Pai, A Hidden Gem in Northern Thailand

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pai thailand

Thailand is one of my favorite countries in South East Asia to travel around. The culture, the cuisine and the organized chaos all combine to make one of the most popular spots for a range of backpackers and travelers from all over the globe. From the party island of South Thailand to the wild jungle of North Thailand. Last year, I took a solo trip through Tokyo and ventured across Mexico City, but nothing compares to excitement of Thailand. Northern Thailand is well worth checking out, primarily because of the hidden gem of a city that is, Pai!

Pai Thailand

All About Pai

This former sleepy village has become the hippie part of Thailand and commonly associated with the saying “plan for 2 days, stay for 2 weeks.” When going to Pai don’t try to plan too much.  There are plenty of amazing travelers who are eager to drag you off to their favorite destinations such as Pembok Waterfall or the Pai Canyon.

Pai Thailand

Another popular activity for travelers going to Pai is to hire a motorbike in Chiang Mai and ride the 135 kilometer road of 762 turns through the mountains. However, it’s best to have some riding experience before you tackle this one. While I didn’t do the ride myself, many people catch the bus that goes up the route. Just be sure to take a few motion sickness pills with you, as it’s a 3 hour winding road up to Pai.

Pai Thailand

At night, the sleepy town comes alive, with shops and vendors selling just about everything down the main street. You’ll find non-traditional fusion food of every kind, italian-thai fusion, french-thai fusion, indian-thai fusion, you name it, they have it.

Pai Thailand

This was a Khao Soi Salad. While Khao Soi is a beautiful, flavorful dish in itself, this restaurant took it one step further and combined some of the strong flavors of Khao Soi, with a crispy shell on a bed of greens.

Pai Thailand

You can even listen to music of every genre. This venue was hidden at the back of a long, narrow bar, and usually only visited by regulars and locals. They hand live music playing while you can sip on a cocktail and lounge on the couches underneath the stars.

Pai truly is a unique, and beautiful town that’s easily overshadowed by it’s closest neighbor, Chiang Mai, but with it’s small town charm and plethora of backpackers, Pai is definitely a town worth visiting!

Thailand was also ranked one of the 6 Best Budget Travel Destinations by our friends over at Waking Up Wild! Definitely worth checking out!


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