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Pai is a small town that is located in Northern Thailand, it is roughly about 140 km from Chiang Mai. While it is a small rural town, in recent years it started to become a popular spot with backpackers and those who enjoy the countryside. What are the things to do in Pai Thailand?

Pai is not as busy as other places in Thailand such as Phuket or Chiang Mai. In Pai, you can visit a number of landmarks in the area such as the Memorial Bridge or the Pai Canyon. There is also the opportunity to visit Thom’s Elephant Camp. While Pai is off the beaten track, that doesn’t mean that you should skip visiting Pai as there are a lot of interesting things to see and do in Pai.

In this post, we will go through things to do in Pai Thailand. So let’s get started!

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Is Pai Worth Visiting?

Pai is worth visiting, Pai may be a small rural town but it comes with its own charm and relaxed vibe. In Pai, there are plenty of food options as well as visiting Thom’s Elephant Camp or enjoying hiking in the Pai Canyon.

The city is not touristy so there is a limited number of hotels, there is no real nightlife, and things are a little bit more basic for example don’t expect too many western toilets.

Is Pai Expensive?

In the grand scheme of things, Pai is not expensive compared to other places in Thailand. You can expect to spend around $25 per day on accommodation and food.

pai scenery

Things To Do In Pai Thailand

Pai is a small rural town in Thailand that is surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. The city is not a popular tourist destination in Thailand compared to other places around Thailand such as Chiang Mai or Pai. There are interesting things to do in Pai that will keep you busy for a few days.

Here is our list of things to do in Pai Thailand.

Explore Pai Canyon

The Pai Canyon is a must-see place when you are in Pai. It is a canyon and a good place to see the sunset plus it offers a spectacular view. It is worth checking the time of the sunset before visiting the canyon.

Remember you will need a moped to get to the canyon as it’s 13 km from the town.

Pai Canyon Thailand

If you are interested in hiking or feeling active you can spend hours climbing and getting lost in the woods. Remember to get there early for a good seat before the sunset especially if you love sunset scenery.

Visit Lod Cave

Getting to the site is done via a bamboo raft. The bamboo raft ride is reasonably short with fishes zipping in the water. You will see ancient wall paintings, antique wooden coffins, and stalactites in interesting shapes hidden in the cave.

This cave is only 400 meters long and during the wet season (until December) you can only visit the first cave (Lod Cave) but from December onwards the water should have gone down enough to visit Doll cave and Fish cave.

Admire Pai’s Waterfalls

There are loads of waterfalls in Pai with Pam Bok, Mor Paeng, and Pombok being the most popular. Pam Bok Waterfalls is a nice place to relax. With cool freshwater to either float or sit in.

You can jump off the rocks obviously be sure to check the water depth before taking the jump otherwise you might break a few bones. Amazing setting overall. There is a bamboo bridge about 3 km further up.

Pai Waterfall Thailand

Pombok Waterfall is a little more secluded, the pool tends to be in the shade most of the time due to the high cliffs around it.

The Mor Paeng waterfalls can become fairly busy with tourists. There’s a lower pool with a staircase leading down to a bigger pool which is quiet.

I would recommend visiting the waterfalls early to enjoy them more, by midday they can be super busy with tourists.

Walk Pai’s Walking Street

Like most towns and cities in Thailand, there seems to always be a walking street. The Pai walking street fills up with food vendors and market stalls selling everything from your t-shirts and jewelry to personalized postcards. It happens every night.

Pai Walking Street

Visit Memorial Bridge

The memorial bridge is located over the Pai river. It seems like it is just another bridge but has become a popular spot for visitors to Pai. This is because of the fact of its history when it was built by the Japanese to transport weapons to Burma during the second world war.

WW Memorial bridge

Relax At The Hot Springs

In Pai, there are several hot springs that one can visit. This includes Tha Pai Hot Springs and Sai Ngam Hot Spring.

The Pai Hot Springs has located about 7 km from the town itself. It is 60 Thai Baht (40 for the bike and 20 for the entrance). It is worth the ride from Pai. The water is not too hot, there are changing rooms and toilets. Also, the water is clear and the ground is covered with little rocks.

Sai Ngam Spring is located on your way to the cave. This spring is really nice, the water is hot and there are bamboo changing rooms you can use for free.

It’s worth getting up early to avoid the crowds. The pools are well maintained making it even better.

See The Land Crack

In 2008 the land began to split and crack due to some weird soil erosion. So the inventive farmer turned his property into a bit of a tourist attraction.

Land Split in Pai

The farmer today offers juice, wine, fruits, and snacks. Just for the juice, the ride out there is worth it. It is completely free, but you can donate something and buy something from the farmer.

Visit Thom’s Elephant Camp

Thom’s Elephant Camp is the oldest elephant camp in Pai and the first camp that lets you interact with the elephants in an ecologically responsible fashion.

The camp opened up in 1992 and the owner of the camp takes great pride in her sanctuary. One of the key reasons for their success is that the elephants are treated as one of the family.

Thom’s elephant camp can also provide accommodation if you are interested in standing at the camp. You can get your own private bungalow with mountain views.

The Bungalows come with free breakfast, A/C, Porches, Satellite TV, Refrigerator, Natural fed Hot Spring Tubs, free WiFi, and much more.

Elephant in Pai

And there are rooms available that are equipped with a number of amenities to make your stay comfortable and memorable including free WiFi, a private bath, and a fan.

Accommodation prices range from between 350 to 1800 baht per night depending on the time of year and if you choose between room or bungalow.

The elephants hang out in the front of the property and the staff encourages you to play and feed them. There are other activities to do at the camp such as elephant trekking, bamboo rafting, and sightseeing.

Prices range from between 800 to 7000 baht depending on which tour and activities you want to do. For more details on the tours, check out their website here.

Best Time To Visit Pai Thailand

The best time to visit Pai in Thailand depends on if you want to avoid the crowds and burning season then visit Pai between May and November.

Plus as it’s the low season which is the same months as the rainy season, accommodation is cheaper.

Wrapping Up

Finally, Pai is not as busy as other places in Thailand such as Phuket or Chiang Mai. In Pai, you can visit a number of landmarks in the area such as the Memorial Bridge or the Pai Canyon. There is also the opportunity to visit Thom’s Elephant Camp.

While Pai is off the beaten track, that doesn’t mean that you should skip visiting Pai as there is a lot of interesting things to see and do in Pai.

And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on things to do in Pai Thailand has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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things to do in Pai Thailand
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