The village of Pai is high in the mountains and surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful. The landscape is dominated by green rice fields and impressive mountains. Pai is located about 130 kilometers from Chiang Mai and the route to this village counts 762 square bends. Just the route to Pai is a special experience. The atmosphere in Pai is very relaxed and the center consists of a few streets full of cozy restaurants, small cafes, hip coffee bars, scooter rental companies, massage parlors and excursion desks. There are so many things to do in Pai! It is absolutely true what everyone says about Pai: you fall in love with it!
What are the 7 best things to do in Pai?
1. Pai Canyon
The most beautiful place in Pai is the Pai Canyon, which owes its name as the little sister of the Grand Canyon in the USA. Visiting this spot is one of my favorite things to do in Pai. This natural wonder is about 7 km away from the center and it is free to visit. I have been there twice to watch the sunset, because it is breathtakingly beautiful in this place. There are several routes in the Canyon that you can walk, but on some stretches it is quite narrow and the abyss is deep.
I enjoyed sitting here on the sand and enjoying the great panoramic view of the many mountains.
It is useful to wear good shoes when you visit the Canyon, because the route consists of a lot of sand and there are several gorges that you have to climb through.
2. Boon Ko Ku So Bridge
This is a very special bridge that runs across the rice fields and is made entirely of bamboo. This bridge is specially built for the monks so that they can walk a shorter route from the temple to the village of Pam Bok. Every day the monks walk over this 815 meter long bridge to get food in the village. I found it an enchanting feeling to walk over this bridge. The water buffaloes grazed beside me on the field and the only sound I heard was the ringing of the bells that these animals had and the cracking of the bamboo. Occasionally a monk passed by, but I did not see anyone else.
This bridge is a 6km drive from the Landsplit Kho Ku So and a 3km drive from the Pam Bok waterfall. There is no entrance fee for this bridge, but a donation is appreciated. Near the bridge are a few small restaurants where you can get something to eat or drink.
3. Yun Lai View Point
This Chinese viewpoint is located north of Pai at a small 20 minutes drive from the center. It is located at the Chinese village of Santichon. You have a great view over the beautiful surroundings of Pai! The entrance fee is 20 Baht, but for this you get a delicious cup of Chinese tea that you can drink while enjoying the great view. There is also a beautiful wishing tree, where you can hang a wish.
4. Walking food market
Every evening there is the walking food market from 18:00 to 22:00 in the center of Pai. The street is closed to all traffic and there are numerous stalls with a huge choice of food and various other stalls with souvenirs and clothing. There is not only Thai food, but also Indian, Italian, Mexican etc. It is delicious to browse here and eat at several stalls.
5. The land split
Actually this does not really mean much, but I put it on my list of favorite things to do in Pai, because of the story behind it and the people who are there, it is a very nice sight. This piece of land was always farmland, but due to an earthquake in 2008, the country was split. This made the land unusable for agriculture and the owners came without income. They decided to turn this land division into a tourist attraction. Immediately when you arrive you are greeted by the most sincere smile I have ever seen and then you get all kinds of delicious drinks and fruit.
There is no entrance fee, but you are asked to make a donation of an amount that you value. The land split in itself is nothing and is just a kind of gap in the ground, but the people make this something fun!
6. Pam Bok waterfall
This I found the most beautiful waterfall in the area of Pai. It is a short 5 minute walk from the parking lot through the forest to this waterfall. You have to climb a bit between the rocks, but then you can swim here in the (cold) water. Because of the shade this place is nice and cool and ideal to make a stop. This waterfall is of course the most impressive in the rainy season!
7. Temple on the Hill (Wat Phra That Mae Yen)
This white Buddha temple is high on the mountain and you can see it from all over Pai. In 2017 this temple has been beautifully renovated! You can choose to go up the whole route by stairs, but if you are on the scooter you can bypass a piece of stairs. But whatever you choose, it is 293 steps for everyone to come up with the white Buddha. I certainly thought it was worth it and the view is amazingly beautiful.
These are my 7 favorite things to do in Pai! What are your favorite things to do in Pai?Check here my travel route for the north of Thailand 2 weeks
Tip hotel Pai
I loved my stay in Kuad Khon Thoe Pai Cottage. The pool setting is pleasant and peaceful overlooking the paddy fields. Spacious room and bathroom. Convenient free shuttle service to town.
- Not what you are looking for? Find here more great places to stay in Pai!
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