Escape to Pai, Thailand

Pai is a small town nestled in the hills of Northern Thailand very close to the border with Myanmar. It has long been a retreat for hippies and free spirits alike but the treacherous road leading up to it still keeps some visitors away. The road consists of a staggering 762 twisting turns which can turn the stomach of even the most hardened traveler. So be sure to take some nausea medicine if you are prone to getting carsick. To get here you essentially have two options, leaving from Chiang Mai you can take one of the minibusses or rent a motorbike and drive yourself there. Neither option is for the faint of heart, but what awaits you is well worth it!


Once you have arrived in Pai you can settle into your hostel or guesthouse of choice. The famous Pai Circus Hostel is always a fun one, as you are right on the edge of town so it is a quick walk and it embodies that hippy culture you may have come for. If you are looking for something a bit more relaxing we suggest checking out the many guesthouses on Airbnb. Most of these have their own pools, little cabins set amongst rice paddies, and delicious fresh fruit breakfasts each morning. The Bannamhoo Bungalows are an excellent choice, just be sure to use a mosquito net if it is provided!


While Pai still has an up and coming food scene, the Pai Night Market on Pai’s Walking Street is the place to be for the street food. Show up hungry and with cash in hand because there are going to be a lot of different foods from all over the world that you are going to want to sample. You’ll find Indian samosas, vegetarian lasagna, and even sushi if you look hard enough. So, if you have been traveling for a while and are missing a taste of home you will most likely find it here.


The nature is what draws visitors to Pai. It is known for a variety of waterfalls, specifically Lombok and Mo Paeng Falls. You can relax in the pools underneath them and cool off after motorbiking out to them. There is also Wat Phra That Mae Yen AKA the White Buddha On Top Of The Hill. You can walk over to this Buddha and climb all the stairs up to him (353 to be exact) and have a breathtaking view of all of Pai and the valley it is situated in.