Where to start with this gem?! Pai is ones of our favourite places in Thailand! Okay… so the mini van drive upto Pai isn’t amazing with the 762 turns on the road you take pretty much in a row, isn’t the nicest- but other then that you are driving up and over the mountains through forests, beeping water buffalo not giving two sh*ts that they are standing in the road. – TIP ** if you suffer with motion sickness, id probably pop a pill and have a bag handy just incase. BUT the views on the way up are Beautiful. We took the 200THB per person bus which works out to around 4 pound 80 each (soz again no pound sign on my Vietnamese laptop!) The journey itself takes around 3 hours including stop offs. Don’t be surprised if your packed to the brim with your own and other peoples luggage, cause they sure do pack you in like a tin of sardines, the aircon works so that’s something, but what do you expect really for 4 pound 80! If your lucky enough you might get a driver that will just fu*k everyones luggage on the roof so you have more room!
Once you arrive…
So once you arrive and step off the bus, a complete wave of relaxation hits you out of nowhere! The place is so chilled and laid back you need a mattress strapped to your back. There are many bars around within walking distance, places with a great hippie feel to it, where you just drink tea and sit on the floor, or with rabbits! There’s plenty of vegan places, cafe’s and restaurants with food options that cater for everyone, and for a decent price too!
At around 5.30/6pm that’s when the walking street starts, its full of food, clothes, souvenirs, you name it! The street food is more Western food then Thai but its really, really good, Mexican, Japanese, falafel wraps, curry you name it that market has it and its SOO cheap! (Example- Spring rolls – 4 big ones for 30THB which works out to around 90p!!) Our only grumble about this place is there is no seating areas to eat your food like there is at most other night markets in Thailand.
Things To Do In Pai
While in Pai we done quite a lot in the few days we were there, our advice would be to hire a moped and experience it that way. Its around 150/200THB for 24 hours which is about 2 pound 43p/ 3pound 45p!! (we are writing another blog that will give you tips on this kind of thing, we have learnt from our very own mistakes! Keep an eye out for that one! It will defo be worth a read!) But for now all we will say is DONT leave your passport with the hire company, always leave a cash deposit. If anything happens to the bike while you are hiring it, you have to pay for all costs in regards to fixing it. They can charge you whatever they like in that case cause you will have to pay it to get your passport back!
This great find is about 20 minutes from the main town of Pai! Again rent a scooter to see the sights on the way! We went at sunset and wasn’t in the slightest disappointed. Sure its busy, but get there a little earlier to get a good view. Its joked to be the equivalent of the grand canyon… it definitely isn’t that, but just as beautiful in its own way!
The White Buddha
Another easy point to get to, the White Buddha on the hill, a few sets of steps to get to the top but nothing too strenuous! Well, depends what the weather Is like! Its very quiet at the top and peaceful while people pray. You do need to cover shoulders and knees to show respect as it is a temple, there are garments to rent at the bottom if you forget yours! The views from the top are not to be missed! You can see for miles!
Yun Lai View Point
So a little further out on the moped then the other places we visited. Very steep hill to ride up at the end, Ryan had to get off the moped as we started doing a wheely! It was around 20THB to get in, we also read on the internet before we visited that included in the entry fee, you get a free pot of Chinese tea….did we Fluff, maybe it was just our faces! OR that we disturbed the guys afternoon nap when we arrived!
So it wasn’t the most picturesque place we had seen in Thailand, but you could see out for miles! There are some nice mountains views though with the sun blaring through. We personally wouldn’t say its a MUST DO! I mean I couldn’t actually remember this viewpoint until I looked back on the photos, but if you get bored and fancy a ride out then go for it!
We travelled in dry season (April) so the waterfalls were just falls.. no water!! But we pushed our luck and hoped any way…
The drive was a bit of a long and bumpy one! We did however get stopped by the police, we were with two of our friends, (Matt and Yan as mentioned above!) We were all absolutely shi**ing it after hearing horror stories on the internet! They literally just checked our bags and wallets for drugs.. even opened my sheewee pouch… AWKS!! He didn’t ask, so I guess he knew! Drug free, they were happy for us to carry on and wished us a good day.
As mentioned above dry season.. so the most exciting thing to capture on camera was a stone wall of where we imagine the water would of fell and this cool coloured lizard..
This was 20 minutes out of the center of Pai, the roads wasn’t too bad to drive on like some, you just get older local women shouting ‘marijuana’ at you as you ride past! If there was water present apparently you can slide down the rocks into the pools below (not sure!), all we found was mud, rocks and some very angry looking water buffalo!
We did plan on seeing another two waterfalls after this, but we decided against it as it was as dry as the Sahara desert!
Only 10 minutes away from Pom Bok waterfalls, It didn’t cost us anything to get in but were not sure if that’s the case in high season when the rice fields are actually green and have rice growing! So were not quite sure what the point of it was, its literally a bamboo bridge going through an out of season rice field. There’s a cute swing to take photos on, and you can feed fish in the most randomly placed pond, but other then that it wasn’t something to really shout about at the time we visited. Saying that, the view of the sun above then mountains were pretty cool, and it was peaceful just to sit and relax for a while.
There is obviously more things to do while in Pai, like the hot pools for example…. but personally were not really sure why you would want to get into a really hot like bath in 35-40 degree heat? But each to their own pickles!
We planned for 3 days in Pai, but with the relaxed atmosphere and good food, we stayed even longer! While visiting here, we recommend a places called -Lemon Thyme for breakfast, it was the best breakfast we had while travelling SE Asia! Eggs benedict or the Shakshuka was our most fave!! Also at night on the walking street market, if your a fan on Japanese (or even if your not!), get yourself to Gyoza Queen! absolutely out of this world!
As we say Pai personally is one of our favorite places in Thailand so we may be biased, but its defiantly worth a few days of your travel!