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All you need to know to visit Pai

ปาย
Northern Thailand
897 km from Bangkok
Province of Mae Hong Son
Thai prononciation : Baï

Budget
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Recomm. stay
2 jours minimum

Visits
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Practical guide to go and visit Pai

Charming small town in the North of Thailand, near the Burmese border, Pai is halfway between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son. Its valley with its often foggy landscapes of mountains, rice fields and the surrounding nature are its main assets. It is also the starting point for treks to meet the hill tribes, or simply the lush nature. It is a place for relaxation for lovers of nature and authenticity.
pai

Accommodations in Pai

Pai has many accommodation options but in high season finding a room to sleep if you did not book in advance can be hard. The city is very popular, very touristy. Many accommodations are located on Thesaban Soi 1, this is where you will most likely find a bed if you have no booking. In Pai, there are many places offering basic bamboo huts at a rate of less than 250 baht per night. They are part of the image that travelers have of city. It is not easy to find a place in those bungalows. They are located across the river from the bus station, there is a small bamboo bridge to cross to the river, on left in the street going down. But you will find other more comfortable resorts too of course. On Soi 1 and Soi 2.

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My recommandations

People often ask me what accommodations I recommend in Thailand, here are my recommandations in Pai.

Hotel in Pai

Hotel in Pai

Hotel in Pai

Hotel in Pai


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Practical information about Pai

Nights can be cool, make sure you take warm clothes.
There is a smal airport in pai with 2 daily flights from and to Bangkok. Otherwise you can comme her by minivan or by bus from Chiang Mai (online booking available here)

How to go to Pai ?

To go to Pai, you will first have to go to Chiang Mai and then get to Pai by local bus or passenger van from Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal. There are vans leaving very regularly. It is advisable to book your seat in advance if you want to be sure to leave at a specific time (see below).

If Pai has a small airport, there are no more any commercial airline that offer flights to Pai since Kan Air ceased operations. Only Air Asia offers a formula combining a Bangkok - Chiang Mai flight with a transfer by van to Pai (better to book it directly on the airline's website). The road to pai through the mountains is very winding so take your precautions if you are car sick. Every time I went there, people vomited.

And to go to Chiang Mai by transport, you can choose between the train, the plane or the bus depending on your departure city and your budget. Passenger minivans also regularly connect Mae Hong Son to Pai as well as a local bus.

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How to get around in Pai ?

Pai is a small town, there is no transport. But there are motorcycle taxis almost opposite the bus station that can take you to the main points of interest in the surrounding countryside. A sign indicates the rates for each destination. But renting a scooter is the best option to enjoy Pai surroundings. Renting a bicycle is also possible but prefer mountain bikes with gears or you may suffer because Pai is in the mountains and have hilly roads.

Festivals in Pai ?

Here is a list of the main festivals taking place every year in Pai. I mention their dates as soon as they are official on Thai Festivals page.
poy sang long ceremony (wat mokjampae)

Poy Sang Long Ceremony (Wat Mokjampae)

This festival generally takes place in the month of April

arrow_circle_right Plus d'infos sur Poy Sang Long Ceremony (Wat Mokjampae)

pai jazz & blues fest

Pai Jazz & Blues Fest

This festival generally takes place in the month of July

arrow_circle_right Plus d'infos sur Pai Jazz & Blues Fest

Other places to see in Pai

Wat Phra That Mae Yen Pai
Wat Phra That Mae Yen
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at the top of a small hill, it offers a nice view on the surrounding
Wat Klang Pai
Wat Klang
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The most recognizable temple in Pai city with its golden chedi, it is especially interesting for its statues carved in massive tree trunks.
Wat Nam Hoo Pai
Wat Nam Hoo
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which houses a highly venerated Buddha statue. The legend says water would have flowed from its head.
Wat Luang Pai
Wat Luang
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this is one of two temples located in the city, it is quite simple with its typical wooden hall and white Shan style chedi.
Mo Paeng Waterfall Pai
Mo Paeng Waterfall
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the nearest waterfall in Pai. It is nothing spectacular but it is a good place to chill out and take a bath. This is also a good opportunity to discover the countryside around Pai.
Memorial Bridge Pai
Memorial Bridge
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The bridge dates from World War II and is no longer used. It is a memorial place where visitors usually stop before or after visiting the Pai Canyon which is not far away.

Weather & climate in Pai

Mae Hong Son has a tropical savanna climate but is in the mountains so the morning temperatures are cooler. It is not uncommon to see the summits around the city in the mist in the morning. Winters (from November to March) are dry and warm. Temperatures rise until April, the hottest month of the year when temperatures can occasionally exceed 40 °C. The monsoon season extends from May to October, with heavy showers and cooler temperatures during the day. Mae Hong Son has the record of the highehst température ever recorded in Thailand with 44.6 °C. Surprising for a city perched in the mountains.

The best time to come to Mae Hong Son is from November to the end of April. July and August are the rainiest months but there is no time when it is particularly unrecommended to go to Mae Hong Son.

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When to go to Pai ?

quand partir à Pai

How to ask in Thai to go to Pai ?

I want to go to Pai / Yak paï ti Baï.
Where is Pai ? / Baï you ti naï ?
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