Pai is a popular town among backpackers, it’s also a pop destination for yoga and meditation. Set in a picturesque valley a 3 hours drive from Chiang Mai. Pai is a chilled out tourism-oriented town with fabulous picturesque countryside around it. The most popular attraction is an unusual geological formation – Pai Canyon. Thousands of years of erosion stripped away the rock, leaving nothing but a serpentine path that rises out above the trees and you walk around it without any restrictions.
To get to Pai town you either need to take a tuk-tuk or rent a motorbike and ‘enjoy’ 3 hours steep and winding drive that counts a record of 762 curves. Yeah, it’s long and that curvy! It’s not the most enjoyable part if you have a movement sickness! Keep in mind that tuk-tuks stop for a break only once and they don’t mind if those curves make you sick. In the end we made a conclusion it’s better to drive with your own transportation.
One of the attractions around Pai is the impressive Pai Canyon and it’s located 8 km from Pai along the road to Chiang Mai. So you need to go back a little bit the road you just came from. It’s better to stay 2-3 days in Pai. As the drive is so long and you don’t want to do it two times in a day! And there is also a lot do and see around Pai, while it’s surrounded by mountains, rice fields and valleys.
This is also the place, where people say it’s the best vegetarian food! It worked for us as vegans too, because we found amazingly good ‘Jay’ food there. If you still don’t know what ‘Jay’ food is, go ahead and read this post!
A walk through Pai Canyon will give you a little thrill and it is not for the faint-hearted. You can freely climb rocks and venture as far into the canyon as you dare! But there are narrow elevated paths with a 30 meter drop on both sides so be careful where you tread, as they can be quite dangerous. There are not safety barriers when the trails get narrow, so miss one step and you can fall down in a deep valley.
You can spend a couple of hours hiking around the trails and make amazing pictures there! Also don’t forget to leave your flip flops at home and wear study shoes so you can access better locations.
The best times to walk the Pai Canyon are early mornings or at the end of afternoons, when it is cooler for the climbs and you get a great light. At dusk is when you get a perfect combination of scenery and temperature and you might also catch a beautiful sunset. At other times, the area can become swelteringly hot and humid. To sum up, a visit to the canyon is worth your time as it’s an outstanding natural attraction with lovely nature walks in its surroundings.
Why We Loved This Place
Thailand is very touristic these days and you can hardly find a place where visitors and locals are so laid back and relaxed. Pai is the town where all the hippie people come together to one place. You can walk around the town easily or drive around surrounding places and enjoy nature! We spent only one night in Pai, because we hurried to more remote place to see the perfect sunrise and we will write our next post about it. But we gladly would have rather stayed longer in Pai, because of delicious food and it’s atmosphere!
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.