Travel Tips For Pai Thailand
Pai is located 2-3 hrs north of Chiang Mai, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Thai people. The small mountain village is designed to be a quiet and relaxing place for visitors that have come to experience the unique atmosphere and style, that has now been reproduced throughout the town. Pai is nothing like anywhere else in Thailand, it is worth checking out.
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I normally strongly recommend booking your accommodation online in advance, and this is still a good idea if you are visiting Pai. However you can still get great value and reasonable rates just walking into hotel or guesthouse in Pai. Accommodations in Pai are considerably less expensive than other major destinations in Thailand. There are high end 5 star resorts that will cost you hundreds of dollars per night, but you can also find plenty of clean and comfortable guesthouses in the $15-20USD price range. Pai is the most popular tourist destination for Thai tourists from all over Thailand. This helps keep things affordable, because Thais will not overpay for things the way that foreigners will. I will offer my opinion on a few of
the spots where I have stayed.
Pai Country Home - Pai Country home is a guesthouse and restaurant located on Pai's walking street. This is the most convenient location as all the main attractions are located on or near the walking street. Rooms are affordable from $10-15USD per night. There is free wireless Internet in the restaurant and the rooms are clean and comfortable. The only negative thing about this guesthouse is that if you like to sleep in, you might find yourself getting woke up early in the morning by the noise of the restaurant.
Pai In The Sky - This is one of the more popular guesthouses in Pai, having a catchy name certainly helps. The location is near the river and they also have river rafting tours available. Room rates are from $10-15USD per night.
Pravee's House - This guesthouse offers simple accommodation at a reasonable rate. I would only recommend looking at Pravee's House if the above guesthouses did not have anything available. There is nothing wrong with Pravee's House, however I believe the other recommended guesthouses offer a little more for the same price range ($10-15USD per night).
The Countryside Resort - The Countryside resort is one of the nicer guesthouses in Pai, with a swimming pool, wifi in every room and cable TV. Room rates are from $20-30USD per night.
DINING IN PAI
Pai has plenty of wonderful and affordable restaurants. Most tourist destinations in Thailand are filled with overpriced low quality Thai food, and you have to be very careful where you choose to eat. This is not the case in Pai, for the most part the Thai food is very authentic and very affordable at almost every restaurant I have tried. The fact that more than half of the Tourists visiting Pai are Thais, certainly helps motivate the local restaurateurs to keep their food reasonably priced and authentic. There are also a lot of health food and vegetarian food restaurants in Pai catering to the foreign tourists. I will offer some tips on some of my favourite places, but I will also say that you can't go wrong by trying almost any of the restaurants in the walking street area.
Pai Country Home - Located on the walking street, their restaurant has a wide variety of Thai and western food. Normally it is not a good idea to order western food in a Thai restaurant, however I will make an exception here. Another favourite at Pai Country Home is their fresh fruit smoothies, you will have to try one of these!
Blue Restaurant - A nice place for evening dining or just having a drink. Great atmosphere with a nice view near the river. Not the best place to go if you are on a very tight budget!
Pai Corner - A popular spot for affordable Thai food, and a great place for people watching.
THINGS TO DO
River Rafting : Depending on the time of year, river rafting can be a great way to spend an afternoon in Pai. You can take a tour down the river on a bamboo raft almost anytime of year , and this is a lot of fun for anybody. For the more adventurous travellers, there are also inflatable rafts for white water rafting in the wet season. During the dry season you may not find these tours available. You can book these tours with any travel agent on or around the walking street, prices vary so you should shop around.
Pai In Love - Any couples travelling to Pai will want to visit Pai In Love, a photo of you and your mate in front of the giant sign is an absolute must!
Fluid Swimming Pool - For travellers that are staying in a guesthouse without a swimming pool, Fluid has a poolside restaurant and sauna. The atmosphere is a little unique, when I was there they had some large speakers blareing house music, and it appeared that if you were looking for a place to find some grass, this might be a place to ask (just a guess, grass is not my thing)
Shopping - After dark, the walking street is full of vendors selling souvenirs and arts and crafts that are very popular with local Thai tourists. There are also many well known characters that entertain tourists, including a guitar playing police officer in uniform, and a Thai version of Captain Jack Sparrow.
Spas/Massage - There are plenty of affordable massage shops near the walking street, charging about $5USD per hour for Thai massage. If you are looking for extra services that are available in massage shops all over Thailand, you might not find this available in Pai.
Herbal Sauna - A herbal Sauna is a relaxing way to unwind, for approximately $6USD per hour you can relax in one of Pai's herbal saunas.
I normally write a few comments in all of my travel tip articles on how to stay out of trouble. I tell you about possible problems and scams, but in this case I don't think there is any need to warn you to be careful in Pai. By the time you will have made it to Pai, you will have visited some other locations in Thailand, and you will most likely have a little knowledge about Thailand. Really you would have to try very hard to get into any trouble in Pai, it is a small town and the locals are very easy going. As long as you don't go out looking for trouble, you won't have anything to worry about.
Hello - sawadee krup ( the "r" is silent )
Thank you - ka poon krup
How Much - tao Rai
Where - tee nai
What - arai
Good - dee
Bad - mai dee
Yes - chai
No - mai chai
Sorry - kra tote
Man - poo chai
Woman - poo ying
1 - nung
2 - song
3 - sam
4 - see
5 - haa
6 - hok
7 - jet
8 - pet
9 - kao
10 - seep