The Satichon Village aka The Chinese Village is a cultural village located in Pai. It’s a recreation of the Yunnan culture. It’s a village that was settled by Chinese refugees from the Mao Tse Tung Revolution. After all these year, the descendants still maintain their local culture. Now it is open for public and it became a tourist attraction. The village has a very touristy vibe to it. The beautiful part is made for tourism, you can feel that. But the real culture still exist behind the tourist site. The village is there with a population of over 2000!
Going to Pai
We take the minivan from Chiang Mai to Pai at 9:00 am. I’m with 3 local friends. They’re local from Northern Thailand, but not from Pai. Therefore they are also tourists. However they do speak the Thai language, which makes things a lot easier.
The minivan takes over 3 hours to get to Pai. With over 700 turns, the road to Pai is very curvy to say the least. Also, Thai people aren’t known for their calm driving skills. Therefore it is a very wise decision to take medication against car sickness. Even if you never get sick in the car like me, this time you will!
The driver gives everyone a puking bag. He’s a very wild driver. As the road gets more and more curvy, the driver gets more and more aggressive. At some points, he’s going trough the turn with squeeling tires. As a consequence, more and more people get sick.
I feel a bit sick too. I didn’t take any medicine, but I make it to Pai without getting sick. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for 2 of my friends. Despite trying their best to not get sick, they had to use the bag.
Arriving in Pai
We arrive in Pai at 12:30. I’m very happy that I made it without getting sick. After getting out of the car we immediately get better within minutes. First thing on our list, go rent 2 motorbikes. Because we are with a total of 4 people, we can fit on 2 motorbikes. As a result, we split the cost and save money.
First things first. Checking into our room and dropping our bags off is the priority. I am traveling full time and there is no way to leave my stuff in Chiang Mai. This results in me having the biggest bag. Meanwhile the others were able to have a small backpack with just the right amount of clothes for these 2 nights.
After checking in it is time to have lunch. We want to eat local food. Because local food is cheap and it’s usually very delicious. After driving towards the Pai town, we find a small restaurant by the side of the road. So we decide to give it a try.
I ordered chicken with rice and my friends take noodle soup. My dish was absolutely delicious. However, my friend’s dishes were really good too. This place is perfect and it was also very cheap.
The Santichon Village
This is first sight we want to visit in Pai. We take our scooters and drive to the Village. It’s really hot today. It’s 35°C outside. Nevertheless, we make it to the village. Here is me in front of the entrance.
The village itself looks really cute. It has an authentic vibe to it. It feels like a little Chinese village. However, it also feels like a theme park. Like it is created on purpose to mimic an authentic village. It reminds me of those big shopping malls that have a theme going on at each different floor. A mall where they try to mimic a typical shopping street in San Fransisco or Istanbul, but is still indoors and not authentic.
Away from this fact, I still enjoy visiting this place. It’s like a mini trip to another country. Because the people that live here still originate from the original tribe, there is still a big authentic side to it.
At the main square of the village are a few games you can play. It’s like a little fair. You can shoot with bow and arrow, airsoft guns or go on the big spinning wheel in the middle of the square. My friends went on the big wheel. It looked really fun! We also decided to shoot with the bow.
There are a lot of little kids in this village too. We make some time to connect with them. They are so cute!
At the end of the little village is a castle. There are some small shops inside. You can also go all the way to the top for a view over the village.
Behind the village is a viewpoint. You have to drive a little bit further behind the village and then keep left and drive all the way uphill. It’s very steep and the scooters have trouble getting up there. But we make it there.
We park at the parking lot of the viewpoint and walk our way up to the viewpoint. But there’s an entrance and we need to pay to enter the viewpoint! What?! To me it was not worth it. Viewpoints should be free. There is a shop up there so it’s not like they don’t earn anything.
But on the way down, we found a free way to enjoy the view. Instead of going through the arch and walking uphill, you can keep left and go towards the flower area. Here you can still enjoy the amazing view. It might even be possible to go all the way to the viewpoint and enter from the other side without being seen.
In the evening we are going to the Pai canyon. We have an amazing surprise planned here. It is something very unique and I don’t think this has been done before. But I’m keeping that for my next post later this week 🙂 Make sure to come back.
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