A Taste of Pai, Thailand

Pai is a tiny town in northern Thailand’s Mae Hong Son Province, close to Myanmar margin, about 50 miles/80 km north of Chiang Mai on the northern route to Mae Hong Son.

Pai is a chiefly tourism-oriented town, contributing a calmed atmosphere with a broad traveler and hitchhiker scene. Ride your motorbike a few hours into this mountain town for a relaxing weekend of zenning out at Rasta bars, napping in woven wharfs, and — if you can handle to abandon your field hut discovering the waterfalls and hot springs.


Pai pronounced more like the English ‘bye’, not ‘pie’ is just as fanous among Thais as foreigners.

During the spike of the cool season, thousands of Thais from Bangkok crowd into the town, preparing parts of it feel more like the Chatuchak Weekend Market than a far-flung village in Mae Hong Son.

There are piles of silent lodging outside the main drag, a host of ordinary, lethargic activities to keep visitors feasted, a lively art and music scene, and the town’s Shan roots can still be noticed in its temples, peaceful back streets and amusing afternoon market fair.

Brief History

About 2,000 years ago, the Lua (or Lawa) Tribe was the main cultural group over all of the place of today’s northern Thailand, and a less of their offspring still inhabit in villages only about 20 km away from Pai.

The region now popularly known as Pai has been gradually occupied for more than 5,000 years. The written history of the place begins about 800 years ago with the organization of a conclusion about 3 km north of modern day Pai.

Nearly 800 years ago in 1251 BCE, a decision was made 3km (about 2 miles) north of Pai in an area currently known as Ban Wiang Nuea. In 1943, the Japanese started various projects to build effective military and machinery transfer course between Thailand and Burma in support of their projected attacks on Imphal and Kohima.

In 1967, the Thai government begun cultivating the road leading from Chiang Mai via Pai to Mae Hong Son, famous currently as Route 1095, but didn’t stop paving the route until the early to mid-1990s.

During the latest part of the 19th century, France and England, having already settled conclusions in Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Laos, were enhancing interested in the spot that is now Thailand.

How To Get There

By Motorcycle
There no traffic and you can hear the cars and trucks coming. If you’re a little daring, rent a motorcycle in Chiang Mai and make the ride up to Pai.

By Bus
From Chiang Mai, ordinary public buses with no a/c take around 4 hours and charge 78 baht, and there is only one bus at 7am daily. The exclusive regulated mini-buses take around 3 hours.

By Plane
Kan Airlines conducts flights between Chiang Mai and Pai in a twelve seater Cessna Caravan. Flying time is 25 minutes. Passengers can make bookings and buy tickets through the airline website, their call centres, or with a travel agent.

Must See Places

Wat Klang – It is ringed by Mon Chedies, below which Buddha pictures of the seven days a week can be seen in niches. A finial-topped Mandapa was created on the base of the main Chedi.


Wat Phra That Mae Yen – This is the notable sight for passenger on the plane to know that you are going in Pai boundaries.


Pai Canyon – The Valley has a dirt track that is best hiked in the morning or evening due to a lack of shade.


Tha Pai Hot spring – There are hot springs situated in Amphoe Pai area, named Muang Paeng Hot spring in Tambon Muang Paeng, Pong Ron Hot spring in Tambon Mae Hi and Pong Duat Hot spring in Tambon Tung yao.


See more:

Introducing Pai

All About Pai:

Archie Fegidero

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