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Pai Mae Hong Son

Pai in Mae Hong Son province of Thailand is infamous as a mecca for artisans and those seeking recreational drug relief such as the famous Marijuana in Thailand. If you think the rest of Thailand is on a slow roll then you haven't seen anything till you get to Pai, if you order lunch in Pai it will take an hour to serve you, i don't think anything is prepared or maybe they are just taking their time or are too stoned to keep pace. It can be annoying if you haven't slowed down to their roll.

There is a night market each night on the main street and the market street gets busy during the weekends more so than the weekdays. Pai is again a very lazy town, but at night it gets hopping and has a number of very relaxed bars where people play card games and drink the night away. This is a very backpacker centered town and draws the budget traveler hence the lack of any real hotel.

There is a small river that runs through the center of Pai and is prone to flash flooding so you'll want to be aware of the weather forecasts before you stay beside the river, a few years ago there was a massive flood in Pai that literally decimated most of the guest houses that surrounded the river. Though if it's not flooding you can easily float down the river on tubes. Get someone to drive you up the river a bit and tube your way down. Super fun day.
Pae Mae Hong Son

River that runs through Pae Mae Hong Son

The biggest attraction in Pai is the way of life, the super relaxed carefree attitude that everyone comes to see. Pai is as far away from Bangkok as you can get and has been almost untouched by commercial tourism, there is no McDonald's no Starbucks just a lot of bars and tattoo parlors. Pai is the one stop most backpackers want to go. The other major attraction of Pai are the surrounding mountains which are probably the most beautiful in Thailand, check out the hot springs and caves surrounding Pai, you'll need to rent a motorbike though to see most things.

Getting to Pai from Chiang Mai

You could get to Pai by driving yourself either by renting a car or renting a motorbike however the easiest way and the way most people go are through the minibus service that goes to Pai Mae Hong Son every hour from about 6am to 10pm. If you decide to take

Information about Guest Houses in Pai

Most Guest houses in Pai are very low budget, most don't have air conditioning as the nights get super cool in Pai and more often than not you'll need a blanket to keep you snug. Make sure you bring some warm clothes especially during winter and the rainy season. One thing you'll first notice about Guest Houses in Pai is there are no TVs in the room, and almost all of the accommodation is made of wood or thin boards so that you can basically hear the next door neighbor. There isn't a lot to do in Pai so during the evening it's not uncommon to hear your neighbors private business while your getting to sleep, that's what makes Pai so great.

Map of Pai

Map of Pai

Map of Pai - Mae Hong Son

2: Nunya's Guesthouse
4: Duang's Guesthouse
8: The Blue Lagoon Hotel
9: Phichai House
11: Swan House
12: Ton Sa Guesthouse
14: Pai in the Sky
16: Baan Pai
17: Eden Guesthouse
18: The Palm House
19: Abodaya Guesthouse
20: Kenter House
21: Pravee's House
22: Tayai Guesthouse
23: Blue House
24: Ban Sangheuan
26: Family House
27: Breeze of Pai
28: Pai Garden Corner
29: Paiburee
30: Star Guesthouse
31: Berm's Bungalows
32: Yawning Fields
34: Rim Pai Cottage
35: Pai Guesthouse
36: Pai River Corner
37: Villa De Pai
38: Riverside 2
39: PS Riverside
40: Tree House
41: Pai River Hill Guesthouse
42: Blue Sky
43: The Countryside Bungalows
44: Rainbow House
45: The Sun Hut
46: Wonderland House
47: Mae Yen House
48: Shangrila Guesthouse
49: John Bamboo Hut
Eat and Meet
7: Market
25: Edible Jazz
Attractions and Activities
3: Wat Luang
15: Wat Klang
33: Wat Pa Kham

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About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.
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