Trekking to Pai
Are you an intrepid traveller who loves to trek amid lush green forests and sparkling streams, and are thrilled at getting a chance to observe wild animals in their natural habitat? If you have a passion for adventure and do not mind roughing it out under the open skies and beside campfires at night, then Pai is the perfect trail for you. Nestled in the Pai mountains in the Northern part of Thailand, its verdure mountains and local tribes will form the perfect backdrop to your adventure tourism hobby.
Travelling and staying at Pai
In fact one of Northern Thailand’s most popular trekking centers is Chiang Mai, the principal cultural center of the region, and some trekking tours originating from Chiang Mai wind up in Pai; so it is sensible to consider coming to Pai itself and arrange your tour with a local tour operator. Commuting to Pai itself can be quite an exhilarating experience, since the road connecting the two locations runs over gorgeously beautiful hilly terrain and verdant flora; a bus trip usually takes about 4 hours. Having reached Pai, you can stay at any of several hotels or resorts, and many local residents are also happy to accommodate backpackers as paying guests.
Trekking options at Pai
Once you have reached Pai and fixed up a good place to stay like Lychee Garden Bungalow or Baan Pai Dao Guest house , it is time to look for a good trekking guide as the guesthouse for a current recomendation as the options are many. Local guides in an around Pai offer regular tours, and it would be worthwhile to make arrangements with one of them, for most of them will have been born in the surrounding mountains, and know the jungles, rivers and fall of the land like the backs of their palms.
One of the popular trails is to the picturesque Mae Wen Waterfalls, which is about 7 kilometers from Pai, and across an antique World War II bridge that is still in good repair; the trekking time is approximately 4 hours. Another destination is the Pai Canyon, which is a beautiful, smaller version of the Grand Canyon. You can get a few glimpses of wild life along the way if you are lucky, and the trees near the Canyon are teeming with birds of various species. Some of the better organized trekking operators usually conduct tours to Pang Maphaor WiangHaeng, but these being the more popular trails, there is also less chance for you to discover something unique.
However, if you have the time for an extended trek lasting two to three days, you can visit remote tribal settlements that are mostly inaccessible except for narrow, tortuous mountain routes, and registered trekking operators will organize these tours for you only if you have good experience in rough terrains.
Trekking operators and how to contact them
One of the most famous trekking operators in Pai is a rather unique gentleman, Mr. Chart, based at Bamboo House. He is an experienced guide who can also teach you survival skills, and guide you to remote villages and tribal settlements over duration of two to three days. In addition, he will show you how to cook traditional food found in the jungles, and point out unique flora, fauna and insects. If you want to trek with a professional, there is no better choice, and you can either contact him at (089) 953 3605, or visit his website at http://www.trekpai.com/
Another recommended agency is Back Trax, who can custom design a trail for you depending on your schedule and appetite for travelling on foot, and they will even arrange to carry humanitarian supplies for you if you wish to donate to local tribes. Their guides are bilingual and very knowledgeable, and they are located on the Chaisongkhram Road. If you wish to make prior bookings, you can call them at (053) 699 739 or (081) 035 2253; or drop them an email at
Prepare yourself for the trek, and have a great adventure!
As any experienced trekker knows, meticulous planning of a trekking trip is part of the fun, so remember to bring all your gear and supplies. Even though the trekking operators in and around Pai are well-stocked, it never hurts to bring your own equipment, particularly if you have become used to them. Aside from the usual paraphernalia such as torches, hiking boots, sleeping bags, hats etc., do remember to bring mosquito and bug repellants, and undergo an inoculation course before entering Thailand. Plan your trek well, and have a lot of fun on the trails around Pai!