We have been told by so many people how beautiful Pai is so we were a bit gutted to only have one night here. However, this didn’t stop us making the most of the area and trying to do as much as we can. We are on a bit of a tight time frame so we only really had one full day. If you are in a similar position, here is a guide to what you can do in Pai in 24 hours.
Renting a scooter
Pai is really small so everything is literally a 10 or 15 min drive away. If you are confident on a scooter, then I highly recommend renting one. Its by far the easiest & cheapest way to explore.
We stayed at Paitopia and simply due to convenience, we rented our bike from here for 150 Baht. Its not bad when there is two of you but they are definitely cheaper in town. We saw many places renting scooters for just 100 Baht.
Remember when renting a scooter to take pictures of the bike just incase you get blamed for any previous scratches or dents. They will most likely take your passport for a deposit so you want to make sure you get that back!
So off we went exploring to see as much as we could of Pai in 24hours.
The memorial Bridge
If you like a bit of history, then head here. The bridge was used for the Japanese army to have a route from Chiang May to attack Burma. The bridge was built using elephants as they dragged heavy trees from the jungle. When the Japanese left, they burnt down the bridge but it had been so useful to local villagers, it was rebuilt. In every country, I think its important to understand a little bit of the history. It definitely makes you value the country more and gives you an insight to the people who live there.
A definite must if your visiting Pai. Its nothing like the well-known Grand Canyon in America, but the structure & views of it are incredible. Parking is free & it takes about 5-10 minutes to actually walk to the top. Once your there, you can walk as much or as little as you want. We were told you could walk it in about 3 hours so its entirely up to you depending on your time scale. The views are insane and every spot is the perfect photo opportunity. Its best to take some sturdy shoes as there is quite a bit of climbing up and down to get to the next rock face.
Due to a big earthquake in Thailand 2008, the land in Pai literally split in half. Then more earthquakes in 2009 & 2011, has caused the split to get bigger. It’s such an interesting place to visit. The split happened on a farm and the farmer and turned it into a tourist site. For just a small donation, he offers fruits & vegetables that he’s grown and turned into chips or fruit juice. We only spent a short time here as it is literally a crack in the ground, but its the history and the farmers that make the place what it is.
This is just a cute little stop off on your way to the Waterfall. Everything is strawberry and they sell yummy strawberry shakes and smoothies for around 80 Baht. We heard it was really popular but we were the only ones there so we just had a quick look around at all their souvenirs and goodies and then moved on. Its great for photos with all the strawberry signs and seating areas.
Pam Bok Waterfall.
Just a short drive away is a pretty cool waterfall. Its not a big as others you might see in SE Asia but the fact you can swim and jump into it, makes it definitely worth a visit. Parking is free and you’ll see part of the waterfall from the car park. Don’t be fooled though, thats not the whole thing. Walk up the left hand side of the waterfall and over a bridge. There you’ll most likely see other tourists making the most of the water. The current isn’t strong and the water isn’t that cold, so you can jump straight in. There is a little 2m ledge where you can jump off too 🙂
Like it every town, there is a night market and some sort of street food. In Pai, walking street is where you will find it. Its quite a long stretch of road and its full of little shops and stall selling souvenirs & clothes. It is also full of side street food vendors selling the popular Pad Thai or our favourite- dumplings! There are lots of waffles & pancake vendors too if you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth. The area is full of bars so its definitely worth hanging around for a drink. Theres a huge variety with the music and the type of bar you want.
Big White Buddha
Over 300 steps high, sits the Big White Buddha. Its probably not the most spectacular buddha in Asia but its so close to town and the views from it are pretty incredible. We weren’t able to experience it, but I’m sure this would be a prime spot for a sunrise or sunset. Its really not far from the town and its free entrance so for a little bit of culture in Pai, its worth just stopping off.
Mor Paeng Watefall
Our favourite waterfall so far and we highly recommend visiting. We arrived in the morning about 10am and it was the perfect time. There was no-one there and the weather was glorious. This waterfall is mostly known for sliding down and it definitely lived up to its reputation. I was a bit skeptical of the rocks and if it wasn’t as smooth as it looked, so Joe went first. He absolutely loved it. He’s not one to turn down something like that so he’s usually the one to test it out first. The power of the water isn’t strong and its not deep so you just slide into a shall pool of refreshing water. What more could you ask for.
Yun Lai viewpoint
This spot probably being weather dependant as its all about the viewpoint. We were lucky enough to have some sunshine so the view was incredible, a proper 360 view of Pai. There is a little cafe there where you can get snacks and drinks, however we cheekily took some beers up to have there. Even better! The journey up is a bit steep so just make sure your confident on your scooter first. Its definitely worth it!
Pai is a beautiful place and if we had more we would definitely stay longer and try to explore more. Unfortunately we had a time limit so we squeezed as much as we could in. We’ve had definitely made the most of it here and would definitely come back!