This cool corner of the northern mountains started out as a hippie enclave for Chiang Mai Bohos who come to hang out beside the rambling river and strum out blues tunes at night. Word spread and the dusty little town now does a thriving trade in mountain scenery and a laid-back living. One of the places you shouldn’t miss in the Northern Thai due to its amazing landscape all around.
Getting to Pai takes 3-4 hrs minivan ride (150 baht) from Chiang Mai. Heads up for to the 762 curves from Chiang Mai to Pai.
1. SAI NGAM HOT SPRING
This place is a lot cheaper than the ‘Pai hot springs’. It costs 20 baht each. It is a bit difficult to find though, since there are no signs on the way from Pai. A great spot after-all as the water is crystal clear, pretty warm but not really “hot”. I traveled here by motorcycle.Just Be careful on the road there some very steep hills. There is a small change hut and of course a lady selling food.
2. PAI CANYON
Pai canyon is wicked. The views are sick and it’s a pretty fun walk around. A great view and a nice walk or climb if your like it more challenging. A big area with lots to see. Be adventurous to climb up and down the rocks to get to the best views. Be careful walking across the canyons and wear proper shoes. It may not be enjoyable for those scared of heights.
3. PAI MEMORIAL BRIDGE
Worth stopping in for a quick photo and walk over the Pai River when you are doing the Pai Valley loop. Nice view of the surrounding countryside.
4. WAT PHRA THAT MAE YEN
Climb up the step to the white Buddha on the hill as it is worth seeing and spending a moment to sit and soak up the feeling of the place. There is an innate air of calm sat at the top of the hill looking over the rolling hills nearby that cannot be ignored. You can see the temples below and the sun shining over the beautiful mountains. Lots of people come for the view, but you can really get a good view from anywhere up there.the scenery opens up and rewards you with a birds eye view of Pai. Lucky for me, the was a rainbow when I was here.
5. SANTICHON, THE YUNNAN VILLAGE
A must go location for every photographer.It is a change to all the other villages we visited as the architecture was definitely Chinese and we found the houses were different too. If you come here, one thing you have to do is playing on Yunnan Swing. It was really fun and excited, but you have to be brave enough because when you sit on it, nothing to lean just seat and little holding. Get your body ready and go.
6.MOR PAENG WATERFALL
This waterfall is very easy to find and get to. It is beautiful and you can easily go for a little walk around the waterfall or just pick a spot, relax and enjoy the sun. It’s fun to climb up on the rocks to the very top.Have a swim in a shallow pool while it was cold. It was pretty pleasant to be there. With beautiful views, enjoy your time there. There are some great waterfall slides are seemingly save and real fun too! Getting to the top of the waterfall takes a while and you have to be careful but once you do.
7.PAM BOK WATERFALL
There is a nice gorge and rock pool at the base. It’s a short walk to the waterfall from the parking area.If you go here, you gotta climb up onto the ledge and jump into the pool by the waterfall.It’s deep enough. The waterfall is not something unbelievable, but a very cozy place to stay for half an hour and watch the water.
8. THE LAND SPLIT
Before reaching Pambok waterfall there’s an attraction called ”The Land Split” . An earthquake in 2008 & 2011 caused the hillside to open up producing deep open gashes in the ground .At the entrance, a man greeted me. He was so friendly and immediately offered and poured us a cup of their homemade roselle juice. After we walked up to see the land split, we came back down for their lovely snacks. Everything in the sample tray is grown on their land and was phenomenal. Probably the friendliest place on earth due to its sweet hospitality.The man only asks for donations at the end. It’s worth a visit, but go for the hospitality.
9.YUN LAI VIEWPOINT
Its a great view from the top. I sat on the lower part which is all grass and chilled out in the shade… Its by far the best view of Pai.On the upper parts of the hill, You can sit and take photos or drink the Chinese Tea.Its a great atmosphere here. There are light refreshments; Coke, Water etc. but no real food. Its a 20thb entry fee per person. One word to describe this place; tranquility.
There’s a sign at the top that reads in Thai “100 professed their love, 20 proposed for marriage” and it just added a nice touch.