Best Things To Do In Pai – Thailand’s Most Romantic City

Best Things To Do In Pai

Nestled in the foothills of Northern Thailand, Pai is a heavenly town filled with nature, romantic attractions and funky boutique shops. It’s a place of convergence where western influence, traditional Thai culture and laid back attitude meet. Among all the different destinations around Chiang Mai, Pai is really a romantic place you shouldn’t miss. Here’s the best things to do in Pai.

Best Things To Do In Pai- Where is Pai?

This hippie little town is around 3 hours drive (135km) from Chiang Mai. To get there, you need to drive more than 800 curves. The curves are really winding. When it gets dark, it becomes rather dangerous to drive. So do set off early. Once you reach Pai, it’s where your pain finally comes to an end and romance about to start!

Best Things To Do In Pai road


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Best Things To Do In Pai No 1- Hike Pai Canyon

Pai Canyon is described in some tourist brochures as Thailand’s answer to the Grand Canyon. In my opinion, this is the definitely the top thing to do in Pai. The canyon’s geological and topographic features are really stunning. Formed by continuous erosion over decades until reaching the current condition, the carved narrow ledges and slabs have steep 30 meters deep cliff deeps.

Best Things To Do In Pai pai canyon hiking

If you are more adventurous, I highly recommend you to go down and up the canyon, until you reach the end. Do note that some paths can be rather challenging, steep and narrow, so do wear proper sport shoes and trekking pants.

Best Things To Do In Pai narrow pai canyon

Calvin and I had no idea how difficult it was, so we both were in slippers and I was even in a dress! But if we could conquer Pai Canyon with such unprofessional outfit, there’s no reason why you can’t. All you need is a little bit courage!

Best Things To Do In Pai pai canyon

Once you reach near the end of Pai Canyon, you’ll be greeted with even more amazing landscape. Few travellers dare to venture this far. But the view is worth every of your effort.

Best Things To Do In Pai landscape pai canyon


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And to my amazement, Calvin actually proposed to me at the narrow “bridge”. I had mixed feelings at that time. On one hand, I was super happy and surprised. On the other hand, I had no way to go and was afraid of we or the ring may fall. So I had no choice but to say “Yes” quickly. ;p

Best Tahings To Do In Pai narrow end pai canyon

Best Things To Do In Pai proposal at pai canyon

So I guess the end of Pai Canyon is definitely a romantic choice to propose, as there’s no way to “No!” LOL

Best Things To Do In Pai No 2 – Explore Pai Street

Every night the main street of Pai fills up with food vendors and market stalls selling everything from your quintessential hippie clothing and jewellery to personalised post cards. The hippie street exudes a relaxed atmosphere you can barely find in other parts of Thailand.

Best Things To Do In Pai street

As we were walking around the street, we came across a Pink Van street stall that sells very unique handicrafts. Some of the handcrafts are designed by the lovely couple and they are selling at very reasonable prices as compared to other stalls. Without hesitation, we got all our souvenirs from them!

Best Things To Do In Pai street stall

It turns out that this couple are super creative people. They even offer super cute photo-taking props for free, so that tourists like us can take some funny pictures. We had so much fun posing couple shots while the owner helped us snap down the moments!

Best Things To Do In Pai street fun shot

You can also find a lot of restaurants and cafes along the street. The selection of culinary delights is quite varied; western, Thai food, Japanese, you name it. You certainly won’t go hungry!


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Best Things To Do In Pai No 3 – Visit Yun Lai Viewpoint (Mist of Sea)

Many people say that Yun Lai Viewpoint is the best place to catch sunrise in Pai. So we purposely woke up early the next day. Located around 15 mins from the Pai town, the drive once again feels like a roller coaster. The slope to go up almost feels like a 90 degree gradient. No joke!

Best Things To Do In Pai yun lai chicken

Once you reach the hill top, you’ll find some huts with chicken roaming around. The place is really misty due to its altitude. No wonder it’s called “Mist of Sea”!

Best Things To Do In Pai yun lai entrance

Due to bad weather and misty clouds, we couldn’t catch the legendary beautiful sunrise. Still, it’s a place where you can enjoy peace while overlooking the romantic Pai town.

Best Things To Do In Pai yun lai view point

Best Things To Do In Pai city view

The village even named itself as “Village of Love”. Some travellers even write down their love vows here. Aww so sweet…

Best Things To Do In Pai love village


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Best Things To Do In Pai – Where to stay?

Nothing beats finding the perfect hotel to complement your romantic getaway. Although there are a lot of hotels and resorts to choose from, we chose PuriPai Villa. In my opinion, it’s one of the most relaxed and romantic resort we’ve ever stayed.

Best Things To Do In Pai puripai room

Located in hill top and 10 mins drive from Pai city, PuriPai Villa is where luxury and nature integrates in harmony. It’s so beautiful that you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

Best Things To Do In Pai puripai

Best Things To Do In Pai – How to get around?

There’s no better way to explore Chiang Mai and its countryside like Pai than renting a car on your own! not, your transportation cost is going to be crazy! Personally we chose Budget Car Rental, as it’s very affordable and service is awesome.

Best Things To Do In Pai budget car

Check out the V-log I made and you’ll find a very special moment inside!


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Best Things To Do In Pai – Avoid Pai Hot Spring

Last but not least, I want to share some thoughts about Pai Hot Spring. Although there are many people saying positive things about it, I find it completely nonsensical. The place is crowded with tourists, expensive and dirty. The facility is bad and not even properly maintained. It’s definitely not worth your time nor money to visit there at all. If you don’t want to ruin your romantic getaway, avoid Pai Hot Spring!

But apart from that, everything is just perfect in Pai. I’m in love with it. Are you?

Best Things To Do In Pai proposal


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  • Janna C.

    Wow this place looks interesting. It doesn’t look like its in Thailand at all! It reminds me somehow of Grand Canyon. We only went to Bangkok and Chiang Mai during our short visit to Thailand, so maybe ill check this out when I visit next time.

    • Chiang Mai and around has so many beautiful places. Pai is really great, chill and romantic. 🙂 Enjoy your next trip!

  • I’m dying to go to Thailand, it’s been at the top of my list for some time now. I’ve never heard of Pai but it looks super charming and that hotel is amazing, I’d love to just stay in bed and watch the gorgeous scenery.

    • I didn’t know Pai is so charming either and I’m glad I drove all the way there!

  • What a great memory of Pai you have, being the place of your engagement! Very exciting. I think Pai sounds amazing – not an area I had heard of before. Good idea to be prepared with proper hiking gear for the canyon walk though! You are brave to do it in what you were wearing!

    • Thank you Juliette! I’m sure if I didn’t have the courage to hike Pai Canyon, my fiance wouldn’t get the chance to propose to me there. It’s all worth it! Hope you can check it out soon!

  • We haven’t been to Thailand yet, but I am dying to go. The hot springs don’t surprise me – places like that are often tourist traps. We try to avoid them. Pity that you had to find out how disappointing they were after paying for them.

    • I totally agree with you. Places like this are not worth our time at all. Nevertheless, PAI is a beautiful place.

  • Sarah Ebner

    Incredible place to go – would love to climb the canyon particularly, but can’t believe you went in slippers and a dress! I’m not surprised it gets very busy – some of the best places always are. Sorry you missed the sunrise.

    • Surprisingly pai canyon wasn’t very crowded, especially at the end, so it’s definitely worth your time and effort to go.