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A relaxing weekend with nature in Pai

A relaxing weekend with nature in Pai

Lush green rolling hills accompanied by pure relaxation and chilled out vibes in northern Thailand. Does that sound like something you badly need? If so, then a weekend escape to the mountainous northwest region of Pai is the remedy you have been longing for.

Pai lies nestled by the riverside just two hours north of the popular tourist destination of Chiang Mai. Similar to Chiang Mai, Pai is a notable cultural center of Thailand.

Once a land that attracted a mostly hippie community, today, you will brush shoulders with backpackers, families, young lovers, expats and solo adventurers. Dreadlocks and tie dye shirts optional!

Pai is a tranquil oasis and most people claim is one of those places that captivates your heart the moment you set foot in this teeny town on the border with Myanmar. For locals it is also known for featuring in two Thai romantic movies.

In complete contrast with the bustling capital city of Bangkok, Pai is a place where hammocks adorn guesthouse porches and cooler temperatures make outdoor activities a breeze. Being one of Thailand’s cheaper getaway options, how does a weekend of unwinding in pure bohemian bliss sound to you?




Day 1 to Pai,Thailand

Singapore to Pai

Once you arrive at your accommodation in Pai, let the peacefulness of the region engulf you. Grab a refreshing drink to hydrate, whether that is in the form of a signature cocktail or an iced coffee (preferably the first option).

If you’re looking for a quick bite on the go and fancy some traditional Thai nibbles, then delighting in the local street food is sure to satisfy your taste buds. If you fancy organic cuisine, you should make it your business to dine at Fat Cat restaurant. Being at one with nature, anything you choose from the menu here will be handpicked from the onsite garden. You can’t get much fresher than that!

Once your tummy is full with scrumptious organic goodies, spend the evening at a chilled out bar with live music. Don’t cry bar is a go-to drinking spot for energetic travellers and they provide a fire show for all spectators to keep energy levels high.

If you want to mingle with the backpackers you’ll have to head on over to Chaisonhkram road. And, if bar hopping and backpackers don’t appeal to you, you can spend the evening bargaining for artistic crafts at one of the small night markets that run along Ratchadamrong road.

Day 2 in Pai,Thailand

Hot Springs and Waterfalls

Renting a motorbike (if you’re feeling adventurous) is the best way to explore the sights that Pai has to offer. It is easy as the streets are dotted with rental shops. It shouldn’t cost more than SGD 8.00 for a standard motorbike for 24 hours.

If the thought of scooting around on a motorbike in Pai is just too daunting, rent pushbikes for SGD 2.00 or just walk. Pai is easily accessible on foot due to its small size but if you want to venture further out to waterfalls and hot springs, you will have to brave the motorbike or get a push bike. In case you don’t want to ride a motorbike a driver and a guide can be arranged by your hotel reception.

Head to the Hot Springs at Huai Nam Dang National park and bake your body in temperatures of up to 36 degrees in mineral waters. This is your time to truly unwind in the spring’s natural waters and bask in the sights of the local serene jungles. The springs cost SGD 11.00 per person for non-residents of Thailand.

If further relaxation is what’s required, take some time to treat yourself to an hour at one of the nearby spas. After all, what’s a trip to Thailand without a few hours of massage therapy? Once you’re feeling fully rejuvenated, head off on your scooter again to the nearby waterfall at Namtok Mae Yen where you can hike to the stunning waterfall.

If you haven’t had your water fix for the day, go for a little dip at the waterfall. Enjoy a hearty meal back in Pai at Om Garden Café, offering a choice of Thai, Asian, vegetarian and vegan food options.


Day 3 in Pai,Thailand

Pai Canyon

Start your morning off with breakfast at Carrot on the Moon, a quaint cosy café and satisfy your early caffeine fix with a brownie coffee (no your eyes are not deceiving you…a brownie coffee is a thing).

Visiting Thailand’s very own canyon is the best way to take in some magnificent views and get some exercise. This is the perfect place to explore and get lost within the surrounding nature. The canyon is deemed as one of the most impressive attractions in the south of Pai.

Entrance to the canyon is free and an early morning rise is advisable to have the 360 views and look out areas virtually to yourself. If you are spending the day here, recommended if you’d like to enjoy all the walks at your leisure, make sure to stick around to catch a romantic sunset once dusk falls. Remember to bring a partner to share that moment with!

Day 4 in Pai,Thailand

Pai to Singapore

If your flight back from Chiang Mai to Singapore is later in the evening, why not spend the morning floating down Pai River on a bamboo raft (click here for more info) or visit some of Pai’s hill tribe communities?

Pai is certainly a sleepy village but as you’ll have now realised, it’s far from boring.




Places to stay in Pai,Thailand

Affordable 

If you’re travelling on a budget, Pai Chan Cottage & Cuisine is an ideal choice. This green oasis provides stunning views from its huts and priced at just SGD 13 for a night, there’s lots to love about this place.

This accommodation is set on the outskirts of Pai town providing a quiet atmosphere where you can enjoy resting in a teak wood bungalow with a leaf-covered roof.

Midrange 

Pai Village Boutique Resort & Farm offers visitors the chance to sleep in beautiful rustic wooden Thai cottages, all of which sit on the banks of the Pai River.

Views of mountains or gardens can be adored from the private balconies of the huts (perfect place to swing on your hammock also). Rooms start from SGD 93.

High end

A stay at The Oia Pai Resort ensures eco-friendly accommodation and uniquely designed Mediterranean architecture. The resort is surrounded by a man-made saltwater lake and it provides #instaworthy photo opportunities.

All required amenities can be found onsite and a free shuttle service takes guests to the famous Walking St. and to the airport. Rooms start from SGD 114.

Getting to Pai, Thailand

Singapore Airlines and Tigerair fly directly to Chiang Mai almost daily and at numerous times, with a flight duration of approximately 3 hours. Prices normally range from $400 to $700 SGD depending on the fare type and time of travel.

Singapore Airlines flies directly at 8:50 AM, arriving in Chiang Mai at 10:45 AM. Similarly, they have flights leaving Chiang Mai at 6:00 PM, arriving back in Singapore at 10:05pm.

How to get from Chiang Mai to Pai

From Chiang Mai to Pai the easiest way is to catch a bus or mini-van for about SGD 6.00

To book your van in advance you can contact Aya Service. Tickets for the bus can only be bought at Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Station(+66 053-242664).

Another option is to fly. Pai airport is served by Kan Air, which operates flights to and from Chiang Mai on weekends only. The flight on Friday, departs at 10:20am, so to catch this flight you should leave Singapore on Thursday night and spend one night in Chiang Mai.  A one-way flight will cost you around SGD 73.

Getting around Pai, Thailand

Due to its small size and the town’s simple layout, exploring Pai on foot is easy. To see more of the romantic countryside and leave the town’s perimeters, it is advisable to rent a motorbike. Prices are outlined above and if you do decide to rent a motorbike (or a push bike), don’t forget your helmet!

Other things to know about Pai, Thailand

Other popular activities in the area include bamboo rafting, white water rafting, hiking, biking and mountain trekking.

There are 762 sharp curves on the 136km stretch of road from Chiang Mai to Pai so bear that in mind if you want to brave the roads.

It’s often said that the best time to visit Pai is in early March. Temperatures are near perfect at this time as it’s the transition period between the cool season and the hot season.

'Pai'

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