Pai is a must visit for those looking to explore a bit more of the Thai countryside and if you’re looking to escape the city it’s the perfect place to relax. The town is laid back, the people are friendly and there are lots of natural sights to explore. Here are our Top Things to Do in Pai, Thailand…
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1. Hire a scooter and explore your surroundings
To make the most out of your time in Pai, you really need to hire a scooter. Having your own set of wheels means you’ll be able to visit all the natural wonders which are located just outside of Pai town as well as explore the beautiful countryside at your own leisure. Plus, if you’re staying just outside of Pai it makes it easy to whip to the market for breakfast or to the walking street for dinner.
2. Pai Walking Street
In the evenings, the main street in Pai becomes a walking street. Lots of food stalls where you can get anything from bruschetta and kebabs to the more traditional Northern Thai snacks like sai oua (Northern Thai sausage) line the streets together with vendors selling arts and crafts.
3. Chase waterfalls
There are two waterfalls in Pai to visit- Mor Paeng which has a couple of shallow pools to swim in and Pam Bok waterfall which is surrounded by high cliffs and is a great place to escape the heat.
Watch our video at Mor Paeng waterfall below (note the pools were relatively deep at the time of our visit as there had been a lot of rain during the week):
4. Pai Canyon
Pai Canyon is said to be beautiful at sunset, but really, it’s spectacular at any time of the day. It’s a short uphill walk to the canyon and there are a few vantage points where you can look out over the Pai countryside. It’s breathtaking!
5. The Land Split
On the way to Pam Bok waterfall, the Land Split is a huge chasm in the land, which was caused by a couple of earthquakes in 2008 and 2011. The ‘split’ is on private property which the family has opened up to the public. The family grow all sorts of fruit on the land including roselle, papaya, bananas and tamarind- they even make their own roselle wine. After checking out the ‘split’ you’ll be offered a taste of the fruit, roselle juice and wine in exchange for a donation. The family are super friendly, the snacks are delicious and sitting in the shade sipping on wine is pretty enjoyable!
6. Sai Ngam Hot Springs
Why pay 300 baht to visit the hot springs in town along with every other tourist when you can scooter 20 minutes to the Huai Nam Dang National Park and visit the crystal clear waters at Sai Ngam Hot Springs. You will be amazed at the clarity of the water, the temperature is really comfortable (34 degrees celsius) and it only costs 20THB per person plus another 20THB for your scooter. It can get busy in the late afternoon so come in the morning or when everyone is lunching.
Watch our Quick Guide below for more details:
7. Eat at the day market
If you want to eat where the locals eat, then the day market is your best bet for breakfast and lunch. There are food stalls outside the market serving congee and noodle soups and stalls inside the market serving made to order dishes like pad kra pao. We ate some of the best chicken on rice we’ve ever eaten in Thailand at the restaurant which runs alongside the market (you’ll see a lot of locals eating there so it’s easy to spot).
8. Bamboo Bridge
About 25 minutes out of Pai you’ll come across the bamboo bridge. About 1 kilometre long, the bridge winds its way through rice paddies and ends at the entrance to a Buddhist temple. The temple was closed on our visit but the walk was well worth doing. It’s peaceful and the surrounding landscape is lush and very photogenic!
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Interested in more Thailand guides? Check out our Bangkok Street Food Guide, Koh Samui Street Food Guide and Must Eats Chiang Mai!