It takes 762 turns in the road up the side of mountains to reach Pai, and it’s not for the faint hearted. Situated in the Mae Hong Son province of Northern Thailand, about 3-4 hours drive in a minibus from Chiang Mai, Pai is a little town only accessible by vehicle or motorbike. Hidden up in the mountains, I had heard a lot about Pai before I visited there. It didn’t disappoint! Keep watching for many more posts on Pai, but for now, here’s 5 things to do while you visit this lovely place.
The tiny town of Pai is surrounded by a few waterfalls, each a little different. Pam Bok waterfall is the closest to town, and hosts a small waterfall with a slippery climb down to the bottom pool, where you can swim in quite strong waters. There’s a fun little walk to the top, off the beaten path. I’ll be posting on this in the next few months in more detail, it was a great experience. Mo Paeng is also popular, as the smooth and slippery rocks can be used as slides.
Entrance to the waterfalls are free, although to reach them you will need to hire a taxi or a motorbike.
Relaxing Hot Springs
There are two hot spring options in Pai; the Tha Pai Hot Springs, and the more luxury option; a hot spring spa. On my last trip to Thailand, we tried to visit the National Park springs, but due to heavy rainfall the night before they were closed. It’s always best to check ahead if you can! Thankfully, Spa Exotic, a hot spring spa, was open close by. It was extremely cheap, and we were given complimentary water and use of the pools all day. The was one large pool and a small cold pool to cool off in. It was a relaxing way to spend the day – and finally feel completely clean too.
Entrance to the Tha Pai Hot Springs is 200 TBH (about £4). Entrance to the Spa Exotic is 80 TBH (about £1.60) which includes drinking water. To reach either from the town centre, you will need to hire a taxi or a motorbike.
Pai Canyon Vistas
Although I didn’t get a chance to visit the canyon on my trip to Pai, everyone I met who had been said it was amazing and worth the motorbike ride to get there. There’s a viewing platform to make the most of the breathtaking vistas there.
Entrance to Pai Canyon is free, although you will need to rent a motorbike or arrange transport to get there from the town centre.
Explore the Town
Pai town is full of things to do, and you could easily spend a day simply exploring. There are a range of shops, from little boutiques to outdoor rails of 50 THB (about £1) pieces of vintage clothing. The variety of eateries vary too, from traditional Thai restaurants to healthy, vegan establishments. There are plenty of hostel bars to fill your evenings with, and the people who visit Pai are, in my experience, lovely and friendly. Make the effort to chat to the person next to you – you might make a new travel buddy!
Pai Circus School Hostel
Staying at Pai Circus School Hostel was the best decision I made while I visited Pai. There will be a post on the hostel next week, so keep looking out for it! The hostel offers circus lessons, which involve an afternoon of learning followed by a group meal and, most importantly, getting to try out your new skills in the fire circle. Yep, that’s right, you get to play with fire. The safe way! The instructor was great and so patient as I’m pretty uncoordinated, and I even managed to pick up a few tricks and have a go at fire poi by the end of the day. Give it a go!
Circus lessons at Pai Circus School are 600 TBH (about £12) for the day.
Have you been to Pai? What was your favourite thing to do? I’d love to hear your suggestions!