaining land – we saw papaya trees, mango trees, a herb garden, banana trees, and more. It was really cool to see!
When we returned, the man in the hut had some juice ready for us. It was cold, sweet, and delicious. It is made from roselle, grown on the farmland still remaining. We sat in one of the bamboo huts with some other tourists, one of which (also a Vancouverite) said that we looked “hotter” than most other people.. I think she meant sweatier! Everyone else seemed to have the good sense to take a scooter – we were the only crazies on motor-less bikes.
We got back on our bikes and decided to try to get to the Pam Bok waterfall (another 2 km up the road, and I mean up). We got probably 1 km in when we decided that no waterfall could possibly be worth this much sweat and possible heat stroke, and then just turned around.
The majority of the return trip was gloriously downhill, and I don’t even feel a little bit sad to not have seen the waterfall. Maybe we’ll come back another day..