Category Archives: Living in Pai Thailand

Fluid Swimming Pool Pai Thailand

Fluid Swimming Pool Pai Thailand

Fluid Swimming Pool – Famous chillout spot and meeting place in Pai. 25m pool, large grass sunbathing area, shaded salas, gym, steam room, table tennis, great bar, music and super tasty freshly prepared food.

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Sroi (Boss of Fluid Swimming Pool)

Sroi (The Boss)

Relax and meet friends
Exercise hoola hoop style
Smokey the Kitten

“Smokey” the friendly Fluid Kitten

Open: 9am to Sunset DailyOnly 60 Bht per person per day

Includes use of the Pool, Gym and Sunbathing Area

(Pay only once – come and go all day !)

Fluid – Have Fun ! Meet friends ! Chill Out !

( Monthly Pool Parties – Click Here )

Fluid Swimming Pool, Pai, Thailand
Have Fun !
Chill-out by the pool
Relax and sunbathe with friends
Fluid Swimming Pool
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The Fluid Bar
Great seating areas
Comfy Chairs
The Fluid Gym
The Friendly and Fun Fluid Team

The Fun Fluid Team

(From Left to Right: Baz, Sroi, Udd, Paul, Nang)

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Fluid Swimming PoolBar / Restaurant

25 metre Pool

Gym, Steam Room

Table Tennis

Beautiful settings
Wonderful freshly prepared food


Pai Taxi Service, Outrageous……………….


The Shangrila Guest House Complex / Golden Huts Guest House.

The Shangrila Guest House Complex / Golden Huts Guest House.

Situated on the edge of the jungle on a organic fruit plantation, has nine Teakwood Bungalows, each with bathroom and WC. This pristine piece of land (2400 square meters) is set in a lush tropical garden surrounded by age-old trees with running stream.Shangrila has been designed to reflect a feeling of the Tai-Yai Culture of the Pai Valley. Shangrila includes a restaurant, Staff rooms and spacious Parking lot. Just 7 Minutes walk into Pai’s town center. The terraces of the Bungalows overlook a range of mountains and the jungle slopes of the stunning Pai Valley.







Dr. Frazier’s Thailand Adventure Rides

Dr. Gregory Frazier

Dr. Gregory Frazier

Having made multiple runs across the globe, round-the-world adventurer Dr. Frazier imparts some of his motorcycle traveling wisdom in his monthly Dr. Frazier Rides column.

Thailand had some of the most colorful temples or wats in the world, golden eye catchers in even the smallest of villages.
Thailand had some of the most colorful temples, or “wats” in the world, golden eye catchers in even the smallest of villages.

Elephants, snakes, jungle footpaths, millions of motorcycles and golden Buddhist temples. Those were some of my first impressions when passing through Thailand on a world tour several years ago. While white snowflakes were swirling and the temperature below freezing at my home in Montana, I was riding a motorcycle through the jungles of Thailand along the border of Burma, thinking to myself, “I like this part of the globe.”
My goal, while crossing Thailand, was to hunt two specific destinations and determine which offered the best motorcycling. The first was the Mae Hong Son Loop, often touted as one of the “ten best motorcycling routes in the world,” with over 4,000 bends and curves through mountains and along the border with Burma. The other was the famed Highway 1148, 160 kilometers of up and down curves through the mountains of North Thailand, often called the “ultimate motorcycling highway.” These two roads in one country slightly larger than California but smaller than Texas seemed to be too much good motorcycling in one spot on the planet, especially when compared to places like the Alps of Europe or some of the roads in New Zealand.
Thailand was twelve time zones away, or half a world away from the cold winter of Montana, where my motorcycling would have been with me dressed like a Michelin Man. Instead I was wearing summer riding gear and enjoying nearly 90-degree weather. Occasionally I would see an elephant, once or twice a snake and everywhere motorcycles, millions of motorcycles, although most in the 100-125cc range. It was a wild contrast and one that I decided to return to for winter adventure riding over the following years.
When first arriving in Thailand I carried some of my Americanized adventure motorcycling mentality that seemingly required big displacement motorcycles to meet adventure riding requirements. After several days in the sweltering heat of Bangkok manhandling a 1000cc BMW, I returned it to the source. Between the heat, traffic congestion and expanse of this part of Thailand I decided it was not a form of adventure riding I enjoyed. I jettisoned my need for big displacement motorcycles and opted for air-conditioned taxi cabs to see Bangkok. It was a much more comfortable way of getting to the sights and tasting the environment than sweating in riding gear and a helmet in the 100-degree heat humped over a hot engine.

Many temples were open to the public encouraging visitors to stop and look.
Many temples in Thailand were open to the public, encouraging visitors to stop and look.

I stepped down in motorcycle size to a 250cc Honda XR, divested myself of some foolishly thought-to-be-needed adventure gear (like a camera tripod, sleeping bag, tent, and heavy riding boots), and left for Chiang Mai, six hours north for Bangkok, to hunt roads and trails.
Once away from the city I found riding generally quite sedate and temperate. Often I could take unpaved roads or trails off the main roads into small mountain villages where villagers proved to be friendly and helpful if I needed anything from a flat tire repaired to a room to sleep in at night.
The first route I hunted was the Mae Hong Son Loop. I spent three nights along the way in the towns of Pai, Mae Hong Son and Mae Sariang, spending less than $20 each night for a clean, comfortable, and safe and air-conditioned room. The 250cc Honda was ideal for the technical riding and I was happy not to have been muscling the 1000cc BMW through the numerous curves. The Honda was even more appreciated when I got off the pavement and onto some of the jungle tracks up to and along the Burmese border.
While making this tour I noted that although I saw thousands of small displacement motorcycles, it was rare when I saw anything over 250cc. After speaking with several foreigners who owned big motorcycles I soon learned that nearly any type and size motorcycle could be had in Thailand, it was merely a matter of money: how much money the local either wanted to pay in the form of import taxes or customs or how much the traveler wanted to pay in the form of shipping to get their motorcycle into the

If a BMW enthusiast wanted an adventurer tourer it could be acquired in Thailand although often costing nearly twice what it would in other parts of the world.
If a BMW enthusiast wanted an adventurer tourer, it could be acquired in Thailand, although often costing nearly twice what it would in other parts of the world.

country for use as they passed through. It was not unusual to hear of a large displacement motorcycle costing twice as much in Thailand as it would have cost in the USA or Europe where it had originated.
My adventures with authorities were usually simple enough for me to manage not to have the motorcycle I was using impounded or myself ticketed. I was on “loaner” motorcycles, both in Bangkok and North Thailand, neither rented to me or in my name. The few times I was stopped at check points I was first asked for my passport, then to see the original ownership papers. When I proffered an International Driving Permit it was politely returned as not needed. I was lucky to have been stopped by officers interested in my travels and not for some infraction.
An acquaintance from Australia was not so lucky the day he drove his Kawasaki KLR 650into the front end of an oncoming police car. After stopping to take a photograph he had forgotten he was riding in Thailand, where driving is done on the left side of the road. As he crested a hill, on the wrong side of the road, the police car coming from the opposite direction brought him quickly back to reality and he swerved left towards his proper lane. Unfortunately the driver of the police car had gone into accident avoidance mode and swerved into the same lane to avoid hitting him. The result was while both vehicles were able to slow, the motorcycle immersed itself into the plastic front grill of the police car and the motorcyclist flew off, slid across the hood and ended up staring through the windshield of the police car at the two wide-eyed policemen.

A typical parking lot at a shopping mall demonstrated how motorcycles  especially small displacement motorcycles  play a major role in the transportation system of Thailand.
A typical parking lot at a shopping mall demonstrated how motorcycles, especially small displacement motorcycles, play a major role in the
transportation system of Thailand.  Motorcycle rental agencies were “adventure friendly,” often offering not only rental motorcycles but also free information and detailed knowledge of regional motorcycle adventure options

Fortunately the Australian was a veteran world traveler and had been wearing full body armor, helmet and gloves, albeit hot riding gear. No bones were broken and no skin had been left on the police car. However, the front end of the car was severely damaged. The slightly bent front wheel of the KLR surprisingly was the only damaged part on the 650cc Kawasaki, as the motorcycle had taken most of the hit on the side panniers and engine guards.
After paperwork was inspected and found to be in order, the police insisted the Australian go with them to a local car body repair shop to get an estimate of the cost of the damage to their police car. The amount came to nearly $750, more cash than the Australian was carrying. He first pleaded his financial shortcoming in English, which neither officer understood. Then he tried for a little Christmas spirit, as this happened on Christmas Day. This pleading too fell on deaf ears, his having forgotten that nearly 95% of Thai people are Buddhist, thus as far as the two officers were concerned Christmas Day was the same as any other day, in this case a day the foreigner must make good for his damage. They politely escorted him to two ATM machines where he was able to make-up his financial shortfall. He later told me that the officers were very polite at all times, did not issue him a ticket for driving on the wrong side of the road, and as they parted wearing the famed Thai smile, wished him, in Thai, a “Merry Christmas.”
Rather than go to the expense of shipping or flying their own motorcycles into Thailand for some adventuring while winter rages in their home countries, thousands of foreigners fly into Thailand carrying their riding gear and rent a motorcycle. This widely used technique became so easy that some adventurers returned year after year, renting a wide variety of motorcycles from the myriad of rental agencies that cater to foreigners, especially in Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket. While there were some variances on the rental requirements, most often the foreigner was required to leave their passport with the rental agency as a form of insurance that they will make good on the loss or damage to the rental motorcycle while they are using it. Most often formal rental agreements were filled out and signed, but other rental agencies or agents required only the passport and cash payment for the daily rental up front.
I had seen nearly any kind of motorcycle rented, ranging from 1200cc BMWs to Ultra Classic Harley-Davidsons, with the odd KTM, Ducatiand Royal Enfield in between. While most common were rentals of smaller motorcycles, a 250cc KLX for $20 to $30 per day got an adventurer on a fuel injected motorcycle able to do on- and off-pavement riding.

The Freight Hawgs pilots from FedEx rented a wide range of Harley-Davidsons from the rental agency using a rented mini-van to follow and carry their luggage.
The “Freight Hawgs,” pilots from FedEx, rented a wide range of Harley-Davidsons from the rental agency, using a rented mini-van to follow and carry their luggage.

One group of Harley-Davidson loyalists decided to attempt the Mae Hong Son Loop on rented Harley-Davidsons circling out of Chiang Mai. The called themselves the Freight Hawgs, all having the common base of flying air cargo for FedEx and being Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. Their adventure was custom designed by a Chiang Mai-based tour and rental company, As the group roared out of Chiang Mai, their smiles and expectant faces showed their determination of explore Thailand on their favored motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson.
Some soon found the days of hundreds of tight, challenging curves of the Mae Hong Son Loop were more of a technical challenge than they had experienced in similar adventures to Sturgis or Daytona. At the end all expressed that they had filled their expectations in terms of adventure. The stress of the technical and foreign riding was overcome by their being able to experience their adventures on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. When one of the Hawgs was asked if he would have taken the tour had he been told only a Honda Goldwing was available versus the promised Harley-Davidson, loyal to the end he said he would have passed on the adventure.
The second road on my radar screen was the famed 1148. It was a short road, only 160 kilometers. After first riding it on a loaner 250cc Honda, I returned on a rented Yamaha250cc, and then again on a Yamaha 600cc. Once I drove it two-up on a 1200cc BMW while a cameraman filmed from the back. The road still intrigued me, part because of the quality of the pavement, part due to the design of the curves and their apexes, and part the up and down over the mountains through the lush countryside. Having been a road racer in my earlier life, I still found some tire sliding and hard braking a test of my personal riding envelope, something I did on Highway 1148. Other times I enjoyed the scenery at a slower pace. Whether on my own motorcycle or a rental, this small stretch of pavement did seem to deserve the attention of the avid motorcycle adventurist, but those keen on curves and technique and less on the need to ride dirt or gravel.

Through some motorcycle rental agencies not only could the adventurer rent a motorcycle but they could also hire a local Thai English speaking guide or sign-on for an organized tour.
Through some motorcycle rental agencies not only could the adventurer rent a motorcycle but they could also hire a local Thai/English speaking guide or sign up for an organized tour.

Thailand had long been a comfortable riding experience for overland motorcycle travelers transitioning Asia on world tours. Those travelers who had learned that the best source for information on traveling through Thailand was found at Horizons Unlimited often attended Horizons Unlimited Travelers Meetings in North Thailand, usually held in January. There I found numerous adventure models of motorcycles seldom seen in Thailand like the Kawasaki KLR650 or a BMW R100GSPD.
My adventures in Thailand have continued over the years. Since the first taste of what is known as “Amazing Thailand” and the two targets on my personal riding radar screen I still remained undecided if the Mae Hong Son Loop was one of the ten best rides in the world, or Highway 1148 the ultimate motorcycling highway. That uncertainty gave me a reason to return and give each further testing.

Captain Jack Sparrow Subsidizing his Pai Holiday

Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride, Sunday June 3

Hi Everyone,
Welcome to the Chiang Rai Bikers monthly day ride.  Invitation to all.  Bring your friends, the more the merrier. This next ride planned as follows;
The Ride; Run the 1155 north.
Date; Sunday 3rd June 12
Meeting point; Amazon Coffee Shop, PTT station, highway 1 in Chiang Rai.
Meeting time; 08:30
Ride departs; 09:00
Distance; Approx 230 klms.
Route; Anti-clockwise loop.
As we did a loop to the west of CR last month and a run to the south, the month before, let’s try a loop to the east this month.  The 1155 is a great road. Heading north, the mountains of Pu Chee Fah are on your right and there is a parallel line of mountains to your left. Beautiful scenery as the road follows round and over hills between the mountains, through hill tribe villages.
 Map:  see attachment
Head out of CR on 1152 to Phaya Mengrai. After passing the Nong Luang lake/reservoir (sorry, I dont know which) and the turn to Chaiyapruek, turn right on the small road across to Huai Kang and join 1174 south. Turn left again across the small roads through to Thoeng. Turn left on 1020, head east past Pee, turning left onto the great 1155 north. Head all the way north, about 67 klms, dont turn off to Pu Chee Fah anywhere (save that for another day…). This road has a few small villages for drinks stops. Being a small twisty road, it’s best enjoyed at a moderate pace. When you get to Wiang Kaen, turn right on the small road into Wiang Kaen itself and follow that road about 14 klms, through Huai Lak to Gaeng Pa Dai at the very end of the Kong river on the Thai side. The Pa Dai restaurant is at the end of this road, where we can all meet up again for a late lunch.
After Wiang Kaen, on the small road past Huai Lak, you should go through this gateway. Pic 2  See attachment
Then turn right here and follow the road through to the end past a little resort to where the restaurant is, nearly at the end of the road.  Pic 3  See attachment
After lunch, back along the small road to Wiang Kaen then right on the 1155, along the Mekong a little, a couple more viewpoint stops on this great tarmac twisty bit, then the road swings around to the south again. At Tha Charoen, turn right to Si Donchai, then left on a small road across to Bahn Wai and left on 1174. Follow that road down to Phaya Mengrai and right on 1152 back to Chiang Rai.
See you all on Sunday 3rd June.  Looking forward to it.
Best wishes



Marty and Woraphat
Chiang Rai, Thailand

Tele. 089-429-4562
Chiang Rai Saddlebags and Biker Gear
Chiang Rai Ties Forum

May 2 Chiang Rai Bikers Day Ride

Hello all.

The May 2 day ride went well.  We had 20 or so bikes, and two four wheel  vehicles.  The smallest was approximately 120 cc, the largest 1,800 cc.  Cannot say what the oldest bike was but there were some oldies there and they were looking good and going strong.
We had riders from as far away as Chiang Mai.  Ian, of Chiang Saen called this ride and he did fine job of picking a scenic route with a lot of higher altitudes riding in cooler temperatures.
Lacking a printed map prior to the start (sorry), there was often some debate and guessing at turn points.  However, even though some of the guessing turned out to be not the most correct, the routes still provided new and useful info to most of the riders.  There’s more than one way to get from Doi Chang to the highway 3037, isn’t there?  And one of those ways is almost straight up at some points!
The lunch break was in the restaurant just a couple hundred meters down the road from Doi Chang Coffee shop and warehouse.  It was an extended lunch break with lots of socialize, meeting, greeting and fine chats.  It is really cool to see so many people making so many new friends in such a short time.
We had Phil, from Chiang Mai, who runs the Ride-Asia website and biker forum with us.  He has posted his ride report on his website with pics and short descriptions.  You all can see it here-
For the last of us to arrive back in Chiang Rai, the time was about 4:30 p.m.  The little group I was with goofed off a lot on the way home and some of the other guys made tracks and arrived a lot sooner.
For next month’s ride, several ideas and route suggestions were tossed around but at this point, no person has called the ride for June with date and route.  If any of you have a plan for a day ride, just speak up and we’ll go with it.  Sounds like everyone is looking forward to the next one, no matter where we go.  Anyone can call the ride.  Let’s hear from you.
For any of you who don’t know and wish to, there are two biker forums out there with lots of northern Thailand info, including good routes, good sites and places to stay.  Just about anything you could want to know about riding here can be found in those forums and there are some true legends  posting in those forums.  We are lucky to be able to call upon their experiences when we’re planning a ride in some of the places they have been.  I, for one, doubt I’ll ever be loading my bike onto a longboat on the river just to get to a better biking spot but if you are considering doing that, the trail has been blazed and lessons learned and recorded.
The two different forums lean one a little towards two different styles of riding maybe but there is good info for all in the sites.
Phil invites you all to sing up at Ride Asia and post about your trips and experiences, read or to ask question.  You can sign up here-

David, at GT-Rider,  invites you all to sign up, post, read and ask questions at-

Lastly, Chiang Rai has a new forum and our Chiang Rai Biker Day ride info will be found there in this thread-

Marty and Woraphat

Forwarded From Chaing Rai Saddle Bags

Chiang Rai Saddlebags
9:03 PM (1 hour ago)

to Chiang
Hello all.
The May Day Ride date has been moved to the 2nd of May to avoid May 1st holiday traffic.  May 1 is a national holiday in Thailand.
There is an attached file containing a map of the route.
Here is a link to the Google map showing the meet and start point for the ride-
As always, all sizes and styles of bikes are welcome.  Most of us won’t be in any hurry and breaks/stops for smokes, pictures, chats, sightseeing and rain avoidance are up to the individual riders.  When the group leaves the start point, you’ll quickly find yourselves riding in smaller groups of riders who share your style and speed of riding.  Getting lost, taking wrong turns, short cuts and scenic by-ways is highly acceptable, as sooner or later, we all end up at the same place and there is no hurry to be any where at any time. Faster bikes/riders will no doubt add a few kilometers to the route and still make the lunch stop in time for some idle chat.  As much as this is a nice ride and nice day out, this is an opportunity to meet some new people, make some new friends and share info about favorite rides, routes and places to visit.
The ladies are planning on bringing the refreshments in four wheel vehicles and they welcome all of the other ladies who wish to attend but don’t want to spend the day on a bike.  If any of you have someone who wants to join with the others in bringing refreshments and a truck or car, that person/s, if they choose to, they can contact Woraphat so they can get together on who is bringing what and who.  Woraphat can be reached at this e-mail address or at the number below.
Details of the ride are below-
Wednesday 2nd May 
to avoid the holiday on the 1st. We hope that suits everyone and better to ride on a non-holiday day.

Meeting place; Amazon coffee shop at the PTT petrol station on highway 1 in Chiang Rai, just south of the Kawasaki dealer.
Meeting time; 08:30
Departure time; 09:00

Coffee, petrol, tire inflation, snacks and restrooms are available at the PTT
Route- This is a different kind of ride to the Phayao ride. The first part is a bit

boring, down main road 1211, but then after Charin Resort, you get into some
great twisties. Up and over the Lum Nam Kok National Park on the 3037. There
is a coffee shop at the top of Doi Chang (of course) that I think does food
too, or there is a resort in Wawi that has a restaurant. Then the 1089 back
to Mae Chan is always fun. The last run back to Chiang Rai is highway 1.

 If anyone needs any type of clarification on any of the above, please let us know.  Our e-mailing list for this ride has almost doubled since last time but if any of you know of anyone else who wishes to be on the list, please forward this to them and have them contact me.  Also feel free to post this on your websites or blogs and forward to any other local publishing persons as you see fit.

Marty and Woraphat

Doi Chang and Wawi route map.jpg Doi Chang and Wawi route map.jpg
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On The Road Thailand

: On The Road Thailand
: Independent Guide for Bikers and Travelers Touring Thailand.

As an independent travel guide and website for bikers living in Thailand.
Focusing on all areas including the Golden Triangle, Bangkok, Isaan and surrounding provinces. The North of Thailand is the best in all of Asia for motorbike touring and famous for it’s mountain trails. In this guide popular routes are covered and locations revealed. Using this resource you can access bike routes, information, images and insider info from across Thailand to aid you in your travels and living.

Thailand is a large country featuring highlands in the North of the country where the borders with Laos and Burma (Myanmar) meet at a place known as the point of the ‘Golden Triangle.’ Chang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand and was formerly a capital in her own right.
Journeying south towards Phitsanulok the fertile rice plains that stretch in all directions become more apparent. Kamphaeng Pet and Nakhon Sawan are predominant areas in this agricultural powerhouse of Thailand.
To the East lies what is considered by many to be north-eastern region of Thailand; Isaan. There are no less than eight provincial cities that make up this region. Khon Kaen, Udon Thani and the border town of Nong Khai to name but a few.
Just south of the former capital Ayuthya is Bangkok; The Capital City of Thailand.
Away to the west is Kanchanaburi, a popular spot for visitors to the Bridge over the River Kwai.

Mr & Mrs Styles

Toby Styles Art & T-Shirt Design

Out and About in Pai

Pai  is a small town in Mae Hong Son Province, Northern Thailand. It is part of the Mae Hong Son Loop, which is 135km on route 1095 from Chiang Mai to Mae Hong Son. The city is named after the Pai river.

Pai Set in a particularly picturesque valley north of Chiang Mai, Pai is a predominantly tourism-oriented town, offering a relaxed atmosphere with a broad traveller and backpacker scene. The town’s permanent residents are a seemingly harmonious mix of Western hippies and Thai rastas which gives the place a unique vibe which is appealing even if it isn’t authentic.

A sudden boom in guest house and bar construction from 2006 onwards has resulted in a great deal of spare capacity in the off season.— There has been a large increase in Thai people visiting after Pai was featured in a romantic Thai film. [1] It can be hard to find a room during the busy season (Oct-Feb). There are now around 350 guest houses and hotels in Pai, and the city center has transformed into containing western style restaurants, souvenir shops, and bars that cater largely to the now significant influx of tourists and package tours.

Whilst the growth of Pai has been rapid and more or less every farm in the valley seems to offer bungalows, development so far has been largely tasteful and the town remains relatively serene during low season.

Getting around Pai

Pai town itself is compact and best explored on foot.

For exploring further afield, bicycles (40-100 baht/day) and motorbikes (from as little as 80 baht/day) can be rented from many agents along the main street. As the roads around Pai are steep and obtaining a decent mountain bike with fully functioning gears is surprisingly difficult, motorbike is definitely the better option if you can ride one. Suggestions in guidebooks that Ban Santhichorn and Lisu Village might be reached on foot are optimistic.

Motorbike and 4wd taxis are also readily available.

You’ll also want a motorbike if you’re planning on staying in some of the outlying bungalows in the valley around the town.

aYa Services offer an hour’s free motorbike rental to those arriving on their minivans to help them look for accommodation.
The town itself has no special sights; most people come simply for the relaxed atmosphere. Nearby attractions include hot springs and waterfalls, villages and a hilltop temple.
Chinese village (Santichon). Village settled by Yunnanese hill-tribes who crossed the border in the middle of the 20th century to escape Communist rule. Shops selling different Chinese teas with varying health properties, and other interesting oddities include a human-powered Ferris wheel. Well worth a look, even as a brief stop on the way to Mo Paeng waterfall.

Getting to Pai

Getting in  By road
Route 1095 which connects Pai with Mae Hong Son (50km as the crow flies, but approx. 110km by road) and Chiang Mai (135km) is a very scenic route through the mountains which takes several hours (but worth it). It’s a steep and windy drive, with lots of curves, so take a plastic bag and some motion-sickness pills if you need them.

By motorcycle
Route 1095 isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. There isn’t much traffic and you can hear the cars and trucks coming. If you’re a little adventurous, rent a motorcycle in Chiang Mai and make the ride up to Pai. You can stop at the waterfalls and small towns along the way, and you’ll really enjoy the trip, as opposed to being motion sick in a bus for hours, and being forced to stop at the driver’s friends restaurants. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous and being on a bike makes you feel like part of the mountains. The locals will think you’re crazy, and the construction crews get really excited when you come through. Make sure to take some warmer clothing on your bike, as it tends to get a bit chilly in the higher portions of the ride. As a novice rider, expect the trip to take around 5 or 6 hours, including stops at sites and restaurants along the way. aYa Service [2] offers one way rentals from Chiang Mai to Pai (or vice versa) with luggage delivery for free (as of May 2010). They will keep your passport and send it along with any baggage to aYa in Pai.

By bus
Buses and minibuses go to Chiang Mai (Arcade terminal) and Mae Hong Son. Regular public buses take around 4 hours and charge about 80 baht; minibuses take around 3 hours and tickets (sold by travel agencies) cost about 160 baht. One strategy is to get to Pai using the public bus so that you can get an idea as to how winding the road is and then you can decide if you want to splash out and get the mini bus back to Chiang Mai.

To feel less travel sick and save some money take the regular public bus. The scenery is lovely and the winding roads are much easier on one’s stomach if you take things slowly.

From Chiangmai: Local Bus from Chiang Mai to Pai leaves the Arcade Bus Station, five trips during a day (07:00, 08:30, 10:30, 12:30, 16:00). The trip takes some 3 hours and there is a comfort stop at the small half way village of Mae Sae (very good Northern sausages and traditional chicken curry noodle soup available as well as other necessities food water toilets (B3 to use them, as at all bus stations in Thailand!) et cetera). Bus trip costs as at Nov 2010 B150.

Minibuses and Small passenger trucks (song taew) carrying a dozen people also leaves from the bus station as often as there are sufficient passengers or full paying passenger. (cost of private hire is approximately 1200 or share for approximately 150 Baht). The rear seats approximately 10 people and is open air. The view and wind in your face is pleasant, but not the occasional exhaust fumes.

By plane
The nearest domestic airport is in Pai. Kan Airlines [3] operate one or more daily flights between Chiang Mai and Pai, depending on the season. Flying time is 25 minutes. Passengers can make reservations and purchase tickets through the airlines’ websites, their call centres or with a travel agent.

Pai Canyon

Pai Canyon (Kong Lan), (signposted from the Chiang Mai road; approx 6km from Pai). Somewhat optimistically described as Pai’s answer to the Grand Canyon, it could more accurately be described as a narrow red ridges with steep-sides valleys either side filled with pine and dipterocarp forests. The steep 50m drop either side and stunning views over the surrounding countryside are impressive, but you’ll need to be careful here – the path is extremely narrow in some places and requires a scramble in others. A set of steps up to a viewing platform provides the safest way to admire the scenery and the canyon makes the perfect spot for a sunset.

Pai WWII Memorial Bridge


WWII Memorial Bridge, (on the road to Chiang Mai, approx 8km from Pai). The original bridge here was built by the occupying Japanese. The current steel truss bridge which sits alongside the present main road was assembled in its current position rather more recently, but as with Pai’s “canyon”, the bridge invites very loose comparisons with the infamous Bridge over the River Kwai. 

Pai Waterfalls


Mo Paeng, (west of Chiang Mai past Santichon). A little more accessible than most of Pai’s waterfalls, this multi-tiered waterfall flows through a verdant green valley and is popular for its pools to swim in. The upper section of this waterfall is a natural water slide during the dry season. The rocks are smooth, just find a small section and slide on down like the locals do!

Pam Bok – on the road to Chiang Mai before Pai Canyon. Nice secluded waterfall with high cliffs surrounding it, making this a very cool place to escape the heat. Go for a relaxing bathe in the shade during the dry season.

Pai Adventure Motorbike Tours

Adventure Motorbike Tours

Whether it is your first time biking off road or you are already an experienced offroad biker then you have to check out these boys.

They are local to Pai and know the back tracks like the back of their hands offering you a unique range of road and dirt bike tours throughout the spectacular mountain provinces of Northern Thailand, a true biker’s paradise.

They are a jointly run English and Thai company whose English guides have a combined 20 years of riding experience all over Mae Hong Son province including the famous Mae Hong Son loop. They have an intimate knowledge of the roads, trails, landscapes and culture that will make the difference between an average and a great biking holiday!

Adventure Motorbike Tours
Adventure Motorbike Tours

Adventure Motorbike Tours

Their routes are carefully selected to provide the most exciting journey through the most magnificent scenery Northern Thailand has to offer.

Explore this hugely rich and expansive natural environment with its soaring mountains, deep valleys, perfectly terraced rice fields and cascading waterfalls that are guaranteed to take your breath away. CLICK HERE to check out their Website.

Pai Zip Line Adventure

Pai Zip Line Adventure, tessaban 1, 58130 Pai, ☎ +66895596267 (, fax: +66895596267), [4]. Taking glamorous adventure in an extensive forest and fog tri-season. The exiting flight with the 14 station canopy 2-2,5 hours is ending at the beautiful Pam Bok waterfall 8 km out of Pai where you can cool down. 850 THB.

Pai Elephant Treking

Elephant Trek. For several years now, travellers have enjoyed riding an elephant and concluding the trip with a romp in the Pai River. For this ‘adventure’, take as little as possible – you’ll be enjoyably wet as the elephant is encouraged to shower you. Some operators – and there are several – are willing to take photos of you while you enjoy the elephant antics in the river.