Newest Review: ... retains a nice outdooresy sort of feel despite ever growing numbers of bars and restaurants. There are still a huge number of activities o... more
Member Name: jeffsumm
Date: 04/09/01, updated on 04/09/01 (151 review reads)
Advantages: excellent hang-out place
Pai is a beautiful little village way up in the mountains. It is accessable by bus from Chiang Mai or Mae Hong Son, but even though its less than 100 miles from Chiang Mai it takes about 3 1/2 hours due to the winding mountain roads. The Mae Hong Son road is even worse. Try to sit at the back so you can't see the road ahead...it's pretty hair-raising.
Pai has no traffic, good roads, and lots of little places to eat and stay. Just past the school there are a cluster of guest houses on the river that will rent you a bungalow for about 200 baht a night. The food has a definite hippie influence, so you can eat hummus and nutburgers to your heart's content. Essential travel items are also quite cheap here.
There are many elephant trekking companies out here, but many of them are poorly run. Check them out before you book. A French ex-pat runs a rafting company from here that'll take you to Mae Hong Son. I highly recommend this trip...it's one of the best of its kind anywhere. There are some rather disappointing hot springs near the town, but it's fun to bike out that way.
This is a good place to rest and recharge your batteries. There are numerous opportunities for day treks and enough to keep you busy if that's what you want. There are even a couple of live music places if you crave night life.