This postcard-perfect little town set approximately midway between Mae Hong Son and Chiang Mai is a dream destination for many travellers. Tucked deep in a valley, surrounded by walls of endless mountains, Pai seems to exist in its own time zone.
Here, nature is your best friend and, perhaps, chilling out while doing close to nothing is going to be your second best friend.
Pai has three happening main streets, with the scenic Pai River cutting through the eastern part of town. Bamboo rafting and white-river rafting, popular among adventurous souls, are two of the best ways to appreciate Pai’s picturesque landscape. If you prefer to stay on dry land, hiking or mountain trekking is another fascinating option, apart from browsing a collection of souvenir shops in the town centre. Exploring outer Pai, peppered with natural hot springs, waterfalls and ethnic hill-tribe villages, is also something to consider.
For many people, coming to Pai simply means slowing down completely. Artsy types often haunt Pai’s many café galleries, while others prefer to lounge away on their riverside porch or at a chilled-out bar.