Today featured a wonderful mixture of Thai culture, a medical “Resort”, beautiful plants, breathtaking landscapes, and an amazing journey across the mountains of northern Thailand to the town of Pai.
Surprisingly, we weren’t the last of our group to show up at the 6:30am breakfast! Bill is definitely not a “morning” person! An hour later we headed back towards Lamphun for our first experience of a Home Stay village at Huay Sai Kaw.
While we’re focused on staying in Chiang Mai for our two months (which we’ve now extended to three months because we are enjoying ourselves so much!) we also intended to do a little touring outside the city.
In particular we planned to travel north to the town of Pai which many people had recommended to us. This is a journey of about 92 miles (148.7km) on a road that climbs up and down mountains with 762 curves! Yes … that’s right 762 curves, some of the pretty tight!
Before we were able to put our plans together, we were invited to join an international group of “Expat Ambassadors” on a 4-day tour hosted by the Northern Thailand Provincial Governments and managed by Lampang Province with assistance from a team of tourism professionals.
The purpose of the trip was to promote the region for Long-Stay tourism as well as for those seeking a retirement location. Fortunately, the itinerary included Pai as well as three other cities.
We were a diverse international group including Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, Canadians, Japanese, Taiwanese and Koreans, all currently residents of Chiang Mai. We traveled together in very comfortable minibuses with expert drivers and tour guides who took great care to ensure that everything ran smoothly and everyone was happy.
It reminded us of the Travel Agent Familiarization trips that we used to operate in our previous travel lives with one exception …. this trip was completely complimentary!