Pai is located in the Mae Hong Son province in Northern Thailand, close to the border of Myanmar. From Chiang Mai it’s a 3,5 hour curvy uphill road drive (150 Bath) to the little hippie town. Pai is situated in a lush green mountain valley, full of rice paddies, small farmers houses, red flowering trees and backed by rolling hills on each side. The town’s popularity is rising, the main street –also known as the Pai walking street- is full of commercial restaurants, tour operators, bars and tie-dye t-shirt shops. But if you look a bit further there are enough beautiful quiet accommodations, delicious vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a vibrant art and music scene.
What to do & where to stay
Happy to be in nature we change our flip-flops for walking shoes and explore the once sleepy town and its surrounding nature and temples. We stay at the quietly situated Hotel des Artists at the Pai riverside. The cozy boutique hotel offers creative designed river view rooms and delicious all day breakfast. We hire a motorbike to drive to the Pai Canyon, to enjoy the sweeping views and take beautiful pictures. For sunset we relax at our veranda at the riverside zipping on our hippie style herbal tea. When the evening falls the main street of Pai is the main attraction. The street is full of little market stalls selling delicious homemade food varying from Indian chapattis to vegetarian wraps and sushi. Use Pai as your base from where you explore more of the Mae Hong Son province. Rent a motorbike for 100 bath a day, pick a route and drive for a couple days into the mountains, sleep in homestays, see golden sunsets over the rice fields, get to know the different mountain tribes and experience the authentic Thai culture.
In a side lane of Pai’s main street you’ll find Art in Chai . The cozy eatery has a creative yogi style interior complete with a library full of inspiring titles. They serve delicious vegan and vegetarian food, have homemade yogurt & granola, smoothies to die for and definitely try out the signature chai tea! Every Thursday night there is a spoken word night.
For the best raw cakes, super food shakes and chai coffee (!) check out Earth Tone. The restaurant and shop is open till 17:00 so make sure to be there on time!