Chiang Mai is a city. It's a city that everybody seems to like a lot; it's located in North Thailand, has a university and a thriving, hip music scene. It is the second biggest city in the country (or fourth, depending on the resource) and the gateway to the mountains. I'd heard so many amazing things about the place, I was nearly urinating in my pants anticipating all the wonders of this cool town; the can't miss destination of Thailand.
I didn't like it. I didn't dislike it; it was merely fine. A perfectly adequate city, not too big, but with enough to entertain a person. It was close to many cool places I was unable to visit without expensive tours. The old town was generally a pleasant place for a stroll. The weekend markets were interesting, though touristy; I had the opportunity to eat a bag full of assorted fried bugs and worms. All the people seemed cool. I didn't like it.
Maybe it was because, for the fourth town in a row, chosen the most socially anemic guest house in town, and paid too much for it. Maybe it was because I was missing Michelle or my other friends from the bay. Maybe it was a total disinterest in wat. Whatever the cause, I really didn't think it was anywhere close to the amazing that seemed to slip off of everyone's lips when talking about the place. Though this often happens when there are expectations involved. Somewhere along this journey I call life, I need to reject expectation. I'm getting better, but every week or so, I find myself disappointed merely because something didn't match the image in my head, then I vow to stop doing it, just take everything for what it is, then do it again five minutes late. This must be a part of the human condition.
I'd heard from people that Pai was AMAZING and I'd have to go because I would absolutely love it. So I left Chang Mai to see if Pai lived up to my expectations.