Saturday, June 4, 2016

Backpacking Pai: 10 Things To Do

Unlike some popular destinations in Thailand, the people here are not prowling on tourists. The fact that most visitors just rent scooters to go around Pai, it is encouraged to explore this place on your own. Also, locals are more than willing to help without expecting anything in return.

One of the reason why Pai is a magnet for backpackers is because staying in this place is inexpensive. This place is so laid back that spending the whole day in the front porch of your room is an acceptable thing to do.

Here are the things you can do while enjoying a slow and relaxing stay in Pai.

1. Explore Pai via a scooter.

Rent a scooter and get willingly lost in the slopes of Pai. Scooters, mopeds and motorbikes rental are THB 100 - 200 for 24 hours. 

Grab a map, create your own itinerary and just drive in and around Pai on two wheels. The best part is that you can visit and enjoy the different places at your own pace. You can stop anytime and take a photo of anything you find interesting. 

2. Visit Yun Lai Viewpoint.

This place is best visited at sunrise according to the internet. But since we enjoyed hanging out in our front porch at night, we stay up and woke up too late for sunrise. Anyways, visiting this place during midday is not too bad.

Yun Lai Viewpoint provides the view of the Pai Town nestled by the Northern Thailand mountains. The entrance fee is THB 20 with free hot tea.

3. Climb the Temple on a Hill.

Situated on, well, top of a hill, this place also gives a good view of the mountains of Pai. 

If you are going here at the middle of the day, do not forget to bring some protection as the sun can be unforgiving at this place. Also, you need to climb 353 steps to be able to reach the top so its better to bring some water and be ready to sweat a lot.

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4. Chase sunset in Pai Grand Canyon.

Probably one of the most popular places in Pai, this place is best for sunset. Instagram is full of serene sunset view from these canyons. Unfortunately, it was cloudy on the day we went here so no sunset for us.

Note: Be ready to hike when you are visiting this place.

5. Find the Dancing Tree at the Land Split.

The Land Split is a lesser known destination in Pai. 

In this place you will greeted with some rosella tea and home grown fruits. The land split is ermmm, a land that has been split by an earthquake. 

My skeptical self would say that there is not much to see in this place when visited during the summer but my health-freak self just love the Rosella tea.

As for the dancing tree, I will not elaborate further, just find it. :)

6. Soak in Pai Hot Springs.

Another popular destination in Pai, it has the most expensive entrance fee at THB 300. This goes to show how inexpensive staying in Pai is.

The actual hot spring where normal people can soak in and not be cooked ranges from 36 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius.  

7. Spend the afternoon taking a dip at The Fluid Pool.

I have always wondered why this place is always in the To-Do list of the other bloggers that had been to Pai. I asked myself, "What is so special in this pool?" The photos in the internet doesn't show anything out of the ordinary. It is just a pool. But after exploring Pai under the sun, I realized that a refreshing dip in this pool is heaven. 

Entrance fee is THB 60. They serve food so its perfect for a lazy afternoon jamming session. :)

8. Take cheesy photos at Coffee in Love.

Enjoy your food and coffee with the view of the rice fields and mountains. This is probably the most cheesy destination in Pai, but still worth a visit. :) 


9. Take a gastronomic walk at Pai Walking Street.

At night, the street along the mini-bus terminal becomes a market of food and hipster/indie stuff like sketches and painting of local artists, dream catchers, handcrafted accessories, etc.

You have got to try the beef spinach lasagna and the THB 5 sushis and makis.

10. Do nothing.

There is no need to tick off all the things in this to-do list. If you wish to just stay in the front porch of your bamboo hut while enjoying some good music or engaging in some good conversation, it is perfectly fine. 

If there is one thing Pai reminded me, it is that I should learn how to slow down. I don't always have to compete and be the best, I just need to be true to who I really am. 

Phuket and Bangkok may be more interesting and happening than Pai, but this place is still frequented by travelers because it is true to its laid-back unassuming culture.

The Pai Series:
Backpacking Pai: 4 Days Itinerary, Expenses and Travel Tips
Backpacking Pai: 10 Things To Do

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