Pai is situated in the northern parts of Thailand. In comparison to the likes of Bangkok it’s a world away and backpackers flock here with its cool hippy vibes and laid-back lifestyle and attitudes to most things. If that’s not your thing then I would still highly recommend Pai for its scenery alone. Gorges, caves, waterfalls and stunning rural countryside to name a few things to look at. The best way to travel around is by scooter. Every other shop and most hostels rent these but the quality varies. Being the complete novice, I decided to share one and jump on the back, so at least I got to admire the view instead. Be warned though, there are a ton of other backpackers attempting to ride scooters for the first time on the roads and to be quite frank, they are pretty dangerous. Lucky for me I had a good driver!
The first stop was a waterfall and if you’re looking for peace and serenity than this is not for you. Unfortunately all of my photos had about 50 other people in them so I’ve decided not to insert one. The next stop was the bamboo bridge. This is an 815 meter long bridge built from bamboo. It is built through some lovely rice terraces in village, and at the end of the bridge is a temple. If you’re looking for peace and serenity than this is for you! The view is amazing and its sooo peaceful. You can sit back on some of the benches just watching the local farmers and the occasional water buffalo going about there day.
There are some very nice caves in Pai. You can sit on a small boat, whilst being paddled by one of the locals, as you go through a river in the darkness of the cave. Be warned there are bats! My favourite by far though is the Pai canyon. Watching the sunset is incredibly beautiful but it gets crowded so try and get there earlier to get a good spot. The canyon is pretty big though so you will be sure to find a spot to watch the beautiful orange sunset.
If your feeling particularly energetic you could take the mammoth 353 steps to climb the white Buddha, Wat Phra That Mae Yen. You will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the town and during the daytime it is a perfect spot to come and sit and just admire the view.
The surrounding areas of Pai are some of the most beautiful countryside. Mostly rural and untouched by mass amounts of tourists, its now a must see in Thailand. The nature, landscape and mountainous areas are a dream. The vibe might be a little too hippie but the scenery certainly makes up for it.
A short word of warning. Do not get extremely drunk the night before the bus journey back to Chiang Mai. The road has around 700 turns and the drivers are not known for being slow and steady. This journey is nauseating on a good stomach and on a very hungover me it was a very long 4 hour torture ride!