Was in Pai recently and talking to a Danish bloke who said how much it had changed in the last 5 years.Used to be really laid back and relaxed,he said, but now it has just become another Thai tourist trap.And I've got to agree with him too.Full of tourists and the whole place is just one big guest house.Won't be going back.
YES ONCE AGAIN ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL PLACE RUINED BY MASS TOURISM AND THE TYPES IT ATTRACTS. I DON,T THINK THAILAND WILL EVER GET IT RIGHT. PLACES THAT ARE BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO FARANG RESTAURANTS,BARS, BARGIRLS ETC, ETC,. IN CASE YOU HAVE NOT NOTICED REALLY TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT THE TOURISTS THESE PLACES ATTRACT. I THINK ARROGANT WOULD BE A KIND WORD. I STOPPED GOING HERE SIX YEARS AGO AND HAVE NOT SET FOOT THERE SINCE AND NEVER WILL.
#4 jamesspignesi has been a member since 18/8/2008. Posts: 29
Not everyone tours the same way, and sometimes what we consider a 'ruined' place has in-fact been a blessing for local families in need of income. I'm not saying it is always positive, and I'm sure some of the people are upset by the noise and the changes, but our sense of a 'preserved experience' is a bit dr. livingstone-i-presume early colonial adventure -- at this point globalization really has penetrated all but the most remote parts of the world, with many positive side-effects for communities to go along with the negative. I'd refrain from overt judgment.
Next place on the list - Soppong? At least there's no further construction allowed near the Lod cave (for now). If you want natural beauty, a few guesthouses, and a river also check out the Mae Win area SW of Chiang Mai. Rode through yesterday - magic.
Thing is, most of the "real" travellers who say they want off the beaten path still also seem to want other travellers around, menus in English, maybe some internet, and at least a remote chance of having a few beers with someone they can have a decent conversation with. Tons of quiet out of the way places throughout northern Thailand, as long as you don't mind being the only farang within 20 miles.
Casey and Bob - you read my mind. When I get on my bike and head off to parts unknown, I almost never run into another white guy. Even when some live in the area, I'm not likely to bump into them in the one or two days I'm there. I have never seen a single white guy when in my wifes village - ever. There's tons of places like that, but nobody goes there because there's no attractions.
#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
"There's tons of places like that, but nobody goes there because there's no attractions."
I sometimes enjoy going to places because there are no attractions. Often they are just places along the way from Point A to Point B, and they turn out to be terrific. Lots of places like that along the Mekong. But I do admit that if a town is situated on a river, I consider that as an attraction.
But I do agree with you regarding this point, though I would add that it is one of many reasons. I think that two of the biggest reasons are fear of the unknown, and laziness. Not many travelers are too eager to hop on a bus and head to some place just because they see it on a map.
We live in a world that has grown used to instant gratification, instant answers, instant solutions to problems. Easy.
Whenever I read the webjournals on the Crazy Guy on a Bike site, I am constantly reminded that there are thousands and thousands of small, little known or unknown gems out there. Just have to slow down and take the time (make the effort) to see/find them. This is a big part of the reason why I like to take my bike there now.
Yep, a chopper is definitely the way to get around here. No doubt. Versatile, fast, but slow when you want to be - and fun. I recommend it too. I love to ride out here.
To tell the truth, most of the really small towns are crap, and have no hotels of any type. But eht "Ampurs" almost always have at least a short time hotel, and rooms there are cheap. They also have some places to eat, a little nightlife... If you want to see how the other half lives and also really interact with indigenous persons, that's the way to go. Of course, language is the challenge. But I've always maintained that language is culture. You want to experience the culture, you have to start learning the language.
#10 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Too sloooooowwwww. OK when in town, but getting between towns... also not as much fun. But to each his own. I'm going to take my new CBR out next week, ride down to Chanuman and see Gai and Cat (former students of mine), then head over to Khemerat and from there pop over to Amnat, then over to the in laws in Yaso. Stretch her legs (the CBR) and see how she runs over the open road. She's been great and incredibly fuel efficient in the city.
#12 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
Mind if I add here.
To see Pai and other villages up in the North country will be a lot of work on bicycles. There a lot of hills, a lot of climbs and a lot of sweat. I think a motorbike will do better. But rolling down the plains of southern thailands, taking road less travelled along the coast or hopping from krabi to Phi Phi and into Kho Yai or into Phuket by boats WITH your bicycle would a terrific experience.
I travelled at lot on both my motorcycles and Bicycles. They are both fun. On places like Indonesia where there many islands, Bicycles are simply great, you can cross to them on small boats, same as Phang Nga, phuket, Koh Phi phi. And on bicycles all your 3-senses work at the same time, sight, hearing and smell. On my motorbike, I can never hear the geckos sing, nor the birds peck when travel in woodlands.