Pai is a great way to take a few days break from the city life! We spoke to a lot of people who said they had originally planned to visit Pai for a few days, but ended up staying a few weeks to a few months! Pai is surrounded by green mountains so it’s nice change from the city!
How to Get to Pai from Chiang Mai
Take a bus (more like a minivan) from Chiang Mai City. Click here if you missed my Chiang Mai Guide. Our hotel arranged our bus tickets which included hotel pickup, but you can easily book them yourself online. The ticket only costs 150 THB (one-way) and it leaves from the Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2.
The trip itself takes approximately three hours. The road to Pai is exactly 762 curves! If you get car-sick easily, I highly recommend taking something before your trip. The ride is an exciting one – the drivers turn the corners fast and this goes on all the way up a mountain until you reach Pai. Alex reported being slightly car-sick by the time we got there.
Where to Stay in Pai
We stayed at Hugga Pai and highly recommend it if you’re looking for a private, clean double room with a bathroom. It’s in town, located a 4-minute walk from the bus station and a 2-3 minute walk to the evening night market.
How to Get Around Pai
Motorbike is the best way to get around Pai! If you’re a new driver, it’s a great place to learn as the roads aren’t very busy! You can apparently get a quick lesson when you hire one too. We rented our bike for 200 THB/day from the shop two doors down from our hostel called “Happy Pai Rental.” You can also arrange a rental through your hostel/hotel for the same price.
Watch the Sunrise at Yun Lai Viewpoint
An absolutely magical place to watch the sunrise as you’re farther up a mountain and you can see the clouds floating above the villages below. There is a 20 THB entrance fee. Make sure to have a cup of tea and a bowl of delicious congee afterwards. Get the fried bread too! It comes with condensed milk for dipping. YUM!
Visit Big Buddha on the Hill
We visited right after leaving Yun Lai and we were one of the only ones there. It’s a great time for photos and drone shots! It’s also a great place to watch the sun set behind the mountains in the evening. This spot is free to visit!
Eat the the Night Market/Walking Street
Make sure to eat some skewers, noodle soup and have a cup of strawberries! The buttered corn is super tasty too.
Visit ‘Coffee in Love”
This cute little coffee shop has an amazing view of the mountains and serves as great rest stop!
Visit This Bridge!
This is located on the road between ‘Coffee in Love’ and “The Land Split Pai.” Once you pass the coffee shop on the way to “The Land Split,’ this bridge is located to your left. It’s hard to miss and is a great photo-op! There’s a temple located if you walk on the bridge to the other side, but we didn’t go that far.
Other Spots To Visit That We Didn’t, But We Wished We Did
- Explore Pai Canyon. Apparently a great place to watch the sunset!
- The Land Split Pai
- Tha Pai Hot Springs
- Lod Spirit Caves