You’ve survived the journey to the traveler’s paradise and now it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a slice of Pai.
Surrounded by fellow backpackers and beautiful views this little haven definitely didn’t disappoint. Read on for tips on how to get about, a breakdown of the breathtaking views that I saw and what else the daytime can offer in Pai.
If you’re feeling brave, or have experience riding a scooter then it’s hands down the best option for travelling around in Pai. This comes with a massive safety warning though because although that 10 year old girl looks completely cool on her motor, there are plenty of tourists and backpackers who are trying it out for the very first time and manage to bag themselves a Pai tattoo, as we so affectionately called them, sporting big white bandages round their ankles, knees and arms, whilst walking with just a little bit of a limp. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Being a safety first kinda gal, also known to my family as “accident prone”, I opted against a scooter and instead, hired a mountain bike to explore Pai. Helmet on and saddle sorted we headed off on our trip around Pai. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of why here, but let’s just say it was not the wisest choice of transport. Unless you’re an avid, superfit cyclist up for a challenge I would not recommend cycling to the sights of Pai. Let’s just say that the maps are great for showing you the distance or places but they miss out a vital little thing called GRADIENT. You can check my microblog on instagram for the full story if you’re interested or in need of a laugh!
#DAYTIME VIEWS AND TO DO’S
Travelling around on a bicycle meant that we couldn’t fit in as much as we would have hoped to see in Pai and after our first extreme leg-workout excursion we weren’t too keen on riding off up into the mountains again! That said, cycling past beautiful scenery and rice fields towards to mountain views was well worth the workout.
Yun Lai Viewpoint
Our first port of call was the Yun Lai viewpoint. Up into the mountains we cycled, past gorgeous little villages and friendly locals to reach this incredible view of the town and mountains. It took about an hour and a half of riding and walking our bikes up the steepest parts, much to the local’s amusement, but when we finally reached the peak we were greeted by a pot of hot Thai tea which was included in the small admission price. To this English tea-loving homebird it was absolute BLISS. Puffy faced and panting we sat on the ledge, drinking our hot tea and taking in the sights of this Thai town. Clouds drifted by as we watched the workers in their pointed sun hats harvesting the rice in the paddy fields below and our heart rates began to find their resting pace. Then, it was time to set off again. A short ride downhill before peddling up again in a different direction to the waterfalls.
Mor Paeng Waterfalls
After another upward cycle we arrived at the Mor Paeng waterfalls with sweaty brows and jelly legs. We received looks of shock from other tourists who had taken the scooter option as we chained up our bikes and comments from impressed travellers who had struggled to reach the waterfalls with a motorised engine… we felt pretty proud at this point, especially knowing that the cycle back was all downhill!
As we approached the waterfall we were taken back by how vast it was. There were so many secret levels hidden away! We strapped our helmets back on, safety first remember, and awkwardly clambered up the rocks to the next level of the falls. Perched on the rocks we enjoyed the amazing views and the sound of the water flowing down into the stream. I wish that I’d have taken my book with me because this was such a great spot to sit and chill whilst enjoying the views, atmosphere and the rays.
#DAYTIME TO DO’S
If you’ve spent some time sightseeing and you’re after a chilled out afternoon or entire day, then head to Fluid. This outdoor swimming pool and bar is the perfect place to relax after an adventure filled morning.
When we arrived mid afternoon there were only two other people there which meant that we had the place pretty much to ourselves. Granted, we arrived in Pai in the off-peak season, but it was still pretty cool that there were only a handful of people around all day. For 60THB we were given a mat to lounge on and had access to the pool until closing time, 6pm.
It was such a good place to relax. So, if you find yourself at Fluid take a break from the hot sun by swimming in the pool and listen to their chilled out playlist, which was probably one of my highlights. Also, if you’re feeling a bit peckish their menu was great and the food was super tasty too. Try out the wedges, they were CRAZY good!
If you’re in Pai then you won’t be able to miss the cafés. Pai cafés are great for a quick lunch, chilling after a hectic day of sightseeing, or for mending a poorly head after drinking one too many the night before. They are also great for free wifi and escaping any rain showers that might be heading your way.
We managed to get these AMAZING fresh fruit shakes whilst there was a heavy downpour. If you’re keen to try the shakes but health conscious make sure you ask for NO SUGAR or you may end up with a cheat day treat instead of a healthy snack… we learnt this one from experience.
Head towards the night walking street and you will find an array of cafés and there is bound to be one to suit your mood. I cannot recommend a certain café as there were just too many, but take a look at the menus and see which one suits you!
I hope you’ve enjoyed the first of my PAI-EYED posts and that it’s given you some insight or inspo for how to spend your days in Pai.
Keep your eyes peeled for part 2, PAI-EYED: NIGHTS, coming soon!