Chiang Mai to Pai Thailand: The Perfect Day Trip

Pai, Thailand is gaining popularity with backpackers exploring northern Thailand. It’s a small hippy town northwest of Chiang Mai towards the Burmese border on the beaten path. About a three hour drive through windy hills and lush landscapes makes Chiang Mai to Pai Thailand the perfect overnight day trip.

*Warning must be able to ride a moped or be with someone who you can ride with because most of the activities are a bit outside of Pai and you’ll want to do the exploring on your own.

*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post that gives me commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling. I only recommend products and places that I believe in.  I thank you in advance.

Chiang Mai to Pai Thailand in 24 Hours

How to Get There


Rent a moped in Chiang Mai and make the 3 hour journey from Chiang Mai to Pai through the jungle. The roads are windy but it beautiful. If driving a moped is not your thing then there are tour companies you can book that will take you up there for the day.  Ask your hotel reception or stop at any of the vendors on the street, they’ll be able to help you out.


Where to Stay 

We stayed at Soi One Boutique Bedrooms and loved it. The location was perfection right in town, steps away from the night market/ walking street but tucked away that it was quiet to sleep. The rooms were big, comfortable, and clean.


Check out other places to stay here  ↓

what to do

Rent a Scooter

Rent a moped at one of the many moped rentals in town. Since you will be driving outside of Pai rent a moped with over 100 cc’s, it will cost you 150 BAHT for 24 hours, which is about $4.50 USD.

Mor Pang Waterfall

Head out to the Mor Pang Waterfall and get there before 11 which is when some guided tours will arrive.  The waterfall is about a half hour moped ride from Pai.  Its easy to get to, just plug it into your google maps and it will take you to the entrance.  There are also signs.

There are three tiers of waterfalls and its an easy hike to all of them. You can swim in the pools in front of some of the waterfalls and even use the slippery rocks as a slide. 

Check the deepness of the pool before you try sliding down the rocks though! Once you’ve explored all the waterfalls hop back on the moped and go for a short drive. Its super scenic complete with rice fields and panoramic views!

Lunch at Earth Tone

Head back towards town and eat lunch at Earth Tone. Located about a quarter mile outside of town across the street from the Maeyan Temple (the large White Buddha).  

Earth Tone is a restaurant and health shop that offers vegan/vegetarian food.  Some of the items are desserts, vegan ice-cream and kombucha. The menu is large and oh so delicious, you won’t be disappointed.

*They are closed on Saturdays so plan accordingly.

Maeyan Temple

Once you’re done gorging yourself on delicious eats head up to the White Buddha Temple to see an overlook of Pai. Make sure you have a coverup or are dressed properly to climb the stairs to reach the top of the temple.

Hot Springs

Next, keep heading out of town and go to the Secret Hot Springs.  It should be called the ‘Not So’ Secret Hot Springs as the secrets out. If you’re not staying at the resort it costs 100 BAHT to use the facilities which include the hot springs and a large, inviting swimming pool. Relax and spend the rest of the afternoon hopping back and forth from the hot springs to the pool.

Night Market


Spend the evening walking up and down the night market sampling all the tasty street food vendors, do some shopping, and check out the new and used book store. There are dozens of food vendors selling all types of food made to order. I’m talking falafel’s, pad thai, healthy wraps, fruit shakes, and you name your flavor of waffles or bite size pancakes. If you crave it, you can probably get it. 


Full yet? To end your day, grab a cocktail at one of the bars that line the night market street. If you love live music and an abundance of healthy foods then a trip to Pai Thailand is a MUST!

XX Jess

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