I arrived in Pai yesterday evening. The journey from Chiang Mai to Pai by car is around 3 hours. I will blog more about Pai on a later date. This post will however feature more about Santichon, the Yunnan Village. This is not the typical Chinatown you see around the world. Santichon is mostly inhibited by Yunnanese whose grandparents crossed the China-Thai border to escape the Communist Party of China back in the days.
The modern generation of these Yunnan people now are Thai citizen and can speak Thai and Chinese fluently. The Thai Government has turned this village into a tourist attraction. There are a few restaurants in the village selling authentic Yunnanese food and lots of tiny shops made of mud selling Chinese tea. A few shops are selling traditional Yunnan dress and if you do not wish to have those dresses in your wardrobe collection, you can have your pictures taken in them for 100 baht.
I also saw some kids riding donkeys around the village. Another thing that look pretty cool to me is the human powered Ferris wheel. I do not see any safety belt but then again back in the days, maybe most Yunnan kids knows kung fu and safety belt wasn’t an issue. I walked around for a bit and tried speaking Thai to all the Yunnan people there. Everybody is really fluent and I find it really cool.
After 30 minutes of walking around the village, I decided to go do what I enjoy most, EAT! Chose a restaurant an ordered some Yunnanese food. We ordered a stew pork leg dish, the meat was very soft and tender and the sauce goes really well with the “mantou”. Another dish was a stir fried fresh mushroom which was pretty tasty too. Lastly we ordered a vegetable dish which they claimed grows in the mountain. I actually don’t really care but I just like the sound of it. Eating wild vegetables that’s organic and all that. Hot Chinese tea was the choice of our beverage. The total cost was 490 bht. The food tasted pretty good and listening to Chinese New Year songs while eating stir fried mushroom in Thailand is pretty weird but I enjoyed it nevertheless.