What Does It Cost To Go To Pai?

So, how much did it cost us to go to Pai, the small town with a big reputation for it’s chilled hippy vibe, three hours from Chiang Mai? Well, that takes a bit of explaining…

Motorbike rental: $20 for four days. Bargain!




The kindness of strangers giving you a lift to the repair shop after suffering a flat tyre: A smile.


New tyre inner tube: About 10 minutes of (im)patient waiting… And $5.


Second flat tyre, 5 minutes later: A few choice expletives.

Another kind stranger, working at a nearby construction site, who happens to be the bike repair guy of the deserted shop we passed. A sweaty uphill push for Tyrhone. “I can’t believe this,” repeated by Sarah. Read this post published recently on ‘Almost Fearless’, you’ll understand why.

Brand new tyre and a new inner tube: $20. Ouch.


Friendly butterfly, smitten with Tyrhone: Standing very… still.

Arriving in Pai, six hours later: Relief, and very sore butts.


Comfy bamboo bungalow in lush tropical gardens at Baan Pai Village, at off-season rates: $12 per night.

Live acoustic tunes that sound funny in a Thai accent at the on-site restaurant: A round of applause. And a few giggles.

Lazy afternoons of countless coffees and icy fruit shakes at the Cafe des Artists: $4 a round.


The ‘cool’ pool

A seven kilometer ride out to the Hot Spring Resort: Wind swept hair and $3 entry. Having the entire place to ourselves thanks to low season: Great value for three bucks.


The hot one. Oh and the spring fed bath…

Hot, hot sulphur-reeking bath: A light head.



Tyrhone breaking out into a jog after said hot bath and falling through a wooden bridge: Priceless.


Afternoon stroll through Pai’s back roads: Muddy flip-flops.


Meeting cute local kids (the ones I wrote about in my last post): Impromptu photo shoot.

Workin’ it


Yes, this was his pose

My ice cream habit: $1.90 per day (they were freshly made waffle cones okay?!), and a few creeping kilos…

9km ride to waterfall in the spitting rain: A small sense of adventure…

Declining offers of opium from the local ladies with babes strapped to their backs: A head shake and a smile.

Humouring the self-appointed American “waterfall guide” at our destination that appears to be single-handedly keeping the opium market afloat: A bit of patience.


Climbing into a crystal clear, freezing pool on the second tier of enormous waterfall: A steady foot-hold.


This view: A small hike, otherwise absolutely free.

Fresh fruit shakes back in town: 50 cents.

Deliciously spicy curries from the humble “Curry Shack”: $2 each. $3 with a drink.

Street-side lasagne and pizza (with cheese!): $3, and surprisingly good (though you may have to stand to eat it).

Best chicken skewers in Thailand (done with Japanese-style panko crumbs): 40 cents.

The boy’s late night, street-side snack, Pai-style pop-corn chicken : I don’t think they cared, or remember how much…

Sarah’s mini bus ‘home’: $5, and a thankful butt.

Tyrhone’s 4 hour motorbike bike journey to Chiang Mai: A lot less hassle than the way there.

Marty’s ride from Pai to Chiang Rai, on a bicycle (yes, he is mad): A World Of Pain, 10 litres of water-loss, and his last semblance of sanity…

Not Marty’s actual bike. Though that would be funny.


A trip to Pai won’t cost you much. The most adventurous part is the 763 hair pin bends over mountains to get there. Once you arrive, the laid back vibe, cute eateries and surrounding natural wonders will soon make you forget your travel sickness, and the effort of leaving may be surpassed by the feeling that you could just stay… A few… More days…












What Does It Cost To Go To Pai? — 18 Comments

  1. Whew that was close….you left it quite late in the piece to talk about the culinary delights on offer. I was getting anxious. 😉

  2. And here I thought there was a chance I’d LOSE weight while traveling. I could easily form an ice cream habit.

  3. Love this post! As cliché as it is, it seems that the price to get to Pai, no matter what it is, in the end, it the memories it provided you with are priceless.

    And as I read about your flat tire troubles, I definitely had flashbacks to that Almost Fearless post. I’m so glad you didn’t have an accident!

  4. Nice break down of costs. At $.45 a cone in Panama city I was developing an addiction to ice cream. I had to check myself. In Peru it’s easy to get addicted to Lemon Merangue Pie and chocolate cake that people bake in their homes and then immediately sell super-fresh on the street for under $1. – I try to limit myself to one of these goodies per evening.

  5. Easily worth it with those costs thou! We also had one slightly crashed bike on our way to Pai, but still worth it 😉

    • Hi Jarmo, really?! Not the first and certainly not the last I suppose! As long as you made it hey?! Definitely all part of the adventure :)

  6. Haha, love this post! So nice to see lots of your photos, and your lovely smiley face :) I think I’ll just take the bus when we head to Pai!

    • Thank you Hannah, that’s probably a good idea, my heart was in my mouth a bit, not to mention having to extract the seat from my butt at the end. Not pretty :)

  7. Just got around to this post, LOVE IT! What a fun format. Sad I didn’t make it to Pai, definitely high on my list when(ever) I return to Thailand.

    • Thanks Alex! It was a pretty cool little place, the kind of place to go when you have a bit of time on your hands, to hang out and totally chill!!! Hope you get there next time :)