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Top 10 Things to Do in Pai

Top 10 Things to Do in Pai

By Chris QuanUpdated Oct. 31, 2022

A 3-hour drive from Chiang Mai, the picturesque mountain town of Pai has become a popular destination for visitors.

With a history of offering a bit of a hippie vibe, some fantastic views, sublime nature, and plenty of activities, it is no wonder that backpackers from all over the world often add Pai to their bucket list.

If this a town that you are considering visiting as part of your Thailand vacation, this guide will help you to make up your mind. Just take a few minutes to read about the 10 best things to do in Pai and we are sure that it will become a destination that you just have to see for yourself.


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1. Enjoy a Sunset at Pai Canyon

There will be many photo opportunities that present themselves in Pai and some of the best will be found in Pai Canyon.

This valley also presents a variety of risks as it is not the easiest to reach. We recommend wearing some comfortable and durable footwear when making your way across the footpaths.

The best times to admire the beauty of the valley are during sunrise and sunset but we do suggest arriving as early as possible. Pai Canyon gets extremely busy just before sunset so you will want to grab a good spot.

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2. Enjoy a Traditional Thai Massage

While Pai is far from the only place in Thailand to get a Thai massage – you can get them anywhere in the country – it is something we certainly recommend.

There are numerous spas dotted around Pai that can give you a relaxing break from the partying and adventure that you have been enjoying in this picturesque town.

You can also enjoy some of the other relaxing treatments on offer or even take a course to perform your own traditional Thai massage.

3. Take to the Hills and Mountains on a Motorbike

Many of the things that you can do in Pai are free or cost very little. For instance, you could simply rent a motorcycle and take to the hills and mountains in Pai.

You do not even have to have a plan on where to go — you can just set out and see where the roads and trails take you. You will find some fantastic views, aesthetically pleasing temples, and glimpses of the wonderful nature to be found in Northern Thailand.

If you do not want to plan a particular route, you can opt to take Highway 1095 and venture south. You will soon arrive at the Memorial Bridge, which is yet another great opportunity for some fantastic photos. Motorbike rental is cheap in Pai — you can rent one for as little as a few dollars for a few hours.

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4. Visit the Numerous Beautiful Waterfalls

Any visitor to Pai would be foolish to not take some time out to visit some of the numerous waterfalls in and around the town.

One of the easiest to reach and also one of the most popular is Mo Paeng Waterfall. It contains a natural waterslide, which is another reason for its popularity.

If you want to go further afield, Pam Bok Waterfall is another option. You will probably need to rent a motorcycle to get there but, once there, you can swim, relax, and admire the gorgeous scenery for a good number of hours.

Another popular option for adventure seekers is Mae Yen Waterfall. This is far from easy to get to as you will be hiking for a minimum of 2½ hours. The hike will be through a jungle too, so only consider it if you are young, fit, and healthy. 

5. Take a Stroll Down Pai Walking Street

In the early evening, as the sun starts to go down, you will find most people wandering down Pai Walking Street. This is a great place to try some fantastic food.

You will be surprised at the range and variety on offer there. You will enjoy tasting traditional Thai favorites, fantastic sushi dishes, kebabs, and even some delicious desserts, such as ice cream.

There is no need to leave once you have had your fill of food. You can also enjoy the numerous shops on Pai Walking Street to grab some cheap souvenirs, replica products, or personal items, such as flip-flops.

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6. Visit the Land Split

A little farm in Pai has turned into quite the tourist attraction in recent years. Suffering from damage caused by two earthquakes, a land split has occurred, which looks like something you might see in the movies.

The ground has cracked and separated and, once witnessed, it shows you the true power of what Mother Nature is capable of.

While the split itself will not take long to check out and admire, you will be welcomed by the friendly farmer who will ensure that you are fed and looked after.

You do not even need to pay an entrance fee to visit but donations are always welcome — in fact, we suggest that you do give a donation as thanks for the hospitality shown.  

7. Explore Lod Cave

Known locally as Tham Lot, Lod Cave is not technically in Pai and takes a while to reach but it is certainly well worth it.

While the 40-kilometer distance may seem like a bit of a trek, you will be met with some stunning views along the way.

Once at Lod Cave, you will need to hire a guide as you will not be able to enter the cave alone. This guide will cost about 150 baht for a maximum group size of three people.

The cave itself is huge and it will take some time to navigate your way through. If you are interested, you can hop on a raft that will take you down the river that flows through the cave.   

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8. Enjoy Yoga or Muay Thai Classes

In between savoring the sights and delights of Pai, why not consider taking a yoga or Muay Thai class? There are many places where you can find either of them and they will help to keep both your body and mind fit and healthy.

Even if you have not tried either of them before, you will be able to find beginner classes. Be warned though — once you experience what these classes have to offer, you might be extending your stay in Pai for a bit longer.

9. Visit Pai Chinese Village

For some of the very best views in Pai, take the time to visit Pai Chinese Village. Known locally as Santichon Village, this village offers an amazing view over the entire valley.

For just a small fee of 20 baht, you can sit and enjoy the view for a good few hours with unlimited tea thrown in too. While there, you can pop along to Mo Paeng Waterfall as part of your trip as it is just up the road.

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10. Experience the Nightlife on Bars

We know that most vacations will not pass by without a few drinks and Pai offers a good nightlife for you to enjoy. Many bars are located within the city center or walking distance away.

You can enjoy live music, craft beers, local cocktails, and a party atmosphere. Meet up with fellow travelers and locals alike as you drink the night away in a lively yet picturesque environment.

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