Once just a sleepy market town, Pai was always a secret hotspot for travellers making their way to the north of Thailand. However, it now thrives increasingly on tourism and is not such an unknown destination anymore. If you’ve loved visiting Chiang Mai, Pai will probably inspire you too, just in a more laid-back manner. Pai is located 135 km from the city of Chiang Mai and is a sort of place where you come for a day and end up staying for a week. One of the most interesting descriptions of Pai is that it is a ‘tropical island in the mountains!’
Enjoy Breathtaking views from The Pai Canyon
Nestled in the mountains and surrounded by waterfalls and wondrous hiking trails, Pai is a tiny town where life moves at a relaxed slow pace. Additionally, drinks and accommodations are reasonable priced, and the party goes late.
Below are some of the best things that you could do in Pai.
1) Pai’s Walking Street
Every night the main street of Pai fills up with food vendors and market stalls selling everything from your quintessential hippie clothing and jewellery to personalised post cards.The selection of culinary delights is quite varied; sushi, Indian food, barbecued meats, fresh fruit smoothies and deep fried everything. You certainly won’t go hungry!
2) Pai’s Waterfalls
There are tonnes of waterfalls in Pai, and two of our favourites are Pombok and Mo Paeng Falls.
At Mo Paeng Waterfalls there are great little pools with long, slippery rock faces running into them that you can slide down from. The scenery is gorgeous and it makes for a fun place to spend a few hours while you are checking off your list of things to do in Pai.
Pombok Waterfall is a little more secluded, the pool tends to be in the shade most of the time due to the high cliffs around it. There are also a couple of ledges you can climb to jump off. Be sure to check the water depth before taking the leap!
3) The Land Crack (Land Split)
Situated on the road to the Pombok falls is this great little place that is definitely worth a stop over. Several years ago, this farmer’s land began to split and crack due to some strange soil erosion.
The thrifty farmer then decided to turn his property into a bit of a tourist attraction where he now offers you nuts, fruit, sweet potato, fresh rosella juice and alcohol – all by donation!
Once you’ve filled up on food (he constantly brings you more to eat), you can walk up the hill to have a look at the split in the Earth. The family is very friendly and are just happy to have people stopping by. One of the most unique things to do in Pai.
4) Pai Circus School
In a bohemian community, everyone seems to practice different forms of entertainment such as fire dancing, juggling and slacklining. Here in Pai, there is a school you can attend to learn all these skills yourselves! Not only is it one of the best things to do in Pai – it is also educational!
It is located in a beautiful elevated setting with views over the valleys and excellent gazebos you can relax in if you don’t feel like partaking in the activities. If this sounds like your kind of scene you can stay at the Circus School as well.
Not exactly located in Pai, but instead in a town 35km headed towards Mae Hong Son, there is a spectacular limestone system known as Lod (Spirit) Caves. A river flows through the caves and you can hire a guide to float through them on a bamboo raft.
At certain points you can climb up stairs and ladders to explore the stalactites and stalagmites up close as well as the numerous ancient ceramics and wall paintings that are scattered throughout the complex. Definitely worth the drive/ride out there.
6) Spend Time In The Unique Cafes
One thing that Pai does not lack is amazing cafes serving up delicious coffee and food. Most of them have interesting decors and amazing ambiance.
You could easily spend 2 weeks here and not visit the same place twice! Dedicate some time to exploring all the cafes, both in town and on the outskirts. After all, drinking coffee and eating cake is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Pai!
7) Explore Pai Canyon
Known as Thailand’s answer to the Grand Canyon (a very ambitious claim), Pai Canyon covers a large area that offers some brilliant views and fun hikes. If you are feeling very active you can scramble all the way down and spend hours climbing and getting lost in the nature. A favourite pastime is enjoying the sunset, watching the sky change to an astonishing array of colours.
8) Chill In A Hammock
When you spend your days actively exploring everything Pai has to offer, it is only normal to need a break. Luckily Pai is one of the most relaxed places you are ever likely to visit.
Watch the hours fade as you laze about in a hammock, reading a book or watching the world pass you by. Many accommodation options have great views over the valley or by the river. Be sure to choose one of these and enjoy the vistas! Definitely one of the best things to do in Pai!
(Picture Credits – https://nomadasaurus.com/10-things-to-do-in-pai-thailand/ )