Beyond the bustling city and happening street scenes, Thailand is also home to many stunning landscapes. And the best place you can visit to experience these nature beauty is in Pai, Thailand. This small yet undiscovered town is surrounded by the most beautiful natural sights in Northern Thailand. In fact, it serves as wonderful travel headquarters for many tourists wanting to see something more than the dazzling skyline.
Where Exactly Is Pai, Thailand?
Located in Mae Hong Son province, Pai is a little charming town situated in Thailand’s northern area. It’s roughly 146 kilometers away from the city of Chiang Mai in the south. It also lies relatively close to the Myanmar border. Despite being small, it’s made big waves in tourism over the years because of the many gorgeous Thailand attractions surrounding it. It has all the establishments and amenities that can make any travelers’ trip easy and fun.
The Best Time To Visit Pai Thailand
Pai, Northern Thailand has three main seasons — the cool, hot, and the wet season. For most of the year, Pai, Thailand weather doesn’t involve much rain, but the temperature between the two dry seasons starkly vary.
The cool season runs from November to February, and this is the most desirable time to go here. While from March to June is the hottest time of the year. Beyond the heat, the meter exploding humidity is something you need to look out for. The wet season starts in June and ends at the end of October. During this time, the rain can be a factor to affect your travel plans. If you’re not a fan of traveling with wet suits, avoid traveling to Pai during this time.
When visiting Thailand, do remember that the climate in one area may not be the same in another. For example, the climate in Pai has three seasons. Meanwhile, Hat Yai, Thailand weather in Thailand’s southernmost region only has two. So, plan your trip to the cities accordingly.
How To Get To Pai, Thailand?
Pai is located along the main road, Route 1905. Many visitors reach Pai via minibus coming from Chiang Mai. The bus ride from Chiang Mai to Pai, Thailand lasts for about nine hours, and most of it is a drive along rocky, mountain roads. This bus ride will cost you about 150 Baht approximately 5 USD.
Alternatively, you can also hop on a plane to Pai. Though this city is not exactly the largest, there’s still an airport for you can fly over from Chiang Mai. The flight from Chiang Mai to Pai only lasts for about 30 minutes. So if you’re in a tight schedule, this may be a better option for you.
The Best Things To Do In Pai, Thailand
If you’re visiting Pai, you can find a lot of things to do in a span of several days. Here are just some of the best activities you can do here:
Learn How To Drive A Scooter
Since Pai is located in the countryside, it’s blessed with gorgeous views of the mountains, the fields, and other natural wonders. Therefore, getting around the area on a free and easy schedule is a must. And both tourists and locals agree that the best way to do so is by riding a scooter.
Many Pai, Thailand attractions are found a few minutes away from the town center via scooter or car. Of course, not all tourists here are expected to already know how to drive a scooter. But if you want to experience this quaint town in the best way possible, you need to know how to. You don’t have to worry, though. The area doesn’t have much traffic, so it’s a perfect place for beginners to practice. There are many service establishments here for you to rent a scooter and some even provide riding lessons for beginners.
Go Hiking At Pai Canyon
Many of Pai, Thailand’s main attractions are naturally formed. The town is situated in an area with many natural landscapes tourists can visit. Arguably the most famous of which you can visit in this region is Pai Canyon.
Located about 8 kilometers south of town, Pai Canyon is one of the country’s grandest land formations. You can admire the beauty this canyon offers by hiking through one of the many trails. Go sightseeing at one of the lookout points in the area after a nice hike. You can even wait until sundown and discover a marvelous view of the sunset.
If you’re planning to visit and hike at Pai Canyon, entrance is completely free. You can ride a tuk-tuk from the town to the canyon. Be sure to come prepared for the hike by bringing the right gear and plenty of water.
Take A Dip At The Sai Ngam Hot Springs
Because Pai, Thailand sits on a mountain range, you can find a lot of natural hot springs near town. A perfect example of this is Sai Ngam. While there are other hot springs in the area, such as the popular Tha Pai, Sai Ngam is not frequented by a lot of people. It even has the moniker “Secret Hot Spring,” and it provides a tranquil ambiance for anyone who wants to visit.
At Sai Ngam, you can enjoy a nice, relaxing dip in the hot springs without dealing with a crowd. Try putting on a mineral-rich mud mask while unwinding with your companions in peace and quiet. So, when you visit Pai, Thailand, be sure to take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of Sai Ngam.
Located around 16 kilometers north of town, you can get to Sai Ngam via scooter in just 30 minutes. The entrance to the hot springs only costs 20 Baht per person and 20 Baht for the scooter parking. But keep in mind that on the way, you need to pass through a National Park, which may require another fee.
Discover The Beauty Of Pam Bok Waterfall
The mountains of Thailand don’t fall short of beautiful areas to visit. Those found in Pai, Thailand are no exception, and one place you can visit here is the Pam Bok Waterfall.
You can find this waterfall to the south of town, in the same direction going to Pai Canyon and Chiang Mai. It’s a secluded, scenic and peaceful area where you can jump in and swim. The water in this swimming hole is nice and cold. You can even jump in from one of the rock ledges. Of course, do practice caution when doing so.
To get here, you need to drive on the main road, towards Pai Canyon. Along the road to your right, you’ll see a sign that points to the area. From that sign, you’ll need to drive another 5 kilometers towards the waterfalls. After reaching the parking area for Pam Bok Falls, you need to trek upwards. After crossing a bridge made of bamboo, waterfalls come to your view.
Explore The Massive Tham Lod Cave
Tham Lod cave is not exactly as near to Pai, Thailand as many of the entries in this article. However, the one-hour ride from town to get here is worth it. Here, you can find the Lang River running through this 1.6-kilometer cave system. It’s full of beautiful stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over hundreds of years. The limestone formations found here, and the sheer size of the cave system is worth the tourist buzz it’s getting.
Because the Lang River runs through the Tham Lod cave system, a good portion of the area can only be accessed by riding a boat. So, don’t expect that you can explore this area without a guide. A full-day tour can go for around 600 Baht. You can also just hire a guide instead of getting a full tour. The fee for this varies depending on the size of your group.
Go Climb Up The Big White Buddha
Thailand serves as home to many interesting and significant Buddhist temples that tourists visit. Pai, Thailand is no exception to this, and on the hill, just outside of town, you’ll find a big white Buddha statue overlooking the area.
The view of the white Buddha statue from town is, in itself, impressive. But if you reach the hilltop where the statue stands at dusk, you’ll be able to witness an amazing view of the sunset over Pai.
To get there, just head towards it. It’s a 2-kilometer walk towards the temple. You also need to climb 353 steps to reach the top, but it’s all worth it in the end.
Roam Around Pai, Thailand’s Walking Streets
Of course, Pai is not just famous for the attractions surrounding it. The town itself has a lot of things to offer tourists, and many of these take the form of walking streets.
Pai, Thailand has several walking streets around town. When you walk along all of them, you’ll find many colorful buildings that make these streets a sight to behold. You’ll also discover many different shops lining these streets, and they become especially busy at night.
Want to find souvenirs to take hope? Head on over to the night markets where you can get trinkets and memorabilia. Want to try out northern Thai street food? Pick one from the many vendors with a spot here. You’ll find anything and everything you can think of at one of Pai’s walking streets — from clothes and food to herbal medicine! So while staying at Pai, don’t miss out on looking around in town.
Pai, Thailand Is A Travel Hub
Big buzzing cities aren’t the only travel hubs you can stay in while visiting other countries. The small town of Pai is surrounded by many Thailand attractions just a few kilometers away from its center. This makes Pai, Thailand a great place for tourists to stay in while exploring northern Thailand’s countryside. It gives you the best of both worlds — a beautiful and quiet place to stay all while being able to experience fun, touristy things!