Thailand: Life in Pai

As someone who suffers from travel sickness, I was DREADING the journey to Pai. Set 131km North of Chiang Mai and accessible only by a road which has 762 turns, this bus ride is famous for making people feel queasy.


Get yourself some dramamine anti-sickness tablets from Boots. Works wonders!


Pai used to be a quiet town set in the Mae Hong Son valley but is now a backpacker’s haven. Full of hippy wannabes wearing hareem pants and getting dreadlocks that they’ll no doubt regret (but strangely always with a plastic cup with a fruit shake and plastic straw in hand, booking onto an elephant ride, oh and who made those cheap hareem pants?… not so hippy now are you?… sorry little rant needed!). Despite the ‘hippies’, Pai has a cool vibe and is a great place to spend a few days to chill and explore the mountainous surroundings.

We spent four nights in Pai in a little hut, with a very comfy hammock on the porch, just out of town over the bamboo bridge. Hiring a scooter is an essential to get the most out of Pai as most of the things to do are a fair few kilometres out of town.

What to do?

  • Visit Pai Canyon for a stunning sunset
  • Go to the Chinese Village for a ride on an human operated wooden ferris wheel (it took four very sweaty men and women to wheel me, Rob, Leonie and Philipp round…)
  • Eat Khao Soi which is a Northern Thai noodle curry and is absolutely delicious
  • Explore the many waterfalls surrounding town – Pembok is probably the best
  • Stop off at the rice paddies
  • Climb up to the White Buddha
  • Just embrace the Pai ‘vibe’ and chill out


We successfully endured the 762 turns back to Chiang Mai earlier today and head off to Chiang Rai tomorrow. Once again, if you have any suggestions on what to do there please get in touch!

Ciao xxx

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