Are you heading to the chilled out town of Pai anytime soon? Wondering what to do once you get there? Don’t worry, we have got you covered!
Make your way through our 10 Best things to do in Pai to ensure you have the best possible time. (Not in numeric order order.)
1. Explore Pai Walking street
Open from around 6pm til 10pm, Pai Walking street is a treasure trove of souvenirs, jewellery and food. Much smaller and a lot less busy that those in Chiang Mai, you should be able to browse the stalls here at your own pace. As the name suggests, this is a walking street but be aware than occasionally some idiot ignores the rules and drives down the street.
Here you can find a lot of the ‘typical’ tourist
junk must-haves as well as authentic Thai arts and crafts.
2. Go for a drive
In Pai you see A LOT of tourists with road rash, or legs covered in bandages. This is because there are a lot of inexperienced drivers attempting to drive a bike from Chiang Mai to Pai. If you are able to ride a bike, getting out and exploring can be one of the most rewarding things to do. Surrounded by lush green scenery, Pai is a delight for spontaneous day trips. One thing we did not like when driving around Pai, was coming across elephants tied up in driveways. If you come across this, please DO NOT stop to take photos or pay to feed them. This encourages this sort of thing to happen more often.
3. Wat Phra That Mae Yen
Only a 10 minute bike ride from the centre of Pai, Wat Phra That Mae Yen aka “The White Buddha Statue” should definitely be on your list of things to do.
There are a lot of stairs (I lost count at 500) to reach the top of the hill where the Buddha sits. You are able to drive further up than where we started.
As usual with temples in Thailand, you need to cover your shoulders and legs to gain entry. There is no charge to visit. The views overlooking Pai are amazing and worth the effort to reach. Make sure you take a lot of water with you for the climb. When we visited, the the White Buddha was being restored, but it was still very impressive.
4. Have a bev!
There are literally hundreds of great places to grab a drink in Pai! One night in particular stands out, we had been mooching around Pai Walking Street, and accidentally stumbled across The Jazz House. Grab a beer and plonk yourselves on a hammock whilst listening to amazing live music… what else could you need?
5. Tha Pai Memorial Bridge
If you are exploring the area in and around Pai, we would recommend taking a short detour to Tha Pai Memorial Bridge.
During World War 2, the Japanese constructed a number of bridges in order to transport soldiers to Burma. The original bridge in Pai was destroyed but was then rebuilt in the 1970s. The history and its beautiful structure are what makes this an interesting 10 minute stop.
6. Watch the sun set
Driving home one evening, we spotted this epic sunset. In awe, we pulled over and sat in a dusty field watching the sun slowly go down.
Do we even need to explain why this is on the list of 10 best things to do whilst in Pai?
7. Pai Canyon
Be careful where you step! Pai Canyon is interesting and free place to visit, around a 10/15 minute drive from the centre. Most people come here to watch the sunset, but we visited earlier in the day. There are a lot of extremely steep drops, so this is not one for people who suffer from vertigo. Worth checking out!
8. Stuff yo’ face
Pai is a haven for vegans and vegetarians. There are SO MANY food options you are sure to find something you love.
Looking for the best Khao Soi, we were recommended to try Nong Beer. We are happy to report that it was super tasty but be aware that it was extremely busy.
Two places we would also recommend for eats, are Charlie and Leks and a really small eatery opposite Yotaga@Pai. The latter was extremely cheap and some of the best food we had tried in Thailand!
If it is street food you are after, head down to Pai Walking street. An abundance of cheap food stalls will make you saliva, offering everything from fresh corn to a Pick-n-mic sweet stall!
9. Land split
We unfortunately didn’t visit the land split whilst in Pai but if we ever get the chance to return, this is on our list of things to do! Many of our friends have recommended this unusual stop mostly due to the farmer who owns the land. He and his family sell various home grown foods such as banana chips and rosella juice! We hear these are excellent and can’t wait to visit.
10. Chill out
After all, why else did you come to Pai?
Sitting in the grounds of our accommodation and reading a book was one of our absolute favourite ways to spend the afternoon.
A little tip would be to pick up a mosquito curl from the 7eleven, there are a lot of mosquitoes around and plonking a curl down really does help ward them off whilst you chill.
So! What are you waiting for? Pai really is a great place to visit. Hopefully this top 10 will help you plan the most memorable trip in one of the best spots in Thailand.
Have you already been? What did you enjoy the most?