CHANG MAI & PAI: BRINGING MUSIC TO THE NORTH OF THAILAND!

After few days in Bangkok where we were busy applying for our Indian visa, we took a bus and headed north to the city of Chiang Mai. As we got there we had a look online to see what sort of live music opportunities the place had bto offer. We found few names of bars and even open mics, so we noted bthem down and left with our instruments. While we were looking for a very well hiden Blues Bar, we found this amazing bar, made out of an ols red bus.
They saw us with the guitars and in less thanb 5 minutes we were playing through their PA system while the owner kept bringing big bottles of chilled Singha beer on stage!

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After a couple of hours we left because we didn’t wanna attract too much attention (e.g. Thai Police) and we ended up in a seedy bar where we probably saw the most demotivated and sad cover band performing. So after their set we were a bit drunk and bored and we started jamming few songs. This made our drunken friend very happy but somehow we managed to annoy the owners who asked us to leave as apparently it was getting too late.

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Music is everywhere we go, so after we left the bar Colin played few tunes to a young Thai couple after they asked for some music: they were blatantly more drunk than us!

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After one busy night in Chiang Mai we took a minibus to reach the hillside destination of Pai, a sort of Mecca for New Age travellers, Hippies and Artists in general. We found a very good deal right out of the city, after the smalkl bamboo bridge: this place seemed to be a quite well enstabilished one and yet the owner was super friendly and gave us a very cosy hut for only 100THB per night (2 GBP)!

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The nice environement, fresh weather and cozy accomodation really made us feel welcome in the small town of Pai!

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Of course we asked around for some live music opportunities and as usual in only few hours we managed to be on a stage again, this time in a very big bar with proper stage, PA system and a in house band too! It’s been fun to play few of our songs and then jam with the Thai resident musicians!

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We alternated a quite crazy nightlife with the tranquillity of lazy days spent in our huts, enjoying some beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
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One night some locals saw us on the streets with our guitars and asked us to play in their bar. So we did: the hospitality was warmer than expected:

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We met Jimi, the new owner, who happened to have just bought the bar and the next day it was his birthday so the business was officialy shut but the bar was still serving free drinks all night!

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We played guitar and cajon for the guests while drinks and were served to everyone passing by!

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Jimi has one of the best afros i’ve ever seen: he likes his rock and roll and he’s never short of blond girls!

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Colin was even able to remember some very famous Thai reggae song and our friends were quite delighted!

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This is one of my last images for that night!

 

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After nearly 1 week spent jamming and having good times with the locals it was time to get the bus back to Chiang Mai and jump on the train for Bangkok where we would pick our brand new Indian visa! Some of the symbols on the minibus were a bit dodgy:L i’m still not sure about the meaning of some of them…

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We noticed that locals don’t mind a bit of garlic…!

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And the icing on the cake was having the whole minibus for ourselves: lots of legroom and a full AC working!

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Arrived in Chiang Mai just a couple of hours before our departure: time for a meal and a drink.

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We left at sunset time: the best time to start a train night journey!

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Once we went to the restaurant we found out that there was no alcohol for sale: such a shame as we were already dreaming about a well earned cold beer!

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So there was nothi!ng left than going to bed: at least bunks are quite comfy and it didn’t take long before the both of us started snoring big time

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