Why Pai, Thailand, Is a Hippie Paradise

Pai has gorgeous natural beauty all around
Pai has gorgeous natural beauty all around | © Julian Peters / Alamy Stock Photo
Iona Proebst

Pai has long been considered the hippie paradise of Northern Thailand. Its stunning natural beauty, laid-back atmosphere, bounty of wellness practices and healthy food options will likely keep it a soul searcher’s haven for years to come.

You’ll find plenty of healthy restaurants in Pai

Pai is a small town close to the Myanmar border in Mae Hong Son Province, roughly 146km (91mi) northwest of Chiang Mai. Nestled in the mountainous jungle, the town has long been a hot spot for backpackers looking for a holistic sanctuary. At first glance, the atmosphere is similar to a laid-back Thai island, but if you dig a little deeper, you will soon see that this is a magical hippie paradise waiting to be discovered.

The landscape and scenery around Pai are stunningly beautiful and a nature lover’s dream come true. It is also a wellness haven, offering yoga and meditation retreats. Kombucha and wheatgrass shots, as well as turmeric and chai lattes, are offered at numerous cafes. Healthy eating is also easy in Pai with local Thai, foreign and health-conscious restaurants. For brilliant, authentic and MSG-free Thai food, try Na’s Kitchen, or if you are craving that vegan bliss ball or harvest salad, head to the Good Life.

Fire dancers are a common sight in bohemian Pai
Pai is a wellness haven, with many yoga retreats available

Feeling inspired? You can travel to Pai with Culture Trip as part of our immersive nine-day adventure around Northern Thailand. Led by a Local Insider, you’ll be fast-tracked to all the coolest destinations and get a much deeper cultural insight along the way.

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.

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