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My wife and me was in august 2008 direct after Chiang Mai in Pai. Pai is a small village at Mae Hong Son province in north Thailand with 3000 habitats. Here is everything small and idyllic. Small Restaurants, Cafe’s (like: All about Coffee, Pai Now, Sincere Coffee…) and guesthouses with style and ambiance dominate Pai. We was staying at the Breeze of Pai guest house next to the River. Some other good accommodation in Pai are the Lisu Hotel and Baan Pai Village. The most famous tourist features are elephant riding, rafting, hot springs, three waterfalls and some minority villages not far from Pai.
The main sight is Pai itself! Musicians, artists. spirituals and backpacker must be fans of Pai in mae hongson. The mix of all give a harmoniousness cityscape. The harmonies of mountain and woodland is amazing. Actually i come to Pai to visit a friend who have some small bungalows and the Stone Free Bar at this beautiful part in mae hong sorn. Before he was living on Ko Chang and was the owner of Thale Bungalows. I was living 1,5 years in his Bungalows direct on the beach.
Nearly every evening sounds live music out of the pubs. Blues, Reggae, Rock n roll, jazz and many more options You have. Some famous locations for nightlife in Pai are “Buffalo Hill” and “Mellow Yellow“. The Pai hot springs come out of earth in a evergreen forest and runs into a small river. The natural river pools have about 40-50C, perfect for a hot mineral bath in the nature. The river witch runs slowly and easy through the mountains can be a mirror of the lifestyle of the habitats here in northern Thailand.
The Stonefree bungalow park offer some easy but beautiful possibilities to stay. In the evening you can see the sunset over the mountains on this spot. The restaurant of Stone Free offer good and cheap foot, many good friends and a amazing ambiance, in nighttime you can listen to the “Sticky Rice Blues Band” which play from while to while at Thale Mhog in Pai.
The beautie in Maehongson is surrounded of ever green mountains who catch the clouds. From the “Wat Phra That Mae Yen” temple You have a good viewpoint over the environment and over the mountains with neon green rice fields. At the Chinese minority village you can see a beautiful Chinese open air temple with a big golden Dragon statue.
After one week it was time to say: see you again Pai! We was going with a bus back to Chiang Mai and from there we book plane tickets to Bangkok Suwannaphumi Airport. The AirAsia flight was cheap and good. From the capital we took a taxi to Leam Ngop to reach the last ferry to Koh Chang at seven pm. For this trip in the north of Siam i used the Lonely Planet travel guide for Thailand.
PAI: Love in the mountains!
Our second time in Pai
In April 2009 we come the second time to Pai to make holidays. We stayed about two weeks over the Songkran Festival. Compared to our first time here in this cosy village we did nothing, just relax and hang around with some friends. Just one day we did a daytrip to Mae Hong Son, Tham Pla Fish Cave and to a Longneck Karen village. But actually our normal day was like: we woke up at the morning in our Bungalow next to a small river, had breakfast than we walked back to the hut where we chill on our balcony and listen to the sounds of the nature. After lunch we sit on grass, talked and drunk some beers with some friends. At the late afternoon we droved nearly everyday to the central market in Pai to buy something for dinner. After food we was sitting around a small fire and went back to bed early. Pai in north Thailand is the perfect place to do nothing! The highlands around the Bungalows are beautiful, especially at sunrise when the fog hang inside the Mountains.
After sunsent you will reconize some forrest fires in dry season. The Rain are rare in this time and the Asian Forrest are realy dry, so becareful where you put your cigarette. We enjoyed our holiday’s here at this peaceful place in Thailand and we will come back if we find time. Pai at the Mae Hong Son province should be a “must see” destination for Backpacker in Southeast Asia!