Pai, a small town located in Mae Hong Son Province near the Myanmar border, is made popular by its untouched nature, convivial bars and vibrant night market. Travellers visiting Thailand must spare some time to put it on thier visit list and hit the following spots to complete an unforgettable journey.
A five to 10 minutes’ walk climbing 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 on the canyon. 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 convenient store near the entrance before kicking off the journey.
The Bamboo Bar is a prominent watering hole for foreigners and expats. 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 combination of an idyllic sun soaked holiday and a vibrant chill out starts at the pool side of the Fluid pool. The convivial pool is always filled with energetic travellers while the bungalow huts are occupied by visitors busy getting tan. The awesome background music maintains the momentum of the pool and blows away minds of expats. Those run out of energy can always order mouth-watering cuisine to boost their vitality, foods are a bit pricey but the experience is worth spending a few more buds.
A visit to the night market can satisfy both the taste buds and the souvenir hunters. Local artists from different parts of Thailand offering a wide variety of handicrafts and art works provide a number of eye candies to show the dynamic culture of the country, while food carts packed along the main street give travellers a chance to enjoy a good marathon of flavors. Aside from commonly found street food like papaya salad, skewers and sausages, exotic options such as deep-fried insect and gigantic squid are available too!
Adventurous travellers longing to unmask the myth of Pai and gain connection with nature must pay a visit to the Lod Cave. Getting a package from local travel agents will definitely make things easier as the company of a guide is mandatory for entering this cave. Getting to the site is done via bamboo raft, with fishes zipping in the water, and travellers will see ancient wall paintings, antique wooden coffins and stalactites in interesting shapes hidden in the cave.
Just five kilometers away 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 fishes in massive sizes, including catfish, orange carp, and pacu. And even if no fish were caught at the end, a day in the breezy atmosphere helps to relive stress.
The biggest fish in the lake |© Piranha Fish Park
Coffee in Love Café was made famous by the well-known movie Pai in Love. Populated by travellers all around the world, the café is decorated in shades of white offering 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 and limitless expanse of grassland with a cup of coffee and a slice of cake in hand.
Coffee in Love | © Wing Yan Chan
Travellers willing to train themselves during the vocation 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 guests feels like they are part of the family, sharing meals together and having fun with each other. Apart from the friendly trainers, the clean environment and facilities are the bonuses that attract visitors.
Spending a few days in this retreat is about more than learning Kung Fu, but about experiencing a different mode of living from bustling city life. The rural setting and training regimen goes from Martial Arts to Kung Fu and meditation training. Despite the tough and challenging training, the course is very entertaining and can effectively train up perseverance. More importantly, guests will be immersing into the community and meet expats all over the world.
This famous tourist spot is populated with world class resorts and luxurious hotels, but for travellers who would love to have a taste of traditional Thai culture, living in a bungalow is the best option! Bungalows situated along the Pai River are one popular choice among tourists, in which hanging beds are included 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 abounds and a relaxing atmosphere is guaranteed.