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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.