Pai is a tourist destination that should be on every traveller list if they are visiting to explore peaceful Northern Thailand. If you are into photography, peace, tranquillity and in the midst of nature then definitely Northern Thailand is a must-visit travel destination.
Pai sits on the region between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai and is located in Mae Hong Song district. Back in the days, Pai used to be a sleepy town with its beautiful mountains, numerous waterfalls, hot springs etc. Later tourists started visiting this town and tourism got developed eventually. People of Thailand started visiting this sleepy town after the town was featured in 2 of Thai movies and tourist boom expected afterwards. Now, this town is considered as a must stay place for people who are visiting Northern Thailand and exploring on road for long periods. Although Pai can be covered by foot, we recommend some of the places that need to be visited whilst your short stay at the beautiful town of Pai.
1) Mok Fah Waterfall – Can be explored on your way visiting Pai from Chiang Mai, Mok Fah Waterfall is located at Doi Suthep-Pui National Park. The waterfall is beautiful to view all year round, however, when visited in the morning you will notice sunlight shining near the waterfall and dispersing through water droplets making a mini rainbow effect. Open every day from 08:00-16:00hrs, and price of around 200Bahts, this place is must visit to beat the heat of Thai Summers. The area around Mok fah falls is full of trees, moss and ferns which make your visit memorable.
2) Pong Duat Geyser – If you are into hot springs and geysers and want to explore the hot springs located in and around Pai, then this is a perfect place to visit. Located in Huai Nam Dang National Park, Pong Duat Geyser is a collection of 3 large ponds where 1 of the pond is a hot spring which will spring itself for every 30 seconds or so. The other ponds have natural hot water which can be used to take a bath with natural hot water.
3) Ban Pam Bok – With your visit to Pai is not full while you explore its numerous waterfalls which this place offers, Ban Pam Bok is one such waterfall which lies just outside Pai and is less touristy places of Pai. Visit it after the rainy season and you are in for a treat. Also nearby is Pai Canyon which you can visit it combined. This place is covered by rocks which make the water quite chilled however you can enjoy this place beating the heat.
4) Pai Memorial Bridge – One of the most important places to visit in Pai, Pai Memorial Bridge has a rich history dating back to WWII where Japanese soldiers took help of the locals and built the bridge using elephants, the wooden bridge connects Pai to Chiang Rai built across Pai River. Once the war ended, the soldiers burnt the bridge however by then the bridge had gained importance to the locals hence they re-built the bridge for their personal use. It is worth to visit this place where you can notice how this has been a memorial place for all the locals here at Pai.
5) Wat Phrathat Mae Yen – Probably this place can be considered the best place to view the town of Pai as a whole. Wat Phrathat Mae Yen is a collection of two buildings and a huge statue of Buddha which can be noticed once you enter Pai, Best visited during the early morning before sunrise or late evening just during sunset, Wat Phrathat Mae Yen has beautiful and serene views of nature and the town of Pai. Also to enter the temple, you have to climb around 300 staircases which makes you workout while you are eager to watch the town.