Originally planning a trek through the jungles just outside of Pai, we ended up being U-turned by a mixture of snake worries (we’d already seen two stretched across the forest paths in Cambodia) and some dodgy-looking bamboo bridges over the rivers that crisscrossed the way. No matter, there was another, altogether different, treat waiting for us as we strode the dusty streets beyond the babbling Pai River: Pai Village Farm.

Things to do in Pai: Pai Village Farm

Marked by a few swinging signs scrawled with the happy faces of curly-haired sheep as you walk between the rice paddies and buffalo farms on the eastern banks of the river, this charming little spot beckoned us with the promise of an organic farmer’s market.

Then we realised where we were – the farm that our hotel staff had spoken about. Run by the same people who run the Pai Village Boutique Resort we were staying at (highly recommended), it was where the chef at the on-site restaurant back in town gathered all his herbs and homegrown veg. We had already been told we – as guests – had free entry to the place, so we wandered in, flashed our room keys and were ushered into a beautiful green garden where bouncing bunnies were hiding in the shade of the long-leaf palms. What more could you want?

Pai Village Farm | © Crabs Move Sideways

We totally recommend paying the extra 20 THB it costs for a basket of greens to feed the little critters you meet as you stroll the stone paths. We stupidly fed the bulk of ours to the chubby clutch of rabbits that drew us in with their burrows and beady eyes as soon as we got into the garden. Don’t make the same mistake – the sheep, Angolan goats and smaller critters later won’t be happy about it!

We loved the encounter with the pen of sheep. We lingered a little just outside of the fence watching them grazing before a smiling Thai man drove past in a farm buggy and gestured us to go inside – you’ll notice most of the enclosures at Pai Village Farm are free to enter. We obliged and were soon swarmed with a crowd of fluffy white bodies who had trotted over moments after they’d heard the creak of the gate. Another bout of lettuce leaves and mint sticks disappeared.

Pai Village Farm
A bunny at Pai Village Farm | © Crabs Move Sideways

Then we wandered through a series of pretty grape vines and clusters of mulberry bushes before coming to the most rambunctious Angolan goat I’ve ever met. This fellow was the star of the show. He threw his trotters up on the fence and wobbled his lips enthusiastically at the meagre scraps of veg we’d kept aside. His two pals sat glaring in the background, apparently used to his alpha show of green-getting behaviour. I swear at one point he even squinted like a Bond villain at me for not having a heftier meal at hand, his horns forever poking back and forth, lips wobbling, eyes rolling.

More bunnies, some fabulous looking cockerels and a few lazy lambs later and we were soon sitting in the shade of the Pai Village Farm coffee shop. It was just us, a few kids rolling around in the rabbit pen and one hell of an iced coffee – the best I’d had all trip!


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