You know all of the people telling you that Pai was their favorite place in Thailand? Or that they could live there forever? Or it’s the perfect little hippie town? Well, they weren’t lying. I have to be honest, I kind of expected to be let down a little bit after all of the hype surrounding this little town, however, I was anything but.
I could probably spend all year in Pai, but only actually got about 48 hours. Being there such a short amount of time required us to make the most of every second. If you ever make your way to Pai I would suggest staying at least 4-5 days, but if you’ve only got 2 this guide will make sure you fit in as much as possible in that short amount of time.
For starters, I absolutely recommend renting a motorbike for the weekend (I didn’t crash even once, which if you know me is impressive). Motorbikes are by far the easiest and cheapest way to get around the town.
OM Café: I think this might be my favorite restaurant ever. It serves breakfast and lunch and has possibly the best avocado, egg, toast concoction I’ve ever tasted. After eating here once, you’re going to want to come back for every meal (guilty). And maybe eat cake for breakfast multiple days in a row…idk though
Mari Pai: Kinda wanted to marry Pai after visiting this place…lol. Kidding, but actually if anyone ever decides they want to marry me, they should probably propose under this tree. This is by far one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. Side note: only fell off the swing once, which is also another impressive fact about me.
Coffee in Love: This is right up the street from Mari Pai. It’s the perfect place to relax for a minute and edit the pictures you just took…I mean drink a coffee. Also, I know what you’re thinking: how can I consume anything else when I’m still full from OM Café? Simple answer: there’s always room coffee.
The Container: This is also just right up the street from Coffee in Love. We stayed here for about an hour just taking in the view. This is the perfect place to drink a beer and relax (because I know your day has been so hard).
The Land Split: Owned by the cutest little man you’ll ever meet. This man used to be a soy bean farmer, but in 2008, the land suddenly split making it unsuitable for his crops. He began growing fresh fruits and made it into a tourist attraction. You’ll be greeted with the biggest smile and a lot of fresh fruits, home-made juice, and wine. You’ll be invited to explore the grounds, see the land split, and hang out for as long as you’d like. The part that makes this place so cool is that the owner doesn’t ask for a dime (or a baht in this case). There’s a donation box at the front where you can leave some money if you want, but it is not required (if you have a soul, you’ll tip this cute man). By far one of my favorite things from this weekend.
Pam Bok Waterfall: From the Land Split, you’ll just follow the road straight to the waterfall. I wasn’t able to get many pictures of the waterfall (because clumsy and would’ve probably dropped my camera in the water), but it really was beautiful. There are rocks to sit on or you can swim under the waterfall or in the water surrounding it.
Cafecito: By this point, we were all hungry (or at least I was, who’s surprised?) and went back to town for lunch. Cafecito is a Mexican restaurant and probably has the best Mexican food you can find in Thailand. I’ve also seen pictures of an ice cream sandwich that looks mouth-watering, but they didn’t have any more when I was there (still bitter) so if you go, get one and make sure to tell me how it is.
Pai Canyon: I could’ve spent all day hiking around this place. There’s so many different ways the canyon stretches out and I would love to go back and explore it all. Since we didn’t have that kind of time, we just came for sunset. The view is breathtaking and the hike up will actually make you lose your breath (or I’m just out of shape idk) PSA wear tennis shoes or something because Rainbows are not your friend on this trek. Also, I’m acting like this is the hardest hike ever…it’s not. My friend was wearing a jumpsuit and we were all in sandals, but I mean at the time I thought I might fall off the edge which is why I’m suggesting tennis shoes.
Wat Phra That Mae Yen: Better known as the big, white Buddha. The white Buddha can be seen from all over Pai. After hiking up the steps, you’ll be met by the huge white Buddha, and of course, another beautiful view of the city.
Tree House Resort: This is an actual resort that is comprised of tree houses for your accommodation. If I had more time in Pai, I would have definitely wanted to stay here, but since time was so limited we wanted to stay closer to town. Regardless if you’re staying here or not, you should definitely go explore the grounds. It’s beautiful and you’ll leave with yet another Instagram post.
Memorial Bridge: The original bridge was built in 1942 by the Japanese to transport weapons to Myanmar during World War II. At the end of the war the Japanese burned the bridge and the current bridge was rebuilt by the people in Pai. The bridge is full of history and tourists and is a must on your trip to Pai.
There are many other amazing waterfalls, viewpoints, and restaurants to visit while you’re in Pai, but if you’re running low on time these should be at the top of your list. Of course we squeezed in another couple rounds at OM Café, but you can definitely try other restaurants (I mean you could, but why would you want to?). Peace, love, and PAI (or cake)