Despite its small size, Pai is a must-visit if you’re already traveling throughout Northern Thailand. Besides having some of the greatest street food I’ve had in South East Asia, Pai has quite a few tourist attractions nearby if you’re wanting to do a bit more than be a yogi/hippie for a few days. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous that’ll take you a few hours outside the town, there are a handful of day tours in Pai (and lots of options for overnight trekking tours!) that you can consider. Most of these day tours involve a visit to the Karen Long Neck Village in Mae Hong Son (of which I wrote about my experience here), as well as a handful of other attractions along the way.
If you grew up glued to the television when National Geographic was on, it’s likely you’ll have seen women and young girls with numerous gold rings piled high around their neck. I was one of those kids, fascinated by different cultures throughout the world and the way their traditions and beliefs had a direct impact on what they wore and what modifications they made to their body. From the moment I found out I was going to be traveling throughout Northern Thailand, I knew that I wanted to visit the Karen Long Neck Village in Mae Hong Son to be able to see these women from T.V up close and in person.
After arriving in Pai, you’ll quickly find that there’s not much to see within walking distance of Pai Walking Street. If you’re looking for other sights to see or things to do in Pai, which I would hope you are if you’ve made the treacherous journey up there, you’re going to need to rent a motorbike or hire a taxi for the day. We decided to hire a taxi, given my lack of enthusiasm for renting a motorbike and my inability to follow directions, to take us around the 22.5 km sightseeing loop. Because Pai is so small, you’re able to see pretty much all that the town has to offer within a day. With that being said, I leave you with a list of 10 things to do in Pai..
When I think about Northern Thailand, the two main cities that come to mind are Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Aside from those, I wasn’t really aware of any other places to visit while up north. Thankfully, as I was planning my trip, I heard from a friend about a place called Pai and how incredible it was. After doing a bit of research, and getting persuaded by all of the ranting and raving from my friend, I decided to put Pai on my itinerary. After all, it was only 3 hours from Chiang Mai (or, as locals like to say, ‘762 curves to Pai’) and I would be heading north to Chiang Rai anyway. After the long trip, we were dropped off in Pai just after lunch, so we hung around for the day and explored Pai Walking Street.