10 Things to Do in Pai, Thailand

Pai (not “pie”, pronounce as “baai”) is a small town in northern Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province, near the Myanmar border, about 80 km north of Chiang Mai on the northern route to Mae Hong Son. It lies along the Pai River and tucked into a quiet valley, Pai is well known as a peaceful town of laidback charm and simple character.

From Chiangmai, one needs to go through a steep and winding drive (3-4 hours journey), with 762 curves. In recent years, Thai tourists are catching up in numbers, particularly after Pai was featured in a few popular, Thai-made romantic movies such as The Letter: Jod Mai Rak, Ruk Jung, Happy Birthday and Pai in Love. Hence, Pai symbolizes LOVE and it is a very popular destination for a romantic getaway. It is also a very popular Northern Thailand destination for Hong Kong, China and Taiwan tourists.

The cool season from October through February is the best time to visit Pai. The hot season lasts from March through May with April being the warmest month of the year. Rainy season starts from May through October.

If you happen to be around Chiangmai, a day trip to Pai is highly recommended. Even better if you have the luxury of time to spend a night in this beautiful laidback town. Here are the top 10 Things to do in Pai.

#1 Going through a scenic route with 762 curves

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The drive from Chiang Mai to Pai is known as one of the more scenic routes with 762 curves through green mountains in just over 3 hours of driving.

#2 Make a pit stop at Le Vintage

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This quaint all-white French-style Le Vintage guest house-cum café is a great place to take some Instagram worthy shots, while enjoying a tall glass of iced mocha for some perk me up or passion fruit juice – an effective remedy for nausea.

Getting Here:

National Highway 1095, Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, Thailand.

#3 Enjoy the view at Hua Nam Dang National Park

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The weather of Huai Nam Dang is cool all year and the scenery is spectacular in each season. The charm of Huai Nam Dang is the sunsets over the pine forests. It is very exotic and romantic. In addition, the distinctive point of Huai Nam Dang is the sunrise in the midst of white mist. Remember to visit Doi Kiew Lom viewpoint, the most popular viewing spot in the park.

Getting Here:

The Huai Nam Dang National Park is located on highway. 1095, km 65-66. Start from the city of Chiang Mai along Highway 107. Go through the gate of Tang Chang Pauek. Head to Mae Rim and Mae Tang District. Before reaching Mae Tang District, turn left to Pai District, Mae Hong Sorn Province on route no. 1095, km 65-66. You can see the junction to Huai Nam Dan National Park.

#4 Coffee with a view – Coffee in Love

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Coffee in love is one of my favourite romantic destinations in Pai. It became so famous because the movie “Pai in Love” was shoot here. Look out for the lovely house on one side of the property, and a cottage on the other, with a coffee shop sitting in between and situated overlooking the valley and the mountains in the distance. We even spotted some couple taking their pre-wedding photos here.

Getting Here:

92, Moo 3, Chiang Mai-Pai Road, Tambon Thung Yao, Amphoe Pai, Mae Hong Son, 58130, Thailand

#5 Take a human powered ferris wheel in Chinese Village (santichon)16723401903_94f07f9d26_z

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Chinese village (Santichon) is a vlilage settled by Yunnanese hill tribes who crossed the border in the middle of the 20th century to escape Communist rule. There are different shops selling various Chinese food products and ornaments. Our local friends highly recommend their dried strawberries and dried cherry tomatoes. Remember to take the human-powered Ferris wheel and take some nice photos at the little great wall here.

Getting Here:

1095, Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand

#6 Have a nice Thai dinner in Pai town

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There are many restaurants serving authentic Nothern Thai cuisine in Pai town, along the walking street. Baan Pai Terrace is one of the more popular restaurants amongst the locals and tourists like. Tik’s Kitchen or Na’s Kitchen are some of the local’s recommendations.

Getting Here:

Rungsiyanon Rd., Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 Thailand.

#7 Retail therapy at Pai walking street

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Every day at 6pm, Walking Street turns into a night market. Everything from handmade crafts, printed t-shirts, vintage goods to clothing, snack food and fried insects are available here. You can even print your own photos, make it into a postcard and write down your wishes here.

Getting Here:

Rungsiyanon Rd., Wiang Tai, Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 Thailand.

#8 Take a dip into one of Pai’s many natural hot springs 

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Pai Hot Springs with its sulphuric water bubbles and temperatures of up to 80 degrees Celsius is well known for its healing properties. It opens daily from 7am to 6pm. Entry price is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children.

We spent a night at the Pai Hot Springs Spa Resort, an oriental chalet spa resort sits on the riverbank of Pai. There are two big pools filled with mineral hot springs water. Guests can also take a dip in their room’s private tub. I really love the quaint and serene surroundings of this resort. Definitely a good place for some R&R!

Getting Here:

84-84/1 MOO 2, MAE HEE, PAI, MAE HONG SON 58130

Tel: +66 (0) 53 06 5748-9 (International call);  053 06 5748-9 (Local call)

Tel: +66 (0) 82 450 0174 (International call)  082 450 0174 (Local call)

Fax: +66 (0) 53 06 5746

Email : info@paihotspringssparesort.com

Website : www.PaiHotspringsSparesort.com

#9 Cafe Hopping

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Cafe hopping in Pai is a fun thing to do. Pai is well known for its many themed cafes and Jinko Cafe is one of them. It is difficult not to notice Mr Postman and the huge tiffin carrier model outside the restaurant. I can easily spend one afternoon here, having a cuppa while playing with the cafe’s resident cats.

Getting Here:

Walk across the main road from Pai Memorial Bridge

#10 Walk across Pai Memorial Bridge

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WWII Memorial Bridge was originally built by the Japanese during the war to connect Chiang Mai to Myanmar and the bridge was replaced by the steel truss bridge in 1976.

Getting Here:

It’s on the way to Chiang Mai, approximately 8 km from Pai.

 

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Written by WeiZhi Chin