The once quiet market village of Pai is now a popular inland getaway, thanks to its day spas, elephant camps, waterfalls and natural hot springs. Nestled at the base of mountains by the Pai River, Pai offers a rural retreat complete with a bustling night market, downtown handicraft stores, traditional Chinese village and nearby national park.
Things to do in Pai
If you’re interested in Thailand’s World War II history, venture slightly south of Pai to Memorial Bridge, which dates back to the storied war and offers unique Pai River views. You’ll find other incredible views nearby at Pai Canyon, where you can stroll along hiking trails that wind alongside the canyon’s edge, offering sweeping valley vistas.
Immerse yourself in local culture at Chedi Phra That Mae Yen, an iconic temple with a large staircase and towering white Buddha statue. Spend time at the top admiring panoramic views of Pai. Alternatively, head to the Wat Nam Hu Buddhist temple to see priceless relics and a tranquil fish pond.
Do you love nature? Don’t miss Pai’s best waterfalls, including the popular Pam Bok Waterfall, known for its swimming hole and cliff jumping. Mo Paeng Waterfall is also worth a visit, thanks to its multiple swimming holes and mountain views.
If you’re hanging out within Pai’s township, don’t miss the Pai Night Market, where you can purchase handmade goods, fresh produce and knock-off designer brands for bargain prices. Those seeking the ultimate relaxation should visit Tha Pai Hot Spring to soak in the mineral-rich waters.
Getting around Pai
Pai is about five kilometres from Pai Airport, which has flights from Chiang Mai. You can also catch buses to Pai from Chiang Mai. Pai’s township is easily explored on foot, while motorbikes are best for venturing out of town.