Pai is a small, hippie town with a relaxed vibe about 80km from Chiang Mai, and most tourists who visit Chiang Mai also go to Pai. There are only two ways to get there, by road or by air. If you decide to fly it is the fastest option but also the most expensive. Kan air is the only airline to fly to Pai from Chiang Mai and tickets can be booked online or at the Chiang Mai airport. Depending on the time of year tickets can cost as little as 990 Baht (the standard price is 2,190 Baht). The flight is under 30 minutes and offers birds eye mountain views.
Getting to Pai by road is the most common option and there are buses running hourly from sunrise until 16:00 from Chiang Mai’s Arcade Bus Station. The air-conditioned minivan takes 3 hours and costs around 160 Baht but tickets sell out fast so it is recommendable to buy the ticket in advance. The local bus takes about 5 hours and while tickets cost 90 baht there is no guarantee you get a seat and may end up standing the whole journey.
Aya Service is a tour company running three to four minivans to Pai daily and can arrange a pickup from your hotel. Their website doesn’t offer any information about this service but you can contact them to arrange a trip on +66 5324 7889. Tickets with Aya Service are the same price as the minivan from the bus station. Finally, some tourists decide to rent scooters, motorbike or a car for the journey from Chiang Mai to Pai. The road is not well maintained and includes some very sharp turns up and downhill so renting a vehicle is only recommended for those with experience driving on mountainous roads. There are many reports of accidents happening on the road between Chiang Mai and Pai so caution is needed if you drive yourself.
- Location: 444/11-12 Rodfai Road, T.Watket, Chiang Mai
- Tel: +66 (0)53 247 663 and +66 (0)53 247 889