Pai, the backpackers’ town

Pai used to be a remote village until it was discover by backpackers in the 1980’s. In those days it still was off the beaten track. There were two guesthouses: Shan Guesthouse and Pai in the sky. How things have changed. There are now more than a hundred resorts, hotels and guesthouses. This little town has become hugely popular with domestic tourists but it still has its laid-back backpacker atmosphere. Especially in the cool season, November until February, it is very busy.

The road from Chiang Mai, no.1095, can be very busy in that period. Until they sealed the road in the late 1980s it was very difficult to reach Pai.  The town now also has an airstrip where small planes can land. The main attractions are the Pai Canyon, the Hot Springs, Pam Bok Waterfall, Wat Phra That Mae Yen aka Temple on the Hill. Many visitors rent a motorbike and get around on their own. What was once a sleep Thai town has now become a major tourist destination in North Thailand.

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