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How to Spend 3 Days in Pai, Thailand

3-days-in-pai-thailandIf you’re backpacking through Thailand or living in Chiang Mai as a Digital Nomad, be sure to spend a weekend in the hippie town of Pai, just 3 hours to the north of Chiang Mai.

Pai is a small town that packs a lot of action. Be sure to visit some of these spots while passing through or spending a long weekend of 3 days in Pai!

Visit the Pai Waterfalls

There are many waterfalls to visit when you are in Pai, Thailand. My favorite was the Pam Bok waterfall outside of the city. You can rent a motorbike from just about anywhere in the city center – rent one and visit all of Pai’s waterfalls in one day!

 

The Pam Bok waterfall was the easiest climb to get to the actual falls. A simple trail and wooden bridge brought me to the falls.

The Pam Bok waterfall was my favorite because it involved only small amounts of climbing and sketchy foot bridges to get there 😎

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Bring your water shoes (to protect your feet from the rocks at the bottom of the water), a dry towel, and a couple beers to sit down and relax with friends. This waterfall is much more chill and less of a party spot than other waterfalls in the surrounding area.

Mor Paeng waterfall is the most crowded waterfall in Pai and is a hotspot for sweaty backpackers to cool off in the water and catch some breeze coming off the mountains.

How to beat the heat in Thailand. Step 1: find nearest waterfall 🤗

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Beware. Of. The. Slippery. Rocks.

I faceplanted once and saw many others take a nosedive. Which is especially scary because the waterfall has some height to it. If you slipped off the wrong rock, it’s a several feet drop that could seriously injure you. I wouldn’t recommend taking fancy cameras or anything not necessary with you for the climb, you could damage your property and you’ll need full functionality of all your limbs to navigate to the top safely.

Relax at the Land Split

The Land Split, or land crack, is on the way to the Pam Bok waterfall, so make an afternoon out of it and do both activities at the same time.

The owner used to be a farmer, but when the earth split his property in half, this savvy businessman decided to turn it into a small tourist destination.

He will provide free fruit, banana chips, nuts, hibiscus tea, and jelly in exchange for a donation. He also gave us a bottle of homemade wine, pour small glasses because it was more like saki or moonshine as far as taste.

I donated 100 baht because the owners were so welcoming and friendly. It was a perfect place to rehydrate and relax in the hammocks after motorbiking in the sun all day.

Swim at the Secret Hot Springs *Shhh*

Well, I can mark off "take a swim in the natural hot springs of Thailand" off my bucket list 📝

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There are 2 natural hot springs we had heard of during our weekend in Pai. The Sai Ngam Hot Springs and the Pai Hot Springs.

We went to the Sai Ngam hot springs, which is a national park, and fairly hidden compared to other more touristy springs closer to the city. It was further away by motorbike and much less expensive. We pulled up to the park ranger and paid him 60 baht per person for entry. It was a lovely little spot with bath water temperature springs and crystle clear water.

Although BE CAREFUL – the final leg of the way there on motorbike was very tricky. Steep downsloping curves and long stretches going up hill made me think our little motorbike wasn’t up to the challenge, but thank goodness we made it. Also, thank goodness I was on the back so I could close my eyes and not look at the winding roads.

Pai Canyon

This weekend involved lots of climbing and I only complained a little 😏

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An Instagrammers paradise! Get tons of cool action shots after a short climb up the mountains (using stairs, a luxury!). Two different paths. I’m terrified of heights so I avoided one path and hung out under the gazebo taking in the views while waiting on my friends to return.

Once they got back, we trekked the regular path and took in the views, the breeze, and of course tons of photos! The heat is a major factor at the canyon and combined with climbing, you’ll want to bring a water bottle along. If you forget water, no worries, there are street vendors selling bottle for 10-20 baht a pop.

Nightlife in Pai

Nightlife in Pai isn’t what you’d find in Bangkok, hell or even in Chiang Mai. There’s a few bars dotting the streets, but don’t expect a club scene. We had a drink at Sunset Bar, and while the view was great if you don’t have a scooter, it’s a fairly long walking distance from the center of town. It was actually a little overrated from all the amazing things we’d heard about it.

We also passed Don’t Cry Bar and it looked like a good time, if you’re intoxicated enough to handle all the blacklights and neon 420 signs. Of course, you can find Mushy Shakes, Shroom shakes, just about anywhere in Pai so be careful and make sure you have a safe way to get home if you choose to partake 🙂

Did I miss anything that’s a must-do while spending 3 days in Pai? Let me know in the comments!

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

18 Tips for Staying Productive as a Digital Nomad

 Staying Productive as a Digital Nomad

If I had a nickel every time someone said to me “How do you plan on staying productive as a Digital Nomad while traveling the world? Won’t your boss notice?

Traveling abroad and working remotely isn’t easy, but it’s 100% worth it for the right person. I love being a Digital Nomad. I can’t believe that some of us lucky few get to customize our “office” and keep our jobs while exploring the world.

With that being said, it isn’t easy.

These are my favorite tips for staying productive as a Digital Nomad.

 

#18 Find coworking spaces

Do your research weeks before boarding your plane to your destination. No two coworking places are alike and you’ll need to decide which is best for you. Just be sure wherever you choose has two things: high speed wifi internet, and coffee. Trust me, that combo will be all you need to navigate this crazy Digital Nomad life.

 

#17 Set up your Wifi Internet Immediately

When you touch down in the city you’ll be living in, the first thing you need to do is purchase a sim card or portable wifi modem. Most airports have a kiosk to purchase sim cards with wifi and data plans.

I’m an AT&T customer and have used the Passport package when I’m traveling, but now purchase data sim cards at convenience stores to save money.

 

#16 Work Opposite Your Office’s Hours

Of course, you’ll have to customize this based on the needs of your work and office routine. However, I truly recommend working the opposite time of the day from office hours in their timezone. Not constantly refreshing your email inbox will allow you to accomplish more throughout the day without having to pause and respond to emails or get sidetracked throughout the day.

Your 8 hour day just transformed into a 6 hour day! That leaves more time to explore and adventure.

 

#15 Make Conference Calls

Go-To Meeting and Facetime will become your new best friends. Familiarize yourself with conference call apps to keep in touch with your team and clients. They’ll appreciate the face time (no pun intended)  and you’ll be able to assure them you’re hard at work even though not in the country.

#14 Purchase Noise Cancelling Headphones

This one is going to save your sanity if you regularly work in cafes or public spaces. It’s worth the investment to spend a little extra cash on great headphones, especially if they pull double-duty for noise-cancelling on long haul flights.

#13 Learn Google Drive

Google Drive allows you to work on documents congruently with your team at the same time. I especially use this feature when brainstorming ideas with teammates. All your changes save automatically in your Google Drive so you never have to sweat if you forgot to save your work.

#12 Use Your Notes App

Whenever I have an idea or thought that I just know I’ll forget in 5 minutes, I write a note to myself in the “notes” app in my iphone or Stickies if you use a Mac computer.

#11 Make It a Competition

Create a to-do list in 1 hour spurts. Challenge youreself to accomplish all tasks within that time frame and give yourself a small reward, like 10 minutes of Facebook time, if you “win.”
stay productive digital nomad

 

#10 Block Social Networking Sites

Speaking of Facebook reward time, this is impossible for me, as I am a Social Media Manager, but I’ve heard excellent reviews about programs like Cold Turkey and Freedom. If you need virtual blinders to keep you focused, start there.

#9 One-Tab Tt

Keep it simple and work one task at a time. If that’s naturally difficult for you as a working style, check yourself by only allowing one tab at a time. This will keep you focused on the task at hand without feeling tempted to get distracted.

#8 Make Your Desk a Home

Whether this is choosing a dedicated desk at a coworking space or working from home, create a space that feels like “home”. Include any office supplies you need, hang photos that make you happy, add a succulent for good energy and keep extra office supplies such as electronics chargers in your drawers.

#7 Hydrate

Keep a reusable water bottle with you all day. Staying hydrated keeps the brain juices flowing and also gives you an excuse to walk around and refill your bottle throughout the day. I try to drink a bottle of water for every 2 hours of work – minimum.

#6 Silence Everything

Put your phone on silent mode for 60 minutes and do nothing but work. Save yourself the distractions from Instagram and text notifications. Better yet, during certain times of the year UNICEF Tap Project donates money everytime you put your phone down. Saving the world, and being productive? It’s a win-win.

#5 Take Breaks

Every 30 minutes get up from your seat and do a light stretch. Make it a habit and you’ll notice the quick breaks will increase your stamina so you can spend more time finishing your to-do list.

#4 Log Your Time

I personally use Freshbooks to log my time and productivity. This helps me and my employer stay on the same page of where my time is being spent and on what projects and document how efficiently I am accomplishing my tasks on a day-to-day basis.

#3 Create a Personalized Playlist

How many times do you stop working to skip a song you don’t like? Prevent this pesky distraction by creating your own playlists so you love every song and won’t have to skip songs. Pandora isn’t ideal for this, but I love my personalized Spotify playlist! And for just $10 a month, you can listen to music even when you’re not connected to wifi.

#2 Know When You Work Best

Knowing if you work better as a morning person or night owl is essential. Crank out as much as you can during the times of day you are most productive and sight see the other part of the day. Since becoming a Digital Nomad, I’ve found that the 3pm – 9pm timeframe works best for me, and I can’t ever imagine going back to the 9-5 grind.

#1 Dress for Success

I am a firm believer in dressing nicely to get you in the mindset of working. In college, while other students took exams in sweatshirts and yoga pants, I always dressed professionally and I swear it helped me get better test scores. If you work from home, skip the pajamas and dress like you would if you were going into the office.

 

What is your best advice for completing tasks as a Digital Nomad? Let me know in the comments!

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!

3 Days in Iceland – A Sample Itinerary

3 days in iceland sample itinerary

I just got back from a 3 days in Iceland, and I am confident that I was able to see and do everything I wanted to and experience every minute in the Land of Fire and Ice – even though I was there for a short amount of time! Of course, I could have stayed longer and visited many more sites, but if you’re on a time crunch, these are the things and places you must put on your itinerary.

Day 1. Hallgrimskirkja Church and exploring Reykjavik

If you’re staying in the capital city of Reykjavik, this step is especially easy. Drop your bags off at your hotel or hostel, lace up your sneakers, and hit the town! Walk to the Hallgrimskirkja Modern Church and walk around the grounds and chapel. It cost approximately $7 USD to take the “lyfta” aka elevator to the top, but the 360 degree scenic views are 100% worth it. It’s the best view of the city you will find.

Here’s a photo I snapped from the top.

reykjavik iceland itinerary

At the base of the hill from the church, make time to find Reykjavik Chips where the “fries are twice as nice.” Icelandic food isn’t for everyone, or for picky-eaters, so a quick snack/small meal at Reykjavik Chips is sure to make you happy, happy, happy.

 

Whether you call them “fries” or “chips” – your belly will thank you for this treat. They have 10+ sauces to dip or smother your chips in. I tried the Bernaise, Chives Sauce, and the Samurai Chili Mayo.

All were exceptional, but my favorite was definitely the Samurai. If the staff isn’t busy, ask them to try a few of the sauces at once. They were super friendly and understanding that I was a tourist and dipping-sauce connosiour who needed to try as many flavors as possible.

Day 2: Golden Circle Tour

Finding a tour that will take you around the famed Golden Circle is an effortless task in Iceland. There are several reputable companies who are excellent. I used Extreme Iceland and Grayline for all of my tours and transportation and they were fantastic.

The 3 main stops on the Golden Circle are usually:

Lake Thingvallavatn:

a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the location where the North American and Eurasian tectnonic plates meet. Seen below.

golden circle iceland

Gullfoss Waterfall: 

One of the greatest waterfalls in Iceland. It’s breathtaking to view, and you can even feel the mist on your face. Keep your eyes peeled to spot a rainbow near the viewing area. I was lucky enough to take a few photos with a rainbow making a cameo.

And BRING YOUR WATERPROOF JACKET!!! I was some 500 yards away at least and I felt the mist pierce my skin. This is in late April, if you visit in the winter months, I highly recommend also brining an extra sweater to put on if your clothes get wet. It’s cold, cold. cold, near the viewpoint of the waterfall.

waterfall golden circle iceland

 

The Geysir:

The Geysir to name all other geysers. No really, the term for “geyser” was named after the great Icelandic Geysir. Keep your camera on and set at all times because you never know when the Geysir will erupt!

And listen to your tour guide and the signs surrounding the Geysir, the water is HOT. Like, you will burn yourself hot if you touch it. The stray run offs are a little cooler and feel like bath water, but it’s best not to touch the water entirely.

golden circle tour

Day 3: The Blue Lagoon, Experience the Nightlife

blue lagoon iceland

The Blue Lagoon

I personally loved my decision to book my Blue Lagoon tickets for my last day for 3 main reasons:

  1. It released the aches and pains of traveling. After a few days of constant moving with a backpack on my shoulders, my feet and back were yearning for a rest. What better way to treat yourself than by spending a few hours in a geothermal pool?
  2. Relaxed for the airport. Sort of the reverse reason of #1. When you visit the Lagoon for your last day, your mind and body are calm and prepared for the day of traveling before you in busy airports and cramped airplane seats.
  3. Last days for any trip can be sad – save the best for last so you have something to look forward to!

Nightlife.

Many bars and hotspots stay open WELL into the night (err… morning?) If you’re like me and had a super early wake up call to head to the airport, perhaps think about checking out the famous nightlife scene on your last day and just stay awake ’til you catch your flight. Then sleep during the entire flight. It’s a win/win!

But be prepared to pay steep prices when you go out. A beer was about $9 a bottle, glass of wine about $12 and $15 for a cocktail. Yikes!

 

Did I miss anything that I should add to this 3 days in Iceland Itinerary? Let me know in the comments!

Hi, I’m Chelse! I am a Digital Nomad obsessed with traveling the world and seeking adventure beyond the 9-5 office life. When I turned 25 I decided that I was going to stop making excuses and do what I’ve always dreamed. I went from having 0 stamps in my passport to 7 countries in 7 months. I encourage anyone who wants to live a Digital Nomad lifestyle to just buy the ticket first, and figure out the rest later!