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Country rank: 19 out of 49 Places To Visit In Thailand

Sub-Region: Mae Hong Son Province


Ideal duration: 3 days

Best time: November to February (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Pai (Check Flights)


"Hippie hillside"

Pai Tourism

Located between Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai, this beautiful little of Pai is surrounded by mountains everywhere, and is a dream destination for a traveller. The alluring river Pai flows across this town which makes rafting a popular sport here. Besides that, trekking and hiking are other adventurous options.

Pai is a stunning destination for both kinds of people: who want a lazy and chilled vacation, or an adventurous one. It is one of the most picturesque landscapes of Thailand offering endless mountains to hike, and the beautiful Pai river to rest by. There are also a few Burmese style temples, waterfalls and hot springs to visit. A lot of travellers sometimes get involved with the ethnic hill-tribe villagers for a local and natural experience. Since 2006, tourism in Pai has increased greatly, resulting in a lot of accomodation options for travellers to choose from.

Hotels in Pai


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When it comes to nightlife, Pai has a very happening one. There are many sidewalk bars as well as pop music dance parties. Some of the most popular bar options are Bamboo Bar, Don't Cry Bar, Edible Jazz and Ting Tong. In contrast to the sleepy town that it is in the day, Pai's nightlife is surprisingly awesome.

This colourful town has a very cute and pleasant shopping feel. The walking street of Rungsiyanon road is not very crowded and shopping here is more relaxed than in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The most popular souvenirs you can buy from Pai are magnets, postcards, artsy t-shirts, handmade jewellery and Thai paintings.

All the major cards are accepted at most guesthouses, hotels and restaurants. The local vendors at the walking street and drivers dont accept cards. So carrying a sufficient amount of Thai Baht in your pocket is advisable.

Most of the banks and ATMs are on the main street of Rungsiyanon and some ATMs are also there down Chaisongkran. All these banks provide currency exchange services. However, if you want to be on the safer side, exchanging currency from Bangkok before visiting here is a better option.

A day in Pai will include 600-700 Baht for food, 100 Baht for transportation, 500 Baht for all entertainment purposes like entry fees, and 300-400 Baht for alcohol. So a total of 1,600 Baht would suffice for one day in Pai.

The key religion followed in Pai is Buddhism, followed by Islam.

Pai is a growing tourist destination and doesnt follow any strict practices for dress codes. Being a hot town, you can wear comfortable clothing without hesitation. However, if you visit a temple here, it is advisable to cover yourself appropriately. When getting involved with the village tribes, be careful to follow some basic ettiquets like not touching them, not pinting the feet at someone. Tipping is not common in Thailand, although, goos service can always be appreciated.

Thai is the common language spoken in the town of Pai. Almost all the hotels, guesthouses and restaurants have English speaking staff. A few local vendors and drivers might not know English, so you can take the help of a tour guide or learn basic Thai phrases for better communication.

According to Pai resident Thomas Kasper, the history of Pai is a long and interesting one. 2,000 years ago, the Lua tribe was the group living in Pai. Just 800 years go, the Shan immigrants settled here, now known as Ban Wiang Nuea. Later, in the 14th and 15th centuries, settlers from Chiang Mai came to Pai. The other history is related to World War II when the Japanese built a route between Pai and Burma, now called the memorial bridge. And the recent history is the wave of immigration. After Shan and Lanna, Muslim people have arrived in Pai in around 1950.

More than Thai food, Pai offers a greater range of western cuisines. Some good places that serve Thai food are Na's Kitchen and Toa's. The walking street also has stalls with delicious local Thai food. Pai is also known for the excellent coffee which you can find at almost all restaurants. Pai Lonely, Big's Little Caf_ and Why Not are great options for western breakfast and tasty coffee. For a fine dining experience, Silhouette Restaurant is Pai's best.

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How to Reach Pai

Travellers can take a car, motorbike or bus from Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai to Pai. There is also one flight that operates between Chiang Mai to Pai. (Read More)

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