Pai used to be a little town that no one had ever heard of, but now it is firmly on the travelers map. If you have had enough of the Thai islands or the big cities, Pai is a great option to come and retreat for a few days. It easily reached from Chiang Mai and is often compared to the northern capital, although perhaps Pai is more similar to places like Vang Vieng in Laos.
There isn’t much to ‘do’ in Pai but this is exactly why most people come here; to relax and rejuvenate and take in the beautiful scenery. Back in the days people came to Pai to get away from it all but now you will find Wi-Fi, Western food, and plenty of bars and cafes selling everything you could want. So if you are newly arrived in Thailand and have already been to Chiang Mai it’s an easy place to spend a few days here without feeling like you are cut off from civilization. If you do want to be a bit more active in Pai then the best thing to do is renting a scooter (or a bike if you’d rather cycle) and drive around the area. Check out some nearby villages, waterfalls or participate in some more active activities like tubing or whitewater rafting. Although there is nothing that totally stands out, you can see that there are plenty of things to do in Pai, all in a very relaxing way.
Pai is small with just one main street, which gives you an idea of its size, so if you want a snapshot of rural Thailand with a few light activities thrown in and a gorgeous setting then this is definitely the place to come. It can seem a bit of an effort to get here but if you move on from Chiang Mai then it is easily accessible, and most travelers end up staying here way longer than expected in the end. So you can see Pai as a nice getaway especially if you have not traveled extensively in Thailand and just want a simple and easy retreat for a few days.