Tag Archive: Pai


Mae Hong Song Loop

Ever since getting the new bike back in December I have been meaning to get around the Mae Hong Song Loop.  I finally managed this a couple of weeks back with Robin and Blake.  The actual riding was great and varied and really enjoyed this part of the trip. The road over to Pai was fun as usual with plenty of tight hairpins up and down the mountain. The road onwards to Mae Hong Song opened out a bit but still ran through some really stunning mountain scenery. As we  had all visited Pai on numerous occasions we decided to head right on up to Mae Hong Song and spend the first night there, but Pai is worth a stop if it is your first time passing through.

On day one we were kind of lucky with the weather, big dark clouds hovered over many of the mountain tops but we managed to miss all but some very minor drizzle. We made good time and arrived to Mae Hong Song around mid afternoon. Along the route there are plenty of attractions such as waterfalls, hot springs etc. etc. so plenty of options to stop and take a break . We stopped off at a couple of spots I have not been to before including the Fish Cave and Pha Sua Waterfall, the waterfall is great for a refreshing swim with some deep pools at some at the lower tiers.

On day two we planned to head south and spend the Night in Mae Sariang but dad had done this trip a year earlier and had told me of an interesting detour across the mountains which takes you the back way to Doi Inthanon National Park. We turned off the Mae Hong Son – Mae Sariang Road just before the town of Khun Yuam. The riding was good thorough some great mountain roads however the rain finally caught up with us and we spent most of the afternoon wet and eventually quite cold as we made our way up towards Doi Inthanon. Anyway due to the weather we decided to head home that evening but still a great ride over the 2 days and looking forward to another 3 day trip to Nan this weekend.

On the way to Pai we made a quick stop at Pong Duet Hot springs as this was only as short detour off our route. They have a pleasant 800 meter nature trail to the bathing areas but me and Tack were feeling lazy and the day was already hot so we skipped the nature trail and took the motorbike straight to the hot spring baths. At the bathing area they had a couple of nice looking hot spring swimming pools as well as private cabins or if you preferred you could just dangle your feet in the natural hot spring stream. As it was just after mid day and the day was already a scorcher the last thing I felt like doing was jumping in an even hotter bath of water so I gave the bathing a miss however I will remember to come back if I am making the Pai to Chiang Mai trip by motorbike in the cold season as this would be a great spot to warm up while crossing the mountains between Pai and Chiang Mai.

Last weekend we took  mum up to Pai. This is a fun trip to do on a motorbike and dad offered to take mum up on the back of his bike so Tack, me, mum and dad headed up together. We only stayed one night as we couldn’t be away from the little Pinky too long but we mainly went for the ride there and back.

About Pai

The first time I came to Thailand was over 10 years ago, then I never made it up to Pai. The first time was about three years ago and things are changing fast. The second Seven Eleven has just moved into town and accommodation options are expanding with plenty of resorts in the 3-4 star range. I noticed on this visit more tourists in the older age bracket (probably staying in the classier resorts). There are also many more coffee shops knocking out expensive cappuccinos and lattes. Maybe it was because of the university holidays but it seemed like the Thai tourists were also visiting in big numbers and at a rough guess they seemed to out number western visitors by about 10-1. This gave Pai a very different feel to my last visit a couple of years ago and if this has become the norm then Pai has begun to lose some of its laid back charm. However I still like the Pai of today it has become a funky little town and nothing much as changed to the surrounding countryside and its setting in the Pai River valley, there are still plenty of waterfalls, hotsprings and quiet spots to visit. Increasingly Pai is also becoming a center for hill tribe trekking and adventure activities with rafting and climbing both very popular. I enjoyed this visit and with Pai only a two and a half hour drive from Chiang Mai it has reminded be to get up here more often. I am sure I will be back soon.

Pai Thailand

This weekend we decided to head up to Pai. Although short, this was the first holiday we have taken Pinky on. We have always felt she was too young before to take her on holiday but as mother-in law was in hospital having gall stones removed we didnt have much choice if we wanted to get away this weekend. Me and Tack usually head up on motorbike but as Pinky was with us we had to take the car. About 50km outside of Chiang Mai the road starts to wind up the mountains this involved quite a few hairpin bends as Pinky wasn’t use to travelling long distances she got sick and threw up all over Tack and the back seat of the car….nice!