Cultural Experience | Thailand

Weekend Warrior Packing List for Pai, Thailand

Must sees and dos for a weekend in the town of Pai!

Pai is a picture-perfect small town in Northern Thailand. It has become a backpacker’s getaway tucked in a mountain valley. I was told Pai gets really busy during high season (December and January), just to keep in mind, but it is definitely worth a visit. Here are some pointers on what to see and do!

Traveled from: Chiang Mai
Travel time: 3-4 hours
Arrived by: mini bus
Stayed at: The Heart of Pai Resort

Heart of Pai image

The Heart of Pai Resort

What to bring:

1. Bathing suit – Pai is located along the Pai River, which means plenty of water activities in keep you entertained and cool.
2. Sunglasses/hat – the sun is a lot more intense in Southeast Asia than it is at home. Bring a cheap pair of sunglasses or a hat you don’t mind getting dirty to protect you from the sun.
3. Shorts and tank top – the weather in Pai is always hot, there is no need to pack any warm clothes!
4. Hiking shoes – Pai has a lot of trekking through the luscious jungle. Bring gear just in case.
5. Waterproof camera – You don’t want to miss out on pictures under waterfalls or floating down the river.
6. Sunscreen – just to add another layer of protection from the sun.
7. Bottle opener – if you want to enjoy a Chang or Singha, make sure to bring something to open it!
8. Towel – not a necessity but an option if you have room.
9. Mosquito repellent – like most of Thailand, Pai has a lot of mosquitoes, come prepared.
10. Dramamine – if you usually get motion sickness, Dramamine might be a good idea for you. The road to Pai from Chiang Mai is beautiful, however, there are 762 curves on the route. This slows the journey down a lot but you will be distracted by the scenery.

Things to do:

Wander down Chaisongkran Road. This is the main road through town. There are guesthouses, cafes, small shops and bars. There are also travel agents along the road that will help set up transportation to further locations (such as the waterfalls). They usually give a pretty good price depending on the size of your group.

waterfall image

Locals sliding down waterfalls!

Visit the waterfalls (Mo Paeng). The waterfalls are a great, relaxing, refreshing place to go on a hot afternoon. There are swimming holes and rocks that act like water slides. You will even see the local Thai children cooling off, sliding down the waterfalls on their feet.

Tubing image

Tubing down the Pai River

Go tubing. The travel agents rent tubes, drive you up river and pick you up when you are done. The gentle current pulls you downstream through the Thai countryside. Bring a Chang or two if you would like to enjoy it on your float!

canyon image

Pai Canyon

Hike Pai Canyon. Pai Canyon is a series of red paths with steep drops on either side. The canyon offers amazing views of the valley and the countryside. Be really careful, the paths are very narrow. Make sure to stop at Coffee in Love for a coffee or ice cream afterwards!

coffee image

Coffee in Love

Sam Corio

California Polytechnic State University | 8 stories

Hi I'm Sam! I'm a junior at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. I'm a Graphic Communication major with a concentration in Web and Digital Media. I love to travel, hike, go to the beach and scuba dive! I had the opportunity to study abroad in Chiang Mai, Thailand this past summer and traveled to Cambodia and Bali after our program. I can't wait to explore more!

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