advertisement

Getting There

By Air -- The only air link to Pai is from Chiang Mai on SGA (tel. 05328-0444; www.sga.co.th), which flies light aircraft here; check online for current prices and schedules.

By Bus -- Several public buses leave each day for Pai from Chiang Mai (trip time 3-4 hr.; fare 100B) and continue on to Mae Hong Son (trip time 3 hr.; fare 100B). The Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal is off Kaew Nawarat Road, northeast of the Old City across the Ping River (tel. 05324-2664). The bus terminal in Mae Hong Son is on Khunlumprapas Road (the main street), about 1km (2/3 mile) south of the town center.

By Minivan -- Frequent minivans (called rot too) make connections between Chiang Mai, Pai, and Mae Hong Son for about 150B for each leg. These can be quicker than regular buses but may not be a good idea if you are prone to carsickness (because of all the bends). Contact any storefront travel agent for details.

By Car -- The scenic route is long, with steep winding roads that make for some very pretty rural scenery: Take Route 107 north from Chiang Mai, and then Route 1095 northwest to Pai.

Orientation & Getting Around

You won't find a formal tourist information booth in Pai, but restaurateurs, bungalow owners, and fellow travelers are usually happy to share their knowledge and experience. Most guesthouses and restaurants offer photocopied maps of town and the surrounding areas. Tiny Pai consists of four streets: Route 1095, or the Pai-Mae Hong Son Highway (colloquially known as Khetkelang Rd.), runs parallel to Rangsiyanon Road, which is the main commercial street; Chaisongkhram and Ratchadamnoen roads run perpendicular, and many guesthouses and restaurants are in or around this central grid (with many more guesthouses in the surrounding countryside). You can walk the town in 5 minutes; renting a motorcycle is the best way to explore the hills around Pai. Mountain bikes and motorcycles are available at guesthouses or shops along the main streets for about 50B and 200B per day, respectively. Motorcycles can be rented at Aya Service (22/1 Moo 3, Chaisongkhram Rd.; tel. 05369-9940); 100cc scooters start at just 100B for 24 hours, and 250cc motocross numbers go for around 500B.

Fast Facts

There's an ATM at the Krung Thai Bank, and another at the Bank of Ayudhaya, both on Rangsiyanon Road; they also offer money-changing services. There are Internet cafes along central Chaisongkhram Road.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.