Many believe Pai’s most outstanding attractions are its surrounding mountain scenery, plethora of thrilling outdoor activities, and Chaisongkran Road’s constant buzz of activity. However, there are also some attractions in Pai which are specifically geared towards the community’s increasing number of tourists.
Pai Canyon: Pai Canyon, or Kong Lan, is sometimes compared to the rand Canyon because of its narrow red ridges and steep 50m drops on both sides. Visitors should proceed with caution when scrambling down the canyon or navigating the very narrow path, but a colourful sunset view awaits those who reach the top of the viewing platform of this canyon located about eight kilometres outside of Pai.
Pai Canyon: T. Thung Yao, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 24 hours | Entrance Fee: Free | Map
Tha Pai Hot Spring: The soothing sulphuric Tha Pai Hot Spring water comes from a stream where hot rocks meet cool waters approximately seven kilometres from Pai. The heat from Tha Pai Hot Springs may be too much to handle during Pai’s hottest months, but can provide both healing properties and refreshing warmth when temperatures plummet during December and January.
Tha Pai Hot Spring: T. Mae Hi, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 08:00-18:00 (Daily) | Entrance Fees: Adult 300 B / Child 150 B | Map
The Pai Land Split: The Pai Land Split or Land Crack is another unusual landmark situated six and a half kilometres south of central Pai on a farm where soil erosion caused the land to crack and split. The friendly property owners gladly provide visitors with produce, nuts, and drinks in exchange for donations. Visitors can sip on rosella juice in hammocks after climbing up the hill to see the land crack.
The Pai Land Split (Land Crack): T. Thung Yao, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Entrance Fee: Free | Map
Mae Yen Waterfall: It takes between three to four hours for most hikers to make the trek through the forest to the Mae Yen Waterfall, which are located seven kilometres from Pai near Doi Huay Nam Dung. The hike begins at a dam close to Wat Pratat Maeyen and ends at a breathtaking waterfall surrounded by trees of all sizes. Flash floods make the hike more challenging during the rainy season.
Mae Yen Waterfall: T. Mae Hi, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Map
Mor Paeng Waterfall: The multi-tiered Mor Paeng waterfall located 12kms west of Pai also attract quite a few visitors because they are easy to reach and filled with long rock faces which slide directly into refreshing pools. Less experienced swimmers, however, should approach these natural waterslides with caution.
Mor Paeng Waterfall: M. 4, Baan Mor Paeng, T. Mae Na Toeng, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Map
Wat Nam Hoo: Holy water is said to have once poured from the hollow head of the sacred Buddha image inside the Wat Nam Hoo temple. The pagoda behind the main building of this temple located two kilometres west of Pai features a memorial shrine containing Princess Supankalaya’s hair and ashes.
Wat Nam Hoo: T. Wiang Tai, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Entrance Fee: Free | Map
Wat Phra That Mae Yen: Visitors must climb more than 350 steps to reach the highest point of Wat Phra That Mae Yen, a temple perched on a scenic hill two kilometres east of central Pai. The temple grounds contain some small golden chedis in addition to the two main buildings.
Wat Phra That Mae Yen: Baan Mae Yen, T. Thung Yao, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 06:00-18:00 (Daily) | Entrance Fee: Free | Map
Wat Luang: A sitting Buddha in front of a wooden Wihaan is the highlight of Wat Luang, a temple which has stood in Pai since 1803. The white chedi in Wat Luang’s backyard features a few gold touches. People visiting Ban Santichon, as this unique village is often called, can also pose in traditional Yunnan costumes or sample a seemingly endless variety of locally produced tea and food. Sunrise is the best time of day to soak in the mountain scenery from the Santichon Chinese Village viewpoint.
Wat Luang: #34, T. Wiang Tai, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Entrance Fee: Free | Tel: +66 53 699 246 | Map
WWII Memorial Bridge: Despite its name, the Japanese did not build the original WWII Memorial Bridge between Pai and the road to Chiang Mai until the war ended. The present day WWII Memorial Bridge is a steel truss structure situated close to the Mae Hong Son Loop’s 88km marker and is eight kilometres from Pai. This WWII Memorial Bridge is not nearly as well known as the Bridge over the River Kwai, but the two bridges still share a few similarities. The Japanese built both bridges during WWII as transportation routes to Burma during their occupation of the region. Today, Pai’s WWII Memorial Bridge mainly serves as a selfie stop for tourists, while the adjacent modern concrete structure is Pai’s main link to Chiang Mai and the rest of Thailand.
WWII Memorial Bridge: T. Mae Na Toeng, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Entrance Fee: Free | Map
Santichon Chinese Village: A large Chinese gate greets visitors to the Santichon Chinese Village, whose first settlers were Yunnanese hill tribes who fled Communist China during the mid-20th century. Today, this village situated approximately four kilometres west of Pai contains about 2,000 permanent residents, traditional Chinese clay house reproductions, horseback riding, a wooden Ferris wheel powered entirely by humans, and even a replica of China’s own Great Wall.
Santichon Chinese Village: T. Wiang Tai, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Entrance Fee: Free | Map