The Top Things to Do and See in Pai, Thailand

Enjoying the sunset views from Pai Canyon
Enjoying the sunset views from Pai Canyon | © Julian Peters / Alamy Stock Photo
Wing Yan Chan

Pai, a small town located in Mae Hong Son Province near the Myanmar border, is popular for its proximity to untouched nature, boho bars and a vibrant night market.

You can now travel to Pai with Culture Trip as part of our 10-day trip to Northern Thailand – carefully planned by our team of travel experts and led by trusted local insiders to bring you a hassle-free, 100% authentic experience.

1. Admire the scenery at Pai Canyon

Natural Feature

A five to 10-minute walk up the canyon promises the best view of Pai’s surrounding countryside. Travellers can overlook spectacular mountainscapes, explore bushy woods and spot exotic fragrant flowers from here. As paths leading to different lookout points are narrow and rugged with no handrail, be mindful of every step taken and remember to bring enough water or grab a drink in the convenience store near the entrance before kicking off the journey.

2. Party at Bamboo Bar

Bar, Cocktails

The Bamboo Bar is a prominent watering hole for foreigners and ex-pats. Tired of dancing in clubs, the crowd hits the humble rustic bamboo hut nestled beside the Pai River at midnight to linger and mingle with fellow backpackers. With jugs of beer in hand and delicate cuisine ready to serve, drinkers stay in the bar until the break of dawn and chat the hours away around a roaring fire pit.

4. Get lost in the night market

Market

Pai night market, Northern Thailand
© agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

A visit to the night market can satisfy both the taste buds and the eyes. Local artists from different parts of Thailand come with a wide variety of handicrafts and art to make this a feast for the senses. The food carts packed along the main street give travellers a chance to enjoy all manner of flavours. Aside from commonly found street food like papaya salad, skewers and sausages, exotic options such as deep-fried insect and giant squid are available too.

5. Explore Lod Cave

Natural Feature

Silhouette women tourist lifts camera to take a photo inside Tham Lod cave Pai, Maehongson, Tham Lod Cave one of the most amazing cave in Thailand.
© EyeEm / Alamy Stock Photo

Adventurous travellers longing to unmask the myth of Pai and gain a connection with nature must pay a visit to Lod Cave. Book through a local travel agent to make things easier, as the company of a guide is mandatory for entering this cave. Arrive via bamboo raft to see the ancient wall paintings, antique wooden coffins and stalactites in unique shapes hidden within the cave.

6. Fish at Piranha Fishing Park

Park

Just 5km (3mi) from the centre of Pai, the enchanting untouched nature of the region is best captured in this fishing park located in the midst of woods and bushes. Guests will be given bread crumbs or they can pay extra for bait to fish in the pristine lake, which is home to different species of fish in an array of sizes. Catfish, orange carp and pacu all call this spot home.

7. Take photos at Coffee in Love

Cafe, Coffee

Coffee In Love, Pai, Northern Thailand
© agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo

Coffee in Love was made famous by the well-known movie Pai in Love. Populated by travellers from all around the world, the cafe is decorated in shades of white and offers a splendid view of the region. Everywhere is covered in green with colourful flowers scattered around. The site is also a fantastic spot to gaze across the picturesque scenery of the mountains with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in hand.

8. Train at Charn Chai Muay Thai Gym

Gym, Sports Center

Travellers willing to train themselves in the art of Muay Thai must pay a visit to Charn Chai Muay Thai Gym. A wide selection of courses targeting travellers of different ages and covering dynamic skill sets are offered at reasonable prices. The amiable atmosphere in the gym makes every guest feels like they are part of the family, sharing meals together and having lots of fun. Apart from the friendly trainers, the clean environment and facilities attract lots of visitors.

9. Stay at Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat

Resort

Screenshot 2021-05-25 at 23.19.27 copy
Courtesy of Nam Yang Kung Fu Retreat

Spending a few days in this retreat is about more than learning martial arts. Experience a different mode of living from bustling city life at this rural setting where the training regimen goes from Kung Fu and meditation to fitness training.

10. Live in a bungalow

Cottages, Cabin

This famous tourist spot is populated with world-class resorts and luxurious hotels, but for travellers seeking a taste of traditional Thai culture, living in a bungalow is the best option. Bungalows situated along the Pai River are a popular choice among tourists, in which hanging beds are provided for travellers to relax in. For those looking for a more exciting and extraordinary experience, climb up the mountain and rent a bungalow there; beautiful scenery and a relaxing atmosphere are guaranteed.

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