Most of Pai’s available activities involve the outdoors in one way or another. Visitors can choose to navigate the Pai River aboard thrilling white water rafts, traditional bamboo rafts, or leisurely inner tubes. Pai’s dry land activities include hiking, Muay Thai courses, and even riding and interacting with elephants at jungle camps.
Last Updated: November 2019
Bamboo Rafting: Bamboo rafting allows visitors to travel the Pai River aboard the same bamboo pole rafts the locals have used for centuries. Each raft holds between two to four passengers and includes a guide who uses a long pole to steer the raft. Visitors should secure all valuables in plastic bags and leave their luggage behind before undertaking this damp journey.
Elephant Camp: Pai’s most highly rated elephant camp has been operated by the same family for three generations. It costs nothing to simply play and socialise with the elephants, but feeding and riding these magnificent animals costs extra. Visitors can also spend an entire day or even two weeks learning how to train, bathe, and live with the elephants.
Hiking and Trekking: The open farmland on Pai’s outskirts may not seem very impressive, but much more imposing hiking and trekking terrain awaits visitors who are willing to travel a little further into the nearby Mae Hong Son and Pang Mapha regions. At least two people are required to participate in most organised Pai hiking and trekking excursions. Huai Nam Dang National Park, the Mae Yen waterfall area, Pai Canyon, hill tribe villages, and jungle camps are among Pai’s most popular hiking and trekking excursions.
Tubing: Inner tubes available for rental at most Pai travel agencies and guesthouses are another popular and relaxing way to travel down the Pai River. Most Pai tubing excursions begin with a tuk tuk journey a few kilometres up the river, followed by a leisurely tubing return trip downstream. The water flow is strongest during the rainy season. Visitors who want to go tubing should also leave wallets, phones, and some dry clothing at their travel agent’s office.
Whitewater Rafting: Is an even more thrilling way to explore the Pai River, especially during the rainy season. Some whitewater rafting tours take only a day, while others last two or three days and travel as far as Mae Hong Son. Rafters who choose tours close to Mae Hong Son can either board a truck back to Pai or stay in Mae Hong Son after the end of their rafting excursion.
Each whitewater rafting excursion starts with safety and paddling instructions. Rafting tour schedules also include riverside picnics, hot springs, waterfalls, and the Pai River gorge. Those who choose to camp overnight can sleep in bamboo huts or private tents.
Pai Walking Street: Pai Walking Street is always the liveliest part of town, but never more so than during the nightly market where visitors can sample some of the community’s finest food and drink. Jewellery, clothing, and personalised postcards are also among the wares sold at this popular market and people watching spot on Chaisongkran and Rungsiyanon roads.
Sightseeing: Pai is compact enough for most visitors to comfortably navigate on their own, but guided sightseeing tours are also easy to organise on Chaisongkran Road. Tourists whose time in Pai is limited may be interested in a single day city tour including Pai Canyon, the WWII Memorial Bridge, hot springs, temples, an elephant camp, and the Mae Paeng waterfall.
Pai Piranha Fishing Park: The Pai Piranha Fishing Park sits amidst the beautiful greenery and rolling hills surrounding Pai, yet is just a 10-minute drive from the city centre. The park is home to a well stocked lake with over 30 different species. Visitors have the choice of a half day or full day’s fishing including the use of rods. Bait is available at the park for an extra fee. There is an onsite restaurant serving Western and Thai favourites.
Pai Piranha Fishing Park: A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 10:00-18:00 (Daily) | Ticket: (all day) 500 B | Tel: +66 53 065 187, +66 85 707 5074 | Website | Facebook| Email | Map
Muay Thai: At least four Pai gyms offer muay Thai courses. One of these, Charn Chai Muay Thai Gym, is a 10-minute walk from the town centre and is said to be the top muay Thai centre in Northern Thailand. Prize-winning fighter Mongkoldej ‘Bee’ Sitthepitak oversees a skilled team of trainers. Muay Thai courses can last as long as three months. Some gyms also offer courses in another ancient form of boxing called muay boran.
Thai Cooking: Pai’s Thai cooking courses, on the other hand, last just a day or two, but longer courses are also available. A typical Thai cooking course in Pai includes a market tour, a recipe book, sampling the finished product, and substitutes for ingredients not readily available in other parts of the world. English speaking instructors and vegetarian options are also readily available.
PAI USEFUL NUMBERS AND CONTACT DETAILS
#28, M. 3, T. Wiang Tai, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 10:00-22:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 699 326, +66 62 293 5978 | Website | Facebook | Email | Map
Pai Let’s Go
#69/3, M. 1, T. Wiang Tai, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 08:00-22:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 064 426, +66 84 485 0044 | Website | Facebook | Email | Map
Thai Adventure Rafting
#39, M. 3, T. Wiang Tai, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 10:00-20:30 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 699 111, +66 81 993 9674 | Website | Facebook | Email | Map
Thom’s Elephant Camp
#107, M. 2, T. Mae Hee, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 08:00-21:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 53 065 778, +66 89 851 9066 | Website | Facebook | Email | Map
Muay Thai Gyms
Charn Chai Muay Thai Gym
#174, M. 1, Chaisongkarm Rd., A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 08:00-10:00, 15:00-17:00 (Monday-Saturday) | Tel: +66 84 918 1498 | Website | Facebook | Email | Map
#142, M. 2, T. Veangnua, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 08:00-10:00, 14:00-18:00 (Monday-Saturday) | Tel: +66 87 855 6433 | Facebook | Email | Map
Sitjemam Muay Thai Gym
#2, M. 6, Maenateung, Na Jalong, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 08:00-19:00 (Monday-Saturday) | Tel: +66 83 321 2230, +66 86 182 6483 | Website | Facebook | Email | Map
Sor Wisarut Muay Thai Gym
#259, M. 1, T. Mae Hee, A. Pai, Mae Hong Son 58130 | Open: 07:30-18:00 (Daily) | Tel: +66 97 969 0416 | Facebook | Email | Map