Thailand has always been an attractive and cheap tourist paradise for young people, but if you want to change the atmosphere a little bit compared to the familiar heat of Bangkok or the waters of Pattaya, Phuket, then a bit cold and cool of Northern Thailand is a great suggestion for you! Especially the beautiful small town called Pai – also known as dear Dalat of Thailand will be a destination not to be missed if you visit the northern mountainous area. But if you only have 1 day in Pai, so where to go and what to do? Follow Living Nomads team to explore! Now, let’s check it out our Pai day trip on how to spend one day in Pai Thailand perfectly?
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Pai day trip: How to get to Pai?
The distance between Pai and Chiang Mai is about 130km. There are 4 popular ways to get to Pai from Chiang Mai.
Public bus: You can traveling to Pai by public bus with travel time from 4 hours or more, depending on traffic situation. The price for one-way is about 90 baht ($2.96). The bus has no air conditioning and the road is quite winding. To catch the bus you can go to Arcade Bus Station in the north of Chiang Mai (also known as New Terminal). The bus departs at 7AM, 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM and 4PM.
Minibus: You can also rent a Minibus to get to Pai, this is the most popular way. Travel time is 3 to 4 hours with ticket price of about 180 baht ($5.92). Minibus bus departs at 7:30AM until 5:30PM. You can book through travel agents such as Klook, KKDay or 12go.com.
Airplane: You can also getting to Chiang Mai by plane. Although this way is less common. You can book air tickets from Wisdom Airways from 1790 baht ($58.84) per person and must book at least 7 days in advance before the travel date.
Motorbike: In addition to the above 3 ways, you can also rent a motorbike to getting to Pai. Many backpackers choose this way, quite adventurous but freedom and you can stop along the way to admire scenery, drink coffee ..
Pai day trip: Where to go and what to do in one day in Pai?
Tha Pai Memorial Bridge (World War II Memorial Bridge)
This seemingly boring wooden bridge is actually a very cool virtual living spot that you should not miss when you coming to Pai, with the highlight of the two dark green fences bearing a classic appearance, eye-catching, poetic and the dreaming scenery on both sides of the Pai river. Previously the bridge was built to connect the route between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son provinces, then destroyed by war and natural disasters. The people decided to restore the wooden bridge as a historical monument to the war and accidentally turned it into an extremely famous tourist attraction. You can visit the bridge at any time of the day and there is no cost!
Watch the sunset at Pai canyon
Not far from the wooden bridge is the most famous Pai gorge named Pai Canyon, and the best time you should visit here is in the afternoon to have a full view of the beautiful sunset in Pai. The road leads to Pai Canyon has many levels from easy to difficult so you do not need to worry if your health is not good (but be aware of wearing sneakers for easy movement). Although this canyon area is not too large, if you climb hard, you will discover more unique photographic spots.
“Chill” at the lovely cafes in Pai
People come to Pai not only for sightseeing, but also to find peace and fresh air in this beautiful town. With its unique feature of cold climate and majestic scenery of mountains and hills, dropping yourself in relaxing cafes with spectacular views will be a “specialty” that cannot miss in Pai. Coffee in love, The [email protected] … are two of the must-go cafes when you visit Pai. Why? Just look at the pictures below you will understand immediately! Coffee in love stands out with a lovely yellow house in the classic style of the “Little House on the Prairie”, and The [email protected] is attracted by the swing chairs for you to admire floating clouds in the sky.
Explore the Pai night market
Where to go in Pai to fill your stomach after a tiring day of touring? The answer is a night market! Pai town is small but the night market occupy most of the big and small streets in the center. Although small, but you want to fully explore the night market, it also takes a lot of time, because here you can find all kinds of unique souvenirs made-in-Thailand such as clothes, postcards, pretty bags … , very-very-many delicious dishes at very cheap prices, such as pad thai, skewers, dumplings, fresh strawberries covered in chocolate, pancakes, smoothies …, along with many vibrant pubs and bars.
End of a Pai exploration in a day, though short, but also very interesting right? The thing I miss most during the trip to Pai is the cool weather, warm atmosphere, friendly people and the scenery here, the clear starry sky, the beautiful night market that makes me don’t want to leave. Goodbye Pai and continue the journey to conquer the North Thailand. See you again!
Are you looking for the fullest Pai travel guide. Let’s read: Pai blog — The fullest Pai travel guide to explore Pai, Thailand.