Things to do in Pai, Thailand – Your Ultimate Guide to the best Pai Attractions

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Pai, Thailand is a true highlight for everyone traveling through the North of this beautiful country. We fell in love with that stunning nature immediately. Even though the town is actually quite small, you can find a lot of things to do in Pai.

Whether you are a Backpacker or a family, I am sure you will be amazed by the unique and gorgeous Pai attractions.

In case you wonder what to do in Pai, in the following we would love to introduce you to the most popular and best things to do in Pai including our personal favorites and practical tips.

Pai, Thailand Facts

  • Located in the Mae Hong Son Province
  • 2284 Inhabitants (2006)
  • Even has an airport
  • Ca. 150 km from the border to Myanmar

Best Travel time for Pai

Mueng Paeng, Hot Springs, near Pai
Wonderful Hot Springs near Pai

Best Time

October – February

Hot Time

March – May

Rainy Season

End of June – Beginning of October

Your first time in Thailand?

In our Ultimate Thailand Guide, you can find a lot of information that is extremely useful for your trip.

How to get to Pai

View from the Tham Lod Cave, Pai, North Thailand
View from the Tham Lod Cave

From Chiang Mai to Pai by bus

There are busses (Mini-Vans) operating daily between Chiang Mai and Pai. The journey takes about 3 hours, depending on the weather and road conditions. If you tend to become motion sick, you might want to take a pill before entering the bus.

You can buy your ticket either on-site or on 12Go Asia.

Going from Chiang Mai to Pai by airplane

You’ve read correctly: You can go from Chiang Mai to Pai by airplane. The journey takes less than 45 minutes and is a great alternative for people that would like to avoid spending so much time on the bus. Anyway, the price for the flight is obviously much higher than for the bus.

You can compare prices to find the best deals with Skyscanner.


If you own an International driver’s license you can even drive yourself. In Chiang Mai, you can either rent a car or a motorcycle in order to go up to Pai. But be careful, this journey is definitely not suitable for beginners.

Where to stay in Pai

Cheap accommodation in Pai

You can find a great bunch of budget accommodation and hostels in Pai.

BB Hostel – Bed in dorm

Twin Hut – Small Double Room

Rainbow House Pai – Cottage

Accommodation in Pai

Le Mont Resort – Deluxe Room, 3 Stars

Pura Vida Pai Resort – Double Room, 3 Stars

Tarnjedton Pai Resort – Bungalow, 3 Stars

How to get around Pai

Driving around Pai, Thailand by motorcycle

By motorcycle

We decided to visit the surroundings of Pai by motorcycle. Since we like to be flexible when traveling and also planned to visit some places a little bit off the beaten path this seemed to be the best option.

If you also want to rent a motorcycle, be honest to yourself: Are you an experienced driver? The roads around Pai are extremely curvy and therefore, can be pretty dangerous, especially when it is raining.

If you walk through Pai at night, you will see dozens of people with injuries wearing dressings. If you drive as an unexperienced driver through the surroundings of Pai, you won’t only endanger yourself but also others.

With a tour

If you can’t or don’t want to drive yourself, a tour is a great alternative. This way, you can also meet new people.

There are many options for different tours and you can choose between a group tour or a private tour.

Thailand Budget

Do you want to travel to Thailand as cheap as possible without missing anything? Then you will love our Ultimate Thailand Budget Guide.

Things to do in Pai – The best Pai attractions

Mor Paeng Waterfall, View, Things to do in Pai, Thailand
Wonderfull view from the Mor Paeng Waterfall

Waterfalls in Pai

Pai is famous for its beautiful waterfalls. If you want to visit them, the best time is actually during or right after the rainy season as they are usually full of water around this time of the year.

Pam Bok Waterfall

Pam Bok Waterfall in Pai, Thailand

Der Pam Bok Waterfall was for us the most beautiful waterfall in Pai. Here you can refresh yourself on a hot day. So, don’t forget your swimwear 😉

Top Tip: Bring a pair of sturdy shoes when walking to the waterfall.

Top Tip II: It can be quite crowded here. Better come as early in the morning as possible if you want to avoid the crowds.

Mor Paeng Waterfall

Mor Paeng Waterfall in the near of Pai, Thailand

The Mor Paeng Waterfall is also gorgeous. The best part is probably the amazing view you have from here. Many locals, especially kids, come here to have a little bath. They use the big slippery stones as slights.

Mor Paeng Waterfall in Pai, Thailand

Mae Yen Waterfall

This waterfall is said to be the most impressive one in Pai. Anway, before you are able to see it, you have some hiking to do. Therefore, visiting this waterfall is just recommended for people that love to hike.

Top Tip: Bring a pair of sturdy shoes but expect your feet to get wet.

Tham Lod Cave

Pai Tham Cave, Pai, Thailand, exit

Opening Hours Tham Lod Cave: 09.00 am – 05.00 pm

Entrance Fee Tham Lod Cave: 450 Baht (ca. 11,63 €/ $ 13,52) for up to 3 people + Guide

After reading such exciting reviews, we were absolutely sure that we wanted to visit this cave.

Floating in Pai Tham Cave in Pai

However, since it has been raining a lot during the last days (we visited during the rainy season) most parts of the cave were underwater, unfortunately.

Tham Lod Cave, Inside of the cave, Pai attractions

Our guide led us to the entrance of the cave from where we took a raft which brought us to the inside of the cave. From here, we continued on foot. The Tham Lod cave was impressive although the whole tour just took around 20 minutes. For us, a little disappointing, to be honest, considering the long way you have to drive in order to get here.

However, the people we talked to that visited the cave during the high-season were all super happy with the Tham Lod Cave and considered the tour as absolutely worth it.

Top Tip: Before going, try to talk to other travelers that have already been to the cave about the current condition of it.

The Pai Canyon – Kong Lan

pai canyon, cliff, kong long, thailand

One of the most exciting activities if you are wondering what to do in Pai, Thailand is the Pai Canyon, also called Kong Lan. Here you can climb and enjoy the great view.

Pai canyon, climbing, Kong Lan, Thailand

If you are suffering from fear of heights like Eduardo does you might want to stay away from the edges.

You can get here for the sunset and enjoy an amazing act of nature with a panorama view.

World War II Memorial Bridge

World War II Memorial Bridge, What to do in Pai, Thailand

As you have probably already guessed by its name, this bridge is a reminder of World War II. The World War II Memorial Bridge is located near to the Pai Canyon so that a visit to both Pai attractions can be easily combined.

The construction of this bridge has been taking place during World War II and has been mandated by the Japanese army which wanted a road to Burma (Nowadays Myanmar).

White Buddha, Pai

Another of the Pai, Thailand Things to do is a trip to the White Buddha. It’s impressive due to its size and can be seen already from a distance.

If you want to go up to the Buddha, you have to take many steps. Anyway, when you arrive uphill you will be rewarded with an amazing view over the gorgeous nature of Pai.

However, the temple, which you can find on the hilltop is nothing particularly special.

Pai Hot Springs

Mueng Paeng Hot Springs, Pai, Thailand what to do

The Hot Springs recommended by TripAdvisor is the Sai Ngam Hotspring, Pai Hotsprings, and Tha Pai Hotsprings. However, we heard many travelers complaining about those as they are crowded with tourists and apparently not worth the entrance fee.

The hidden Hot springs of Pai, Thailand

Luckily, we also heard about the hidden Hot Springs of Pai.

Mueng Paeng – The best Hot Springs of Pai

Hodden Hot Springs, Mueng Paeng Hot springs, Pai
So relaxing! 😉

The Mueng Paeng Hot Springs are also called the Hidden or Secret Hot Springs of Pai.

The Secret Hot Springs of Pai, best things to do in Pai

Mueng Paeng Secret Hot springs in the North of Thailand, Pai

Even though the Hot Springs are around 30 km outside of Pai and the way there is not always easy it was absolutely worth it. Besides two older local women that took a walk around here at one point, there was no one.

Since we caught some monsoon rain on the way here, it just felt amazing to sit down in the hot water and simply relax for a while.

Mueng Paeng, Hot springs, Pai, North Thailand

And for this highlight, we didn’t have to pay entrance or share it with another 100 Pai Backpackers. 100% recommended!

Mueng Paeng Hot Springs Pai, Pai attractions
Despite the rain pure relaxation

Land Split Pai

Land Split in Pai, Things to do in Pai

The Pai Land Split was beside the Mueng Paeng Hot Springs probably one of the biggest surprises we encountered during our time in Pai.

The Land Split, Pai, Thailand, friendly
We felt welcome immediately 🙂

Not expecting anything we arrived at the Land Split of Pai. Immediately we have been welcomed by the people living and working here. This land has been used to grow a lot of different things until part of it suddenly split in half after an earthquake in 2008.

Land Split, Pai, Snacks, Attractions in Pai
The wine and the Juice were amazingly delicious

This nice man explained to us everything about this land and invited us to try his delicious snacks and drinks. We had a long conversation and after more than 40 minutes of talking to him, we realized we haven’t even checked the land split yet.

wonderfull nature at the Land split of Pai
Walking around the area is also worth it

Land Split, jungle, Pai, Thailand

Before leaving you can make a little donation of what you think your experience was worth. For us, it was a true highlight of Pai!

The rice fields of Pai

A green rice field in Pai during the rainy season

Another highlight for us was just driving around without actually having a destination to go to. Just exploring the area and the wonderful nature. When we saw something we liked, we just stopped to take a picture.

Pai, river, nature, green, Things to see in Pai
Stunning nature surrounding Pai

It’s especially amazing during the rainy season when everything is covered by this strong green color.

The Pai Night Market

A visit at the Pai Night Market, Thailand

We have spent most of our time outside of Pai. But what to do in Pai? Going to the night market! Here you can find a lot of yummy local and international food. Most of it is way cheaper as e.g. on the night markets in Chiang Mai.

Top Tip: If you haven’t yet you should absolutely try the Sticky rice with Mango.

The Strawberry Farm

Strawberry Farm, Love Pai, North Thailand

Actually, I wouldn’t really call it a highlight of Pai, but if you drive by, make sure to stop and grab a refreshing strawberry juice.

Strawberry Farm, Pai, North Thailand
I couldn’t help but take a photo here 😀

If you like you can as well take some pictures here in those surroundings that make you feel like you’ve been just sent to a fairytale world for 5-year-olds. 😉

Travel Insurance for Thailand

If you are traveling to Thailand, especially, if you are planning to take a motorcycle, you should definitely make sure to have reliable travel insurance.

The World Nomads is one of the most popular travel insurance for backpackers and adventure-traveler because it covers a lot of things that other insurances don’t.

Already packed?

We help you pack with our Ultimate Southeast Asia Packing Lists for men and women.

Where to next?

Read also about the following adventures in Thailand.

Our Ultimate Bangkok 5 Days (or less) itinerary

A Day with Elephants near Chiang Mai (Without riding!)


About the AuthorVicki

Hi, we are Vicki & Eduardo, an international travel couple on a mission to help you save money for priceless travel experience. Follow us through the miracles of this world and you will be rewarded with a bunch of practical travel tips.

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