As a small town northwesterly from Chiang Mai Pai is know as a nice place to relax and to enjoy the highlands of Thailand surrounded by a nice backpacker community. Waterfalls, caves, nice viewpoints, hot springs and fields of palm trees can be found in and around Pai and the jungle is literally everywhere.
There is a daily night market with actually a lot of western food which is nice to mix up with the Thai food. (I got crazy with all the avocado dishes there) You’ll meet a lot of backpackers in Pai but you can easily choose to stay in a small hut by the river to enjoy the quiet atmosphere. Follow the Chaisongkram Road straight to the river to get to a small bamboo bridge. On the other side of this bridge are plenty of nice and cozy bungalows.
How to get there?
I made my way up there by scooter as part of the Mae Hong Son Loop. It is a nice 3-hours tour through the highlands and you can stop every now and then to have a lunch or just to enjoy the view. Although it is a curvy route it is not too difficult. If you don’t feel confident enough with a scooter you can take a Minivan as well. They are leaving almost hourly from Chiang Mai.
Its a viewpoint about 3 km away from the city centre of Pai. This is a nice spot close to the city and I would definitely recommend to come here. Remember to cover your knees and shoulder while visiting! A nice place to hang around and to enjoy the view.
Pam Bok Waterfall
A nice waterfall with a small pool to swim in. It’s not hard to reach and not difficult to get into. It’s worth a picture to get in the water and sit next to the waterfall.
About 2-3 km after passing the Pam Box Waterfall you will find the Pai Bamboo Bridge and the Bamboo Trail Temple. Although it’s not that crowded by tourists yet it is getting more popular to visit this idyllic spot. The Bamboo Bridge is surrounded by rice fields.
It’s a quiet place with a calm atmosphere. I loved to follow the bridge over the rice fields and up to the Trail Temple.
First: If you wanna see as much as possible of the canyon it’s better to wear sneakers and not your best clothes. It is almost impossible to avoid getting dirty there. To reach the different rocks and viewpoints you need to climb a little bit and squeeze yourself through the rocks. But the view is amazing and although I’ve only been there at the afternoon I am sure this is a great sunset spot.
Pai Memorial Bridge
This bridge is a World War II Memorial and is only accessible for pedestrians and bicycles. As it is only 2 km away from the Canyon it is worth going there.