Pai – Thailand’s Charming Small Town

While it’s unlikely, in case you yearn for a change from gorgeous beaches, fancy cities, and irresistible shopping centers of Thailand, go to this small town of the Mae Hong Son district – Pai. This is a place where you can disconnect from the world, a town which is filled with nature’s wonders like mountains, waterfalls, hot springs and canyons.

Why Pai?

staggering view of Pai from above

The vibe of this town is almost indescribable. It nestles between mountains with jungles, waterfalls, hot springs, and canyons. Pai wears many hats as it manages to satisfy soul searchers, naturists, party revelers, cultural enthusiasts and more. Located on the banks of the Pai River, Pai is the place to be for idyllic relaxation. The Pai river is also popular for rafting, kayaking, and fishing. You should not miss this destination in your Thailand tour as this is a highlight of Thailand’s northern region, and well worth exploring for a few days.

Highlights

Preserve Natural Forests: A unique elephant sanctuary and forest conservation project. This one-of-a-kind organization rehabilitates elephants from the tourism industry in order to release them into a protected national forest where they live freely.

Pai Hot Springs Resort: Buy a day pass and enjoy the hot spring pools, swimming pool, and gorgeous mountain views.

The Land Split: In 2008, with no explanation this farmer’s land literally split in two, ruining his crops and making the land impossible to farm on, so he turned it into a tourist attraction. Relax on the shady hammocks as you enjoy a spread of local fruits, nuts, and other snacks with a refreshing glass of hibiscus wine. Afterward, check out the legendary land split and beautiful landscape surrounding it. Free of charge, donations accepted.

Pai Canyon: Hop on your motorbike and head out to explore the canyon in the afternoon. Don’t leave before sunset, the sight is most breathtaking in the golden light.

White Buddha: This giant Buddha statue is nestled in the mountains at Wat Phra That Mae Yen temple overlooking the city. This is also a great place to watch the sunset, but go up in the morning if you want fewer crowds and more peaceful experiences.

Hiking & Waterfalls: Pai is surrounded by mountains and jungle, so there is plenty of opportunity for hiking and waterfall chasing. Ask the locals or the people working at your hotel or hostel where to go!

Restaurants: Pai has such a huge variety of incredible restaurants. You can easily find cheap Thai food at local restaurants and street vendors, nourishing vegan, vegetarian, and all-natural options, some of the best breakfasts, and an array of international foods.

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