I feel conflicted every time I go to Pai, the land of 10,000 guesthouses. I love the beauty of the surrounding area, but I fear that the guesthouse building frenzy in Pai is causing land grab issues that will forever take away productive land from the local farmers. I worry that Pai is going the way of the Hawaiian Islands and I feel guilty for actively being a part of this change.
So why do I keep going to Pai? The Land Split.
|Imagine walking out into your soybean field one morning and almost falling into this!|
Over the last several months the Land Split has earned a special spot in both of our hearts and was our sole reason for making Pai a stopping point on the way back to Chiang Mai from Tee’s village. The family that owns the Land Split is one of the warmest families I have met.
|The spread this month included red bananas which I hadn’t seen anywhere else and fresh papaya.|
Since we had ridden the motorbike from Chiang Mai, through Mae Chaem to Khun Yuam to get to Tee’s village we decided to complete the Mae Hong Son Loop by heading north from Khun Yuam through Mae Hong Son and Pai before returning to Chiang Mai.
|We did a revised version of this loop, passing through Mae Chaem, near Doi Inthanon, the highest peak in Thailand.|
|Tee waiting patiently while I tried to capture a soft purple twilight sky we came across in Pai.|
The owners of the Land Split just built a few basic huts on their property and we decided to skip the crowds in town altogether and stay in their quiet farm field, about 6 km south of town.
|Watch your head.|
Best of all, it was hibiscus season!
|The owner asked Tee if he could find him an American wife too!|
|The fruit covered plants looked like they were decorated with Christmas lights.|
|Hibiscus in bloom.|
|I squealed with delight as we pulled up and this glowing red carpet came into focus.|
|Plant nerd alert: the fruit is a five lobed capsule.|
|Removing the seed pods.|
|This greenhouse smelled delicious, like the hibiscus jam they make.|
|Spirit house near the split.|