Pai – Mae Hong Sorn

Pai – Mae Hong Sorn

Sleepy Pai sits in a valley in Mae Hong Son Province, and the main town is comprised of a few blocks dotted with restaurants, shops and galleries.

By day, Pai is a quiet, friendly place and by night… well, it’s not all that different. There are a number of places to grab a drink and mix with locals, fellow travelers and expats who have made their home in Pai, but rarely do they get crowded with most closing up at midnight.

Prices for food and accommodations in Pai are cheaper than Chiang Mai, though there is an abundance of quality eats for such a small town. The low-key atmosphere at all establishments contributes to Pai’s charm, which is mostly that it’s a place to do very little while pausing to really enjoy yourself while on vacation.

While the town’s reputation as a hippie enclave is well-deserved, thanks to the rastafarians and dreadlocked denizens who dwell here, there are also a number of families and retirees who flock to Pai to see what all the fuss is about. It is also becoming a popular getaway spot among Thais.


Pai’s Walking Street

Every night the main street of Pai fills up with food vendors and market stalls selling everything from your quintessential hippie clothing and jewellery to personalised post cards.

The selection of culinary delights is quite varied; sushi, Indian food, barbecued meats, fresh fruit smoothies and deep fried everything. You certainly won’t go hungry!

Everyone ends up at the street market most nights so the people watching is great. Just watch out for first-time scooter riders who have no concept of how to drive. Entertaining, but dangerous!

Hot tip – Crashing a scooter is not one of our recommended things to do in Pai!


Not exactly located in Pai, but instead in a town 35km headed towards Mae Hong Son, there is a spectacular limestone system known as Lod (Spirit) Caves. A river flows through the caves and you can hire a guide to float through them on a bamboo raft.

At certain points you can climb up stairs and ladders to explore the stalactites and stalagmites up close as well as the numerous ancient ceramics and wall paintings that are scattered throughout the complex. Definitely worth the drive/ride out there


Tip – When you arrive, don’t pay at the ticket booth. To save money, instead walk down to the cave and organise a guide on your own.

Pai Canyon

Known as Thailand’s answer to the Grand Canyon (a very ambitious claim), Pai Canyon covers a large area that offers some brilliant views and fun hikes.
If you are feeling very active you can scramble all the way down and spend hours climbing and getting lost in the nature.
A favourite pastime is enjoying the sunset with a beer in hand, watching the sky change to an astonishing array of colours.

Pai Hot Springs

When you find yourself wanting a relaxing soak, head to the Tha Pai Hot Springs. Only 7km from town, a cold-water stream flows over boiling-hot rocks to create a soothing, heated pool surrounded by lush scenery.

A perfect way to kill a few hours in the winter months when temperatures in Pai can plummet. This is one place we didn’t visit due to the fact we were there in summer and the weather was already roasting. But if you are there in the cooler months, don’t miss it! We’re gutted we missed these great things to do in Pai.