Best activities to do in Pai, Thailand: 11 unforgettable experiences
You’re about to visit the village of Pai in northern Thailand. Find out in this article what to do in Pai, Thailand and the 11 best activities to do in Pai, Thailand.
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Pai is a small village in northern Thailand, just a few hours’ drive from Chiang Mai. It’s a must-see if you’re looking for a timeless place with a hippie vibe. I’d recommend spending at least 2-3 days here to really get to know the area around Pai.
The Pai region abounds in a wide variety of activities that will appeal to all travelers. I must confess, however, that Pai has lost some of its charm in recent years, due to a certain type of drug tourism… Although it’s very easy to find these substances, Pai remains a large village in which you can feel safe.
Now let’s get down to business with the 11 best activities to do in Pai, Thailand !
What to do in Pai 11 must-do activities
Riding a scooter
As you’ll soon discover on your way to Pai, the scooter is your best friend for exploring the region. It’s the most widely used means of transport, and will enable you to discover many of the region’s most remote spots.
I’d like to point out that although the main road is of very good quality, some roads, particularly those leading to the waterfalls, are less so. So, if you’re not used to it, and even if you are, be careful!
Bathing in the springs
This is one of my favorite things to do in Pai. There are several springs around town, so it’s up to you to decide which one suits you best! Personally, I really enjoyed the Pai Hot springs, which were easily accessible and not overly crowded when we visited. To avoid the crowds as much as possible, I’d advise you to go either in the morning or at the end of the day.
Getting to the foot of Wat Phra That Mae Yen
Wat Phra That Mae Yen is also known for Pai’s Big Buddha. It’s easily accessible from Pai by scooter or cab. Once there, all you have to do is climb the stairs to the foot of the statue.
The view from the top is breathtaking, offering a magnificent panorama of the region. On a clear day, I recommend going there for sunset – it’s truly magical!
If you ask me in one word what to do in Pai, Thailand, I think I’d have to answer: enjoy the street food! Every evening, one of Pai’s main streets is transformed into a night market offering a huge variety of dishes. As well as being very good, the prices are super attractive!
I highly recommend you try the Roti. It’s a killer!
Bathing in the waterfalls
Around Pai, there are numerous waterfalls, some of which are well worth a visit! It’s true, however, that some of them are not free and, unfortunately, quite expensive. Pam Bok really interested us. But given the weather and the entrance fee, we decided not to go.
Visit Santichon village
The village of Santichon is another must-see on your visit to Pai. This traditional Chinese village is located a few kilometers north of Pai. It’s the perfect place in the region to discover the Chinese culture of the Yunan ethnic group.
If you’re an adventure fan looking for something to do in Pai, rafting is the activity for you. As well as providing a good dose of adrenalin, this activity also allows you to discover the region! You can book a rafting trip right here in Pai.
Visit Pai Canyon
Located not far from Pai, the Pai Canyon is a must-see in the region, although I have to confess I thought it would be more walkable. You can, however, walk on the heights of Pai Canyon, which offers a magnificent view of the surrounding mountains and vegetation. The color of the earth is also interesting and unexpected.
Take a yoga class
Pai is known as a holistic village where you’ll find numerous yoga and meditation centers. I recommend Pai Yoga shala. The classes are of a high standard and the prices are quite reasonable, around 8 CHF/EURO per lesson.
Visit the Lod caves
Located to the north of Pai, the Lod caves are an incredible activities to do here. The visit is usually accompanied by a guide. To discover the interior of the caves, the visit is made on a traditional bamboo boat.
You can either make your own way there and hire a guide, or take an excursion from Pai. The 2 options are equally priced.
Walking on the Boon Ko Ku So footbridges
The footbridges at Boon Ko Ku So are famous throughout the region for their unique bamboo construction. These footbridges overlook the rice fields. It’s an activity I highly recommend! Entrance is not really expensive and the path to get there is well maintained.
How do I get to Pai ?
The main way to get to Pai is by public transport from Chiang Mai. You’ll have to take the famous 762-turn road. So if you’re sensitive to motion sickness, I’d advise you to take anti-vomiting medication! The journey takes between 3-5 hours, depending on your driver.
You can easily book your bus ticket to Pai from Chiang Mai online via the 12go.asia platform. It’s the easiest and often the most cost-effective way.
Where to stay in Pai?
Kirina Wellness in the Valley – our accommodation
Kirina Wellness is a small hotel located slightly outside Pai. It offers yoga classes and a great atmosphere. I highly recommend it if you’re in this mode.
This small hostel in the center of Pai is the perfect place to meet many travelers. The establishment is new and even has a small swimming pool.
This hotel is nestled in the heart of nature just a few kilometers from Pai. The Pura Vida Pai Resort is a true haven of peace.
The Reverie Siam is the perfect place to relax for a few days in Pai. This hotel offers magnificent facilities, including a swimming pool worthy of the greatest palaces.
Want to discover Thailand?
🏞 Chiang Rai I How to spend 2 days in Chiang Rai – Visit the White Temple of Chiang Rai – Best activities to do in Chiang Rai
🗺️ Itineraries I
🇹🇭 General information I How to move around Thailand – Visiting Thailand as a solo traveler