Scooter tour from Pai, Thailand

A 4 day scooter adventure starts in Pai, Thailand.  Pai is located along the shores of the Pai river. It’s a laid-back little town with a bustling night market, great breakfast restaurants, and interesting travelers from around the globe.  There’s much to see in this section of Northern Thailand.  Our 250km route will bring us to water falls, hot springs, mountain summits, the border of Myanmar and the legendary Cave Lodge.

Mo Paeng Waterfall
Pai Canyon
Pai Natural Hotsprings
Pem Bok Waterfall
Pang Mapha, Thailand (Cave Lodge feels like a hut in the jungle)
Ban Rak Thai

There was a buzz on the main street as travelers made plans to see the sights around Pai.  We rented scooters at Dragonfly Pai, Scooter Rental for a low daily rental fee and deposit.  We were a little nervous when they asked to hold our passports as an additional security deposit, but we had no choice.  We left our nerves and Pai in the rear-view mirror and headed out of town. 

The roads are a little rough with many curves in this section of Thailand. We drive by small concrete homes. Some of the homes are nicely kept with fenced in yards, gardens and others look nearly abandoned. The drivers who pass us are polite and I am so happy to not be car sick.

We arrived Cave Lodge in Pang Mapha, in the Mae Hong Son province.  Pang Mapha is a few miles from Sappong.  It’s a basic little town with a gas station and supplies store. We are happy to find Cave Lodge and plan to stay here for a couple of days.

On Thanksgiving morning 2013, I lay in bed while the other sleep around me. Our tiny thatched-roofed room feels like a tree house with plywood floors, 2×4 bed with pads and tiny window. I can’t really see out side, but I listen to the world around me and give-thanks.

I’m lay in bed listening to the rain this morning. I am warm and dry next to my man who is breathing softly to my right and both of my sleeping daughters to my left. It starts to rain harder and wondered if the Gibbon monkeys will “whoop” this morning.  This whole scene is a bit surreal. I think of all the things I am thankful for. My bed-company, of course, but also my good fortune to be here with them. We are in Northern Thailand at Cave Lodge which is just up the hill from Sappong. We are very close to the Burma/Myanmar Border.

It’s much more of a jungle here and much more rustic. It takes time to adjust to our surroundings. We road motorbikes here from Pai. Very fun! Cave Lodge feels like a tree house in the jungle. The river runs below it. The floor timbers are all smooth and uneven. There are three different levels with short tables and pillows to sit on. There are many travelers here from different part of the world. The owner, John Spies, an Australian and Nang, a local, have lived here since 1984. Wild Times, by John Spies captures stories of  their journey that is deep with mystery, sex, drugs, conflict, resilience and transformation. The lodge is open to the jungle on three sides with a kitchen on the 4th level. There is a small fire-pit in the center. This is where most gather in the evening to watch a movie, talk and tell stories.

The bugs are not bad. Red and black ants crawl on the posts and stairs, but not a large amount. The mosquitos are only terrible at dusk. Birds don’t fly in and the rain stays out.

Yesterday, we took a dip in the river and hiked to the Tham Nom Lod to watch the swifts fly into the cave at dusk. It was an amazing sight with incredible sound and a little stinky.

On this rainy morning in Northern Thailand:

  • I am thankful for no ants on my pillow.
  • I am thankful for the warm, clean bed with 1970s cartoon sheets.
  • I am thankful to have my little family around me.
  • I am thankful for this opportunity.
  • I am thankful my 110CC motorbike that buzzed me here.
  • I am thankful for NO motion sickness
  • I am thankful my computer works.
  • I am thankful for this hot coffee and the smile to greet me.
  • I am thankful for this muesli, yogurt and fruit.
  • I am thankful for my world in Breckenridge.
  • I feel very fortunate.

Enjoy the Climb!