So you’ve read all about the horrific journey in ‘on the road to Pai…’. Well, don’t let that put you off going as Pai is spectacular. One of the most beautiful places we visited up in North Thailand, full of miles of green views, coffee shops and empty streets. Pai is a quiet town, but one with an extremely chilled and laid back vibe to it.
Every night there is a night market down the main street in Pai. So our first night we had a wander down there and paid 500 baht (£12 roughly) for a day trip in Pai the following day.
We left our hostel ‘Baan Aomsin Resort’ at 9am for the day trip and boarded an open back taxi where we met Ronald and Evelyn from the Netherlands and a man from South Korea who never mentioned his name. (Funniest man i’ve ever met). Our first stop was to ‘Coffee in love‘, a coffee shop with beautiful green views. Miles and miles of endless fields and trees, dazzling in the slightly foggy sunshine. The smell of freshly cut grass hit us as we sat back with a cappuchino and admired the view for 40 minutes before moving on.
Next up, we drove to ‘Yhun-Lai Viewpoint‘, which again had incredible views over Pai that stretched for miles in each direction. At Yhun-Lai viewpoint they have a ‘tree of love’. You can buy hanging heart ornaments and write on them before hanging them on the tree. We bought one and added it to the hundreds already hanging. There is a little chinese tea shop at the viewpoint where you can sit back and relax with some chinese tea. We took some photos before leaving for the next place. I’d love to come to Yhun-Lai viewpoint at sunrise or sunset!
Next up we arrived at ‘Morpang waterfall‘ and then ‘Saingan hotsprings‘, both were beautiful places. The waterfall seemed to be just a little stream running down, but we climbed up the rock a little bit and found a freezing cold pool in the dip in the middle of the waterfall. We all stripped to our swimwear and jumped in, nice and refreshing in the Pai sunshine!
The springs were the total opposite in regards to water temperature and were like a welcoming bath! We soaked our aching muscles and enjoyed the warmth on our skin, the hot springs are covered by trees so the hot sun is shaded. Two girls started grabbing mud from underneath a tree in the springs and spreading it over their face like a face mask. Which led to everyone in the springs also doing this, we still have no idea why and can only laugh at these two girls reactions as everyone started copying them!
Lunchtime! We stopped on the roadside at a little pop up cafe and ate pad thai, rice, chicken dishes and so on. The food was actually really nice! The man from South Korea was loving his food, all morning he had been looking forward to lunch and making hilarious spontaneous comments such as ‘mmm hot spring rolls and hot soup’ when we visited the hot springs as he was so hungry!
We walked along ‘Long Bamboo Bridge’ and boy was it long! The bridge cuts through a green rice field, and again has beautiful green views all around. We spent about an hour walking up the bridge, which leads to a temple at the end which was shut when we went.
‘Pai Canyon’ was next on the list. IT WAS INSANE! I loved Pai Canyon, the views were amazing and the surge of adrenaline you get from being on such a sheer drop! (Different to the journey to Pai as we wern’t in control). We got some amazing photos and videos here as we walked along the canyon. There is a split in the canyon which you can climb down into another section, we did that but stopped there as the next few sections you literally had to jump through the air to reach and with my track record of luck, no way! Another couple had though and they were climbing up the canyon ahead! Let’s just hope they got back!
After leaving Pai Canyon we approached the ‘World War 2 Memorial Bridge‘, you can drive across this but our tour guide stopped and we walked across to meet him at the other end. With it’s steel beams and wooden floor, it makes for some amazing photos. But this bridge was built by the Japanese during WW2.
After walking across the bridge we made our way to the ‘White Buddha Temple‘ to watch the sunset. We had to climb up hundreds of steps (353 to be exact) to reach the buddha at the top. The climb was definately worth the view we arrived to see! Everyone sat chatting whilst admiring the view and as soon as the sun started to go down, silence washed over as we sat back to watch the sun set over the mountains in the distance, taking in all the breathtaking places we had visited that day. Once the sun had set we made our way back down the steps and back to Pai.
As you can imagine, we were shattered after our days activities and in dire need of food! My sister Chloé recommended a burger place called ‘burger queen’ which she found when she travelled Pai 4 years ago. A burger sounded perfect so we wandered down the night market before heading off the beaten track to burger queen. And boy was it worth it!