Your one meal in Bangkok will last three meals in Chiang Mai and six meals in Pai… That was our host, Kiki, who’s telling us that Pai offers the cheapest legit Thai food.
We had three days in Pai and spent almost nothing compared to what we usually spend in Bangkok. I dunno why but everything was cheap and yummy. So here’s a rundown on our food trippin' around Pai.
Keaw Tiew Numtok at Phee-Bon
It was our last day in Pai and we asked Kiki, the lovely owner of House of Love @ Pai, for her favorite noodle place in town. She quickly grabbed the keys to her pick-up truck and immediately brought us downtown.
Phee-Bon is located near the market and Pai Walking Street. Kiki expressed that it serves authentic Thai noodles in Pai. You wouldn’t easily find it as it has no English translation of its name. Phee-Bon is actually the name of the owner and you could easily ask around on its exact location.
We grabbed two small bowls of Keaw Tiew Numtok at 30 Baht each (US$ 0.84) and crispy pork skin at 10 Baht (US$ 0.28).
We first tried the crispy pork skin which was reminiscent of the Philippines’ famed chicharon. And I must say that our very own chicharon is way better. Moving on, our noodle soup arrived and its aroma was very inviting.
Drowned in dark broth, the rice noodles were topped with pork, chicken balls, pork’s liver, bean sprouts and greens. Pork’s blood was incorporated in the broth and the freshly-made noodles were complemented by the different textures and flavors from all of the meat. It was a bit spicy and we loved it!
I finished it in no time, to think that I am not a noodle person.
Pai Land Split’s Café
There were no entrance fees on all of the spots we visited around Pai. At the land split, the owner welcomed us with an invite to try out his organic treats. We had Roselle juice, banana chips, peanuts, boiled sweet potatoes, fresh papaya and more.
I loved the sweet potatoes and the sweet
and tangy juice. We didn't pay for what we consumed but were asked if we could donate some for the maintenance and upkeep of the land split. We did so. You may also want to take home some of the snacks for a fee.
|Roselle Juice from Roselle flowers|
Hot Noodles at Yunnan Cultural Village
We were quite disappointed with Pai’s Chinese Village as we’re expecting a real Yunnan community. As we walked back to our parked scooter, we saw this unassuming hut that serves hot noodles. We ordered one huge bowl of noodles at 40 Baht (US$ 1.12) and didn’t bother to ask what it was, we just pointed it from the huge tarp posted on a wall.
While waiting for the dish, we grabbed some crispy pork skin at 5 Baht per pack (US$ 0.14) which was, again, too hard to chew on. We also got and Est Cola for 15 Baht (US$ 0.42) which became our usual drink in Pai.
The noodles were just ok but the people were great. They even offered us to try out local Yunnan dishes while they’re having brunch.
Pai Walking Street
Pai Walking Street lights up at night, especially in terms of the food scene. Super cheap yummy treats lined the streets and the alleys adjacent to it. Japanese rolled makis and sushis, barbecues, deep-fried chicken and sausages, noodles, rice meals, and more. You could try it all out without burning your wallets.
|Blocked ice cream|
10 Baht (US$ 0.28)
|Tossed Noodles - hmmm... just ok...|
45 Baht (US$ 1.26)
|Khao Soi Gai - totally forgettable|
45 Baht (US$ 1.26)
5 Baht (US$ 0.14)
|Crispy pork with rice - yummy!|
40 Baht (US$ 1.12)
|Thai Green Milk Tea & Thai Milk Tea - yummy!|
50 Baht (US$ 1.40)
I kept on telling that Pai was an impulse side trip that turned out to be one of the most memorable ones we had, ever. The hip and laidback feel of the whole town truly reflected on the food trips we had.
We sat on a roadside ramp as we munched on some fried chicken and sticky rice when a pack of dogs marched to us. Thinking that they would snatch our food, I quickly snapped. My buddy played with the dogs and they all seemed to be having fun. I went back to my spot and watched them, wishing that I had the same love affair with dogs as my buddy did. We shared our food with them afterwards.