During our stay in Chiang Mai, James really wanted to go to Pai due to recommendations we’d heard. I hadn’t actually heard of it before! We were debating whether we make our own way there and stay the night, or book a day trip.
Due to the difficulty of getting to our next destination (Chiang Rai) from Pai and the cost of getting the bus/getting to the bus station, we settled on a day trip. James worked his magical haggling skills and got us a really good price from a tour company! We paid 750 baht (£18.50) each.
We were picked up at 7.30 am by our guide Nancy who advised us we would be joining a Chinese tour group so her explanations would be in Chinese and English and it was likely to be fairly loud!
The journey to Pai took 3 hours coursing around bendy mountain roads, and not just a few, there were hundreds of them! The tour company even had sick bags handy!
On our way we witnessed a guy on a scooter skid into a ditch, and he later passed us with a bruised white shirt and scratched scooter. We were also amazed at the many cyclists attempting the ride, and the driver was heavily amused.
Pai Treehouse, Hotel Resort
Our first stop was Pai Treehouse. This was a hotel resort on the river, famous for offering a few rooms in a treehouse! It was a pretty resort with many photo opportunities including swings, bicycles and benches.
Pai WW2 Memorial Bridge
From here, we were taken to Pai memorial bridge. Nancy explained that during WW2, the Japanese Army forced locals to build a bridge over the river to get access to Burma (Myanmar) to attack. After defeat the Japanese burned the bridge, so Pai built a new one which was damaged after a flood. The current bridge was offered by Chiang Mai to Pai – look at me, learning as I go!
Over the bridge was a quirky café with metal sculptures. I think quirky and colourful is exactly how to describe Pai!
Our third stop was to Pai Canyon. Made famous by the Thai film ‘Pai in Love’ it has become much more popular. It was a view point surrounded by lush greenery. James went a little more towards the edge – I was a bit too nervy for that!
Love Strawberry, Pai
The next stop was Love Strawberry. This was essentially a strawberry field but a completely themed one with giant strawberries, colourful umbrellas, heart shaped walkways and other photo quirks! James and I ran away at out hearts content snapping loads of cute shots together!
We even traded photo snapping with another couple, which was cute.
Coffee in Love, Pai
Next up was Coffee in Love – a coffee shop, but beautiful views, gardens and a yellow house belonging to the owner, and an ‘I AM PAI’ sign which James took full advantage posing in front of!
Mari Pai, Hotel Resort
Mari Pai was probably my favourite stop. Again, another hotel resort but with the most ‘Instagram-able tree and swing’. The tree is so tall with this beautiful rope swing hanging down overlooking a beautiful landscape.
You have to wait your turn and rush your photos. With James as my personal photographer – he made sure I got a good one!
Pai Waan Resort
Pai Waan was the next stop – it was another hotel that was painted pink with pink props everywhere! Just another part of Pai charm!
The Heart of Pai Resort
Our last and final stop was The Heart of Pai Resort with an upside-down house as its selling point! A few more photos and back on the windy roads to Chiang Mai.
It was a really nice way to see Pai but definitely felt like a whistle stop tour, fast paced and not enough time to soak up the atmosphere of the place. After hearing other traveller stories, the place is perfect for a few nights and has a relaxed vibe. There is plenty more to see including waterfalls and springs.
Pai felt really sweet and quirky but also much fuller with tourists now it is becoming well known! I am glad we got to see this place and experience what all the fuss was about!