Travel Diary: The Travel Guide to Pai

Maybe you haven’t heard yet the place name Pai or if you do, you know most backpackers went there to relax and just live life. For you who don’t know where Pai is, it is located in a small town in northern Thailand's Mae Hong Son Province, near the Myanmar border, about 146 km (91 mi) northwest of Chiang Mai. I went there last month and it made me fall in love with the place and the people and of course the fellow backpackers as well. So let me give you some advice about Pai that you surely needed.


Where ever you are, take a flight to Chiang Mai International Airport. Then outside the Chiang Mai International Airport, there is a bus going to the main City for only 20 THB/person. Just inform the driver to drop you off at the bus stop for Pai bus terminal. Once you arrive at the main city, you need to cross at the intersection going to the bus stop for Pai bus terminal. It’s quite confusing, but surely the driver will give you advice where is the bus stop. You need to wait for bus R1 for only 30 THB/person, if it takes so long there are other public transportation which they called “songtaew” and ask the driver to send you to the Pai bus terminal, the fare is only 30 THB/person.

Once you arrive in the bus terminal, the Pai ticketing office is located at the end part of the bus terminal or the deepest part inside the terminal, again you can ask the locals in the terminal. Beware that there is a time table for the minivan going to Pai (see the picture below), minivan cost 150 THB/person. Travel time to Pai takes 3 – 4 hours. The road going to Pai is very curvy, if you’re not used to it, I suggest to take some medicine.


We went there at the end of August, summer is already passing through and the cold breezy air is starting to set. However, it was always raining, the weather is so unpredictable. Until we learn from locals August is a rainy season in Pai and the best time to visit Pai is in October.


There are a lot of places to stay in Pai, you have the options to book ahead of time or just show up and walk-in to accommodations. There are many accommodations in walking street price ranges from 100 – 300 THB/night. If it’s your first time in Pai and doesn’t know how to use motorbikes (like me) I highly suggest to stay in walking street as everything there from restaurant to convenient stores and shops are only walking distance.


I didn’t saw any public transportation in Pai, I have read from other blogs before we went there that there is some motorbike taxi to bring you from one place to another just discuss with the driver for the cost. But in my entire stay in Pai, I did not see any motorbike taxi. Anyways, the best thing to roam around Pai is to rent your motorbike, we found this shop just in walking street for only 120 THB/day the shop name is Nai Tu motorbike. Some shops let you rent the motorbike for 100 THB. If you don’t know how to drive a motorbike then they also have a cycling bike for you to rent. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much it will cost you. Good thing my friend knows how to drive a motorbike, lucky me. LOL! 


Pai is a very relaxing place, people there are so chill, slow life like no one is hurrying from their busy life. You can eat everywhere in Pai, most affordable restaurants are located in Walking streets, the cost ranges from 40 – 60 THB for a normal and basic meal. We love to eat at the walking street especially at night time, during the night time all food stalls are available in the walking streets, so many flavors and types of foods to choose.


There are so many things to do in Pai most of them are Free and others are 30 THB and under. If you want to see more of the Free things to do in Pai and 30 THB and under click HERE. However, if you are a solo backpacker and don’t know how to drive a motorbike there are a lot of Day tours and half-day tour in walking street price range from 100 – 300 THB/person. So there is always something for everyone.


Once you get there most of the time you will see Foreigners than Locals, I don’t know why but I only saw few Thai locals, it seems like Pai is a separate country of Thailand, Pai is a country of solo backpackers. All the locals and tourist are so friendly as they knew each other for so long. In Pai once you met someone, there is a tendency you will meet them again somewhere in Pai on the next day. Pai is a small town, you will always see the same faces.

That’s it loves my Things you need to know before going to Pai, I hope you get something from my tips and help you to ease your travel to Pai.

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