Tha Pai Hot Springs
- Last Updated on 18 December 2012
- By Koustabh 'AKASH' Dolui
. Tha Pai Hot Springs
If you have heard of only the “Old Faithful” in Yellowstone National Park, then let us introduce you to a series of hot springs in almost the opposite corner of the world, in Thailand. Pong Nam Lon "ThaPai"
While Thailand is a charming country in South East Asia offering many attractions, one of its most naturally beautiful parts is towards the North; with its hilly terrain, lush green vegetation, turbulent rivers and a warm tropical climate, northern Thailand can be a subject for several picture postcards worth sending home. The most important cities of Northern Thailand, both culturally and geographically, are Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, and Pai is a quaint little village on Route 1095, connecting these two places. Just 4 hours from Chiang Mai by bus, the road will take you some of the most verdant green mountain country that you will ever see, and Pai has naturally become a trekking center. But Pai offers other attractions too, and its hot springs are one of those.
Location of Tha Pai Hot Springs
One of the first you can visit after you have arrived in Pai and settled yourself in is located in the Huai Nam Dang National Park, just two kilometers off Route 1095. The water has an average temperature of 80 degrees Celsius, and offers an excellent view especially in the morning, when the mellow sun creates a rich tapestry of shadows as it shines through the steams issuing from the hot spring. The surrounding forests are teeming with teak woods and local wild animals, and are ideal for an overnight camping trip, if you feel adventurous. Another famous hot spring is the Tha Pai Hot Spring, located 8 kilometers to the south, where a cold spring runs over boiling hot rock formations to create magic. This place has pools that are a foot and a half deep, and you can easily immerse yourself and relax in the pools after a cold journey through the mountain roads. The serene jungles, with their birds in colorful plumage, offer you an ideal backdrop for a day’s relaxation under the sun.be aware, though, that local authorities charge foreigners twice the amount that they charge locals, and this can be a sticking point. Another point of caution for foreigners is that you should not engage in skinny dipping. Thais traditionally cover themselves in a sarong even when taking a bath and you should also respect the local customs by covering yourself discretely.
Near to the Tha Pai Hot Spring are a series of privately run spas, the Tha Pai Spa Exotic Home. These use the same natural water source for their warm water pipes and spas, but they charge less (the Tha Pai Springs charge foreigners 200 Baht, while the private spas typically charge around 100 Baht). The Tha Pai Spa camping even lets you use their pools for a fee, even if you are not staying there.
Relax and have a good time in the Hot Springs of Pai!