Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and Pai is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand. Pai is home to some of the most incredible natural beauty anywhere in the world and it’s packed with things to do!
As a typical stop along the Banana Pancake Trail, Pai is becoming more popular to visit. So let’s dive straight into some of the best things to do in Pai!
Table of Contents
15 Things to do in Pai
1. Visit the Pai Canyon
The Pai Canyon is a stunning natural attraction found in Pai. There are breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys which make Northern Thailand famous. Combine these views with steep cliffs and dramatic rock formations and it’s clear to see why the Pai Canyon is so popular. You can also take a leisurely hike around the canyon, admiring the beautiful scenery from multiple vantage points.
2. Take a hot air balloon ride
A hot air balloon ride anywhere in the world is an unforgettable experience, no more so than over Pai. Soaring high above the valley, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the stunning scenery below. You can admire the natural beauty of the area, including the Pai Canyon all while floating peacefully through the air. A hot air balloon ride is one of the most unique things to do in Pai but also one that you’ll never forget.
3. Explore the Tham Lod Cave
Another stunning natural attraction located in the mountains near Pai is the Tham Lod Cave. As said in the introduction, Pai is one of the most naturally beautiful places in the whole world. The cave features a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers filled with stunning rock formations, as well as underground rivers. You are able to take a guided tour of the cave which is a great way to understand what you’re actually looking at. Visiting the cave shouldn’t be missed by anyone visiting Pai.
4. Visit the Pai Land Split
A fourth thing to do in Pai is to head to the Pai Land Split. This is a unique geological formation located on the outskirts of town. It features a large crack in the earth that stretches for several kilometers. That pesky squirrel from Ice Age! The area is surrounded by lush jungle and rolling hills, adding to the already beautiful scene. It’s one of the most unique landscapes there are. You’ll feel like you’re walking on another planet.
5. Take a scenic drive on the Mae Hong Son Loop
The Mae Hong Son Loop is a scenic drive that takes visitors through the heart of northern Thailand’s mountains. It’s a great way to experience the natural beauty of the region, with plenty of stops along the way for visitors to explore, take photos, and soak in the scenery. Pai is one of the stops. It’s up there with the Ha Giang loop in Vietnam!
6. Explore the Pai Walking Street
Thailand is known for its busy streets and Pai is no different. The Pai Walking Street is a lively and bustling street located in the center of town. It’s a hub of activity, filled with local shops, street vendors, and food stalls. Eating street food is a great way to save money while backpacking Thailand. And no- it’s not a cert to give you food poisoning. It’s a great place to people-watch and experience the local culture simultaneously.
7. Visit the Memorial Bridge
An iconic landmark in Pai is The Memorial Bridge. It is a historic bridge located near the town center. It was originally built as a way for soldiers to cross the Pai River, and today it serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during World War II. It’s a peaceful and serene spot, and a great place to relax and reflect. It’s always important to schedule some time to relax while traveling- it can get exhausting.
8. Visit the Pai Hot Springs
The Pai Hot Springs are a series of natural hot springs located just outside the heart of Pai. These springs are filled with warm, mineral-rich water, and are believed to have therapeutic properties. You can soak in the springs, relaxing and rejuvenating your body. They are essentially a huge and cheap (entrance fee is only 300 baht!) hot tub.
9. Take a Thai language class
Learning the local language is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture when traveling. Of course, this applies anywhere in the world. Taking a Thai language class in Pai provides the chance to learn the basics of Thai, including pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. As Pai is a very friendly place, you may even have the opportunity to practice your newfound skills with local people.
10. Go rock climbing at the Climbing Hill
For the adventurous and physically fit, rock climbing at Climbing Hill near Pai is a must-try activity. The hill offers a range of challenging routes, from beginner to expert and provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape, which as you know by now, is breathtakingly beautiful. There are experienced instructors on hand to guide you, making it a safe and fun, yet still adventurous thing to do in Pai.
11. Visit an Elephant Camp
Visiting an elephant camp in Pai is a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle giants. As the national animal of Thailand, you can see how appreciated the elephants are here. You can learn about the history and care of elephants, and can even help bathe and feed them. It’s a great way to connect with nature and learn about these magnificent creatures. But please do some research and choose which sanctuary to visit carefully- some aren’t as ethical as they advertise.
12. Take a Thai cooking class
Learning how to cook authentic Thai cuisine is a great way to bring a piece of Thailand back home with you. Taking a cooking class in Pai is a fun and interactive way to experience local culture and cuisine. You’ll learn about the ingredients, spices, and techniques used in Thai cooking, and will have the chance to prepare and taste a variety of dishes. It’s a delicious and memorable experience you won’t want to miss. And of course, you get to eat the delicious food you make too!
13. Go trekking in the jungle
As mentioned throughout this article, Pai is surrounded by enormous lush jungles. Meaning one of the best things to do in Pai is trekking through this beautiful landscape. It’s a must-do activity for nature lovers. Going jungle trekking is an amazing experience, not only do you get to feel like an explorer, you get to see some incredible wildlife too.
14. Visit the night markets in Pai
The night markets in Pai come alive after sunset, offering a unique and vibrant shopping experience. There are hundreds of stalls selling everything from local foods to handmade goods and souvenirs. Throughout Thailand and in Pai, night markets are a must-visit.
15. Visit the Pai Waterfall
And last but by no means least is the Pai Waterfall. The Pai Waterfall is a beautiful and serene waterfall located just a short drive from the centre of town. You can hike to the waterfall and take in the views of the surrounding hills and forests along the way. The waterfall itself is a peaceful spot, surrounded by beautiful greenery. You’re also able to take a dip in the waterfall, which is always a good bonus.
Things to do in Pai: Conclusion
And there you have it, 15 of the best things to do in Pai. Pai is an amazing place, an outdoor lover’s paradise. There are so many opportunities to get active and go outside. It’s absolutely beautiful too. Whether you choose to go jungle trekking, have a dip in the warm springs, or stay in the center and admire the landmarks, Pai is worth visiting and you will no doubt have an amazing stay. Enjoy!
Guest Author: Josh Band from A Backpacker’s World. Josh loves to write about backpacking all around the world. From Southeast Asia to Europe, and everything in between, Josh loves to explore and spend as little as possible while doing so. Who doesn’t love budget traveling, right?