We were up early again this morning to start our road trip to Pai, one of the most famous mountain towns in Thailand. On the road again by 9am, with a stop at a temple and monastery which had a 400metre bridge over the paddy fields to reach the village beyond. This had been constructed by the Shan villagers to make sure the monks didn’t get their feet wet or muddy.
The temperature had begun to climb so it was a welcome relief to be back in the Tuk Tuks. The road was steep and winding and I was happy to let David do the driving! We arrived for lunch at around 1pm at the Tham Lod Caves. We were then taken by a lovely Thai guide right into the caves. They are vast and inhabited by hundreds of bats and swifts. We climbed right into them, up steep stairs. The guide showed us various stalactites and stalagmites, many of them had formed figures such as an elephant, a frog and a buddha.
We then went on a bamboo raft even further into the cave, feeding the enormous fish as we went. We climbed up further into the caves and the guide showed us the ancient teak coffins which were nearly two thousand years old.
On our return to the Tuk Tuks, there was a bit of drama as Geoff and Pam’s Tuk Tuk, “Nine” wouldn’t start. Much effort was made by the men to get her going, including pushing her round with Pam still sitting on board, eating her ice-cream! These efforts were to no avail and in the end, Nine had to be abandoned and Geoff and Pam climbed on board the other Tuk Tuks for the final leg.
We drove on and at one point, the air was much clearer and the light was beautiful. Not for long though as we soon saw another forest fire. It was very close to the road and quite extensive. We arrived at our next resort Phu Pai to our own bungalows, ready for a swim, a drink and supper.