This evening's colourful introduction to cosy Pai was a visit to the town's night market. Marie, Claire and myself went exploring the street or two that comprises the market: primarily to grab a bite to eat (actually, we grabbed several), but also just to peruse. The food is definitely one of the market's highlights: although some of the dinner-food isn't so crash hot (my "omelette and rice" dinner was rather ordinary), the snacks are incredible. The shmontses are arrayed in abundance: some of them quite amusing, althogh most of them just regular hippie junk. The highlight of the market, however, is the nightly dance show: a large group of young local Thai girls perform an elegant traditional routine, garbed in their finest silks; while their friends accompany them with flutes and violins.
Busy scene at the night market.
School girls performing a graceful Thai dance.
More girls in the accompanying band.
As the evening progressed, we gradually wandered away from the market streets, and began acquainting ourselves with Pai's bar scene. Pai is quite possibly the most friendly place on Earth: I'd say that about half the backpackers in town were crammed into one little bar this evening; and they were all so cheerful and extrovert, that I managed to meet the majority of them. We started at the "Buffalo exchange", a great joint on the corner of town, with a few couches inside and a roaring campfire outside. A few drinks and plenty of chatting there — and then on to several more venues, to pass the night away Pai-style.