If you ever wondered where to find a magic place in this earth, PAI is the answer. I have never experienced such wonderful excitation over a city. The atmosphere in this town is just incredible, makes you forget about the rest of the world..
There are probably no words to describe this town, unless you visit it. It is a touristic place but it does not affect the aura of the place. This place free your mind from all the thoughts and bring you real rest. Great place to chill. Or maybe it’s also the air of the surrounding mountains. Night life is focused on tiny city centre, full of delicious street food, artists and small bars full of hippy vibes.
Things to do in Pai.
There are several interesting places to visit around like waterfalls and a number of natural hot springs, canyon and of course Buddha hill. Best way to reach this places is to drive around on a motorbike, which is accessible for everyone (also be careful because of that) – and always wear a helmet!
- Pai Canyon, located south of the town, probably 15 minutes ride on your motorbike.
- Memorial Bridge – very close to the canyon.
- The white Buddha on the hill, gives an incredible view over the town and surrounding mountains.
- Waterfalls – Pam Bok Waterfall is really amazing. Check whether it’s not a dry season, as the other waterfall was almost dry when we got there. 🙂
Please skip any animal tourism like elephant sanctuary. Those animals had been going through unbelievably cruel abuse! Just to behave right against tourists, obviously to create a great income for some locals.
You definitely need to visit some local bars, there’s lots of reggae music and Shadow puppet theatre!
Shadow puppet theatre.
Shadow puppet theatre is the oldest form of Asian theatre. Originally coming from Java (Indonesia) but also very popular in China, India and south-east Asia. It used to be a solo performance where the puppeteer manipulates puppets, speaks dialogues and sings on one side of the canvas so you could see the beautiful shadow animation on the other. The topic of the performances is usually drawn from local legends and traditions. Sometimes performances are played on special occasions and can be interpreted in religious or mystical fashion. They can also be related to Ramayana and Mahabharata – two most important Sanskrit in Hindu literature ancient Indian epic poems. Ramayana describes the adventures of Prince Rama rescuing his wife Sita from the demon king Ravana.
Wayang topeng – is a dance style. There are two types of the puppets in shadow theatre: Nang yai – the puppet has a normal human size placed on a long wooden stick and Nang thalung – small puppets with mobile joints.
Where to stay in Pai?
Pai offers you lots of accommodation options but I would recommend skipping the town and finding a hostel on the other side of the river. Walking through a bridge you’ll find few amazing bungalows a little up the city with lots of hammocks on long wooden terraces. Rooms available for 7-9$ per person. The place offers a great surrounding, fire place, table games and great tenants. You gonna make lots of friends there! The clouds colour the sky with different shapes every evening. Mornings are unforgettably quiet, animals living their life just next to the inhabitants. The whole nature is living it’s own pace. It was hard to leave the place after 5 days. And it’s one of those, I’ll definitely come back. Especially after meeting such amazing people – Mia and Mark! We’re still visiting each other and I always have a great respect for them.