Pai, Thailand: A Vagabond’s Peaceful Dream

by Eat Sleep Travel

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A Quick Guide for Travelers Looking To Explore the Natural Beauty of Pai, Thailand 

What used to be a hippie playground, Pai is one of the best destinations in Thailand, and the reason why it’s becoming so popular these days isn’t very hard to understand. If you’ve got a strong stomach and won’t get motion sick through the long and scenic mountain routes, all you need to do is travel roughly 4 and-a-half hours north from Chiang Mai towards the Myanmar border, which is when you’ll find the Boho beauty of Pai.

The Thing About Pai, Thailand

Pai is essentially a backpacker’s paradise in the mountains. You’ll immediately pick up the touristy feel that’s almost tangible, so much so that much of it is westernized, something which is evident in the modern street food that’s anything but authentic Thai.

Pai offers an abundance of sightseeing opportunities, some of which include the likes of waterfalls, rice terraces, and the bliss of relaxing with the sound of exotic bird calls in the backdrop. The setting of this little town is mystical, if not all-consuming.

Backpackers travel to Pai for a few simple reasons: a lot of partying, beautiful natural scenery, great Western food, and off course very cheap accommodation. We recommend traveling to Pai but staying on the outskirts of town, just for the sake of exploring what made the place famous in the first place, a real haven for modern hippies and barefoot travelers!

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Photo: Eat Sleep Travel

Why All Travelers Need to Visit Pai

We’ve compiled a list of all the reasons why you need to include Pai on your bucket list of must-see destinations. Here they are in no particular order

#1 The Vibe is Hip

Pai is a very laid-back destination, and you can choose between activities such as renting a moped and exploring the untamed natural environment, or something as chilled out as tubing town the Pai River.

#2 The Setting is Idyllic

If you’ve got a good lightweight backpack for a day trip, make your way out of town and explore one of the jungle treks at your disposal. You can also chill out with some elephants at one of the sanctuaries or just see what the locals get up to while visiting a tribal village.

#3 You’ll Probably Need More Time to Explore Pai

Pai isn’t just about a relaxing vibe. Think along the lines of the Tha Pai Hot Springs, the Pai Canyon, and Lod Cave, all just waiting to take your breath away. Obviously the typical Thai experiences such as bargains at street vendors, kick boxing, and cheap spa packages are everywhere to be found, which means that you’ll need to prioritize and plan your itinerary accordingly.

#4 The Nightlife is Awesome

Pai isn’t exactly a town renowned for its party scene compared to southern Thailand, but there’s more than enough entertainment going on after dark to have you tempted to indulge in a few (and then some more) Chang beers. From live music to themed bar parties at the resorts, Pai has a vibrant nightlife scene, perfect for rounding off a day of exploring.

#5 The Weather is Amazing

Northern Thailand destinations rarely see temperature dips during the daytime, and the average comfort level here is roughly 30°C. This is a bit hot, but the fact that Pai offers a lot of waterparks to cool tourists down (which obviously comes with a lot of cocktails as part of the deal), makes the weather seem more than acceptable.

Final Thoughts

If ever there was a single piece of advice we could give you and knew you’d follow it, it would be to book an extended stay in Pai. The majority of tourists that flock to Pai travel here with a 2-day stay in mind, but end up feeling saddened by the thought of heading back to the mainland once their journey has come full cycle.

We hope that this post has given you some inspiration that’ll help you plan a kick-ass party while you’re in Pai. Remember that this little town might seem like it only has so much on offer, but it is only once you travel beyond the beaten path, steer clear of the touristy areas, that you find the true gem of Pai; a vagabond’s peaceful dream come true!

About The Author

I’m Eric, and I’m the Editor in Chief of True North Athletics. I’m also an avid adventurer, digital nomad and traveler. I enjoy all types of outdoor sports, a good golf tan, and spontaneous weekend trips. I currently live in Brazil where I can be found frequently hiking the rain forest around my city!

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Eat Sleep Travel


Eat Sleep Travel staff.

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