Hot springs | Pai, Thailand

Pai, Thailand – Hippy Hippy Shakes.

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Pai is a cool hippy town in the hills north of Chiang Mai in Thailand. This place is a hippy haven and the journey to get there is lush.

Pai, Thailand

Why Pai?

Pete, the American cousin who we met during the Sapa Valley trek in Vietnam (if it is not on your South East Asia itinerary, add it!) told us about an unusual place where people hang about in hammocks amongst the shrubbery. This sounded like a nice contrast to partying in the cities of Singapore, Phnom Penh, and Hanoi – Pai was to be much needed downtime.

Scooter Riding Pai, ThailandMy driver (that’s Craig)

Chiang Mai to Get to Pai, Thailand

You need to hire a moped for this and ask a few locals which direction to set off in. An Aussie guy was baffled that we’d take this journey but we met lots of other travellers who loved it. The road takes about a 3-5 hours to ride and is winding – you must fill up with petrol. Blink and you’ll go past the ‘petrol stations.’

Scooter Hire | Pai, ThailandOlive Oil? Here is the future!

Hot for Hot Springs

Although 5 hours, legs akimbo, on a bike sounds painful there are hot springs for you to ease those muscles (they get hotter as you go through the park), there’s a small price to pay but it’s worth it as well maintained. Watch out for people boiling their eggs…

Hot Springs | Pai, Thailand

Boiling Eggs Hot Springs | Pai, ThailandPai is small town with relaxed bars. There are people who came to Pai and never left. There is also a homeless guy with a really tanned bum which he displays for everyone. We stayed in the mountains at Darling View Point, the views were stunning.

Pai in Thailand

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I was afraid of sleeping on the bed (bed bugs?) It did have a hammock outside though! The communal rooms looked like heroin dens. Choose your accommodation wisely, or not. Jokes aside it does get a good write up with travellers and the owner is a ‘darling’.

Pie Eyed in Pai

We did a bit of bar hopping, favourite was Hi 5, ladies night cocktails = 2-4-1. Bingo! We hung out on the hammocks and listened to the 90s r’n’b mash up on the stereo. As the bars close, the crowds migrate to the last two open one called Bamboo (again, like Chiang Mai police close the place down), it was a bit ‘gap ya’ central so we hit the hay. Managed to sleep on the bed after 2-4-1 drinks (so much for downtime). I bought a terrific kaftan from a vintage shop called Hippie Pai, the owner was fun.

Pai

Hippy threads from a happy place

Waterfalls

Pai was Craig’s favourite part of our month away and we wished we could have stayed longer but Koh Samui was calling. So we hopped back on the bike, hit the road but not before stopping off for a drip in this raging waterfall, and we had it to ourselves. Mok-fa-waterfall is found on the north side of Doi Suthep – Pui National Park. 

Waterfalls Pai, Thailand

Like the hot springs? Well here is a waterfall…

Waterfalls in Pai, Thailand

 Where is your haven in the hills?

 

Comments 4

  1. Great post – thanks for the suggestions. I’m heading to Chiang Mai with my daughter in a few weeks – looking for stuff to do. Did you see any kid-friendly things? (Don’t go chasing waterfalls cracks me up!). Cheers.

    1. Post
      Author

      I honestly found Chiang Mai quite a strange place. It felt like a holding ground for people going on trips so can’t pinpoint anything specifically in the city for kids. I would highly recommend the Elephant Park trip though, I took back a t-shirt for my cousin and he is still wearing it two years a later (must be a tank top by now!) Just realised this comment is on our Pai article. Here are our top things to do in Chiang Mai.

  2. Nice article. Can you tell me the name of the waterfall you found, in the pictures? It looks like something out of a photo shoot! I’m in Pai now & definitely would like to hang out there.

    1. Post
      Author

      I’ve never seen a waterfall like it and we’ve now travelled to a further 16 countries! It’s called Mok-fa-waterfall (I#ll add to post, thanks for pointing out). Did you make it to the hot springs? I was just thinking about them this morning so bizarre timing that you ask about Pai!

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