Great Pie in Pai

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by crsaddlebags, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. crsaddlebags

    crsaddlebags Ol'Timer

    Just returned from a four day trip to Pai. Had never been there. Cool little town and quite a bit to see there.

    One of the highlights of the trip was a cheese pizza at Amido's. That was by far the best pizza I have had in Thailand and one of the best in my life. Good thing they aren't going to open a shop in Chiang Rai any time soon. I wouldn't be able to leave it alone and would need larger pants in a short time. I decided to go with the basic cheese and sauce pizza before I tried any of the other toppings offered. If it isn't a good pizza with cheese and sauce only, then adding other flavors isn't really going to make it any better. A companion tried one with some sausage of some sort on it and three people said that one was terrific also. They have a nice range of Italian style items on the menu and I would guess it is all good stuff. If you're really missing what pizza is supposed to be, take a trip to Pai, settle in for a few days and get your fix.

    Pizza isn't the only pleasant food surprise there. I had two burgers at different locations and both places offer much better burgers than I have found in CR. There is western food on offer all over that little town and I didn't find one bad example in anything I tried.

    We stayed at the Pai River Villa, Tel. 053-699796. Normal low season rate is 600 baht per night; she gave us 500 baht a night rate because we are from CR, her original home and she said she likes to take care of CR people. The villas are located at the river's edge and are the last ones in a row of guesthouses on the edge of town. No street or bar noise, just quiet and peaceful. The rooms were decent, with AC, fridge, TV and a balcony. I recommend this place, as many other places have too much going on around them. Also, from this place, there are great views of the mountains and valleys, which isn't something you will get if you stay in one of the guesthouses in town, with other buildings surrounding you.

    The family that owns the guesthouse also owns a really nice, big restaurant in town and that is where I found the best burger I tried in Pai. They also serve pizza but I didn't get to sample it. But if you stay at the guesthouse, ask about their restaurant and give the menu a try. Lots of items to choose from and instead of fries with a burger, you can get a huge serving of seasoned mashed potatoes, for 60 baht. And if you're an early riser and coffee drinker, then you're in luck here also, as they start the coffee pot at 06:30 and if you get up earlier than that, you can start it yourself. Other than this place, you're out of luck to find a coffee in town before about 08:00. You're lucky to find anything in this town before 08:00, including petrol. The town is geared towards night life and breakfast isn't high on the list of priorities.

    Scooter rentals are 100 baht per day and you don't need any experience or license to rent one, as evidenced by all of the young tourists sporting bandages and using crutches to get around. Low season sees a lot of young western tourists and almost no Thai tourists. The only Thai person we saw walking the streets and window shopping was the Thai guy we took with us from CR. Apparently, there are lots of Thais during the high season but I won't be seeing that. Everyone we talked to said to avoid the place during high season because the streets are so crowded that it is difficult to move.

    Directions to get there from Chiang Mai are basically, work your way over to highway 1095 and then go left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right 762 times. That is the number of curves that the T-shirts proclaim are on that highway. Great fun on a motorcycle. With all of the sharp curves and switchbacks, you will be very busy for several hours. That road is fun. Some of the curves are so sharp, you'll find yourself sounding your horn at the idiot in front of you who keeps lighting his brake-light, only to discover that the brake-light is your own. Most people opt for the public vans for transport from CM to Pai and I am quite sure I would lose my lunch on a trip in a van. Those drivers seem to be in a hurry and spending three hours flying around one curve after another in a van would do me in. But the road is great on a motorcycle. Super views from many points along that road and if you bring a camera, you will get some great shots. Best to decide before you go that you're going to take your time and stop to enjoy the scenery instead of being in a hurry to get from one end of the road to the other, which is what we did, both ways. However, I was able to glance at the scenery between hard breaking for a curve and accelerating out of one. We did the trip from CR to Pai in about six hours each way. I'll take my time when I go again.

    If anyone is up for an over-nighter to Pai prior to the high season, let me know. I'll be due for a great pizza soon.
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  3. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for the report. Yeah Amidos pizzas do you have a reputation for being "the best." Friends in Cnx are the same as you - go to Pai for a pizza at Amidos!

    I like your tip on the Pai River Villa too & was trying to research it when I discovered it used to be called the Wang Chang Puek. I once stayed there & thought it was pretty good.

    I missed you in CEI last week - you were away - so maybe we can meet up in Pai next time for a pizza?
  4. Lakota

    Lakota Ol'Timer

    I'm up for a trip to Pai too, only been the once and didn't stay over. It would be a shame not to do one of the loops whilst out there too :?

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