Pai, a small town located at the northern Thailand in the Mae Hong Son province, is becoming a household name among backpackers and nature enthusiasts. Because of its geographical make-up, tourists come to this place for its winding roads, caves, waterfalls, and the secluded ambience. Before you head off, here is a list of the things that await you here.
1. The Pai Canyon (also known as Kong Lan), which is beautiful during sunrise and sunset. This one's a bit far from the town proper, but the views are absolutely worth it. Getting around in Pai may get a little challenging for those who don't ride motorbikes, as it is the main mode of transportation here, so you can either hitch a ride, or rent out a vehicle.
2. Waterfalls, namely the Mae Yen Waterfall, Pem Bok Waterfall, and Mor Paeng Waterfall. The waters are a good getaway from the scorching heat. Bring both your hiking shoes and swimsuits--you can do little hikes and swim here.
3. A number of small local markets in town. The markets to choose from are Local Fresh market, Monday Market, Local style market, and the most popular: the Walking Street Market. These places sell a wide range of products from fish to hand-made jewelry, to vegetables and leather goods.
4. For book lovers, there are a number of second-hand bookshops that sell travel guides and novels. Some of these books are just copied from the original and/or used, so they're way cheaper.
5. There are also a number of outdoor activities--there are local tour operators who can arrange white water rafting, rock climbing, and zip lining for you. Nature lovers can also take a dip and relax in the hot springs.
6. You can visit an elephant camp, where you can bathe and feed the gentle giants. One of the most popular companies is Thom's, a place that makes sure the elephants are taken care of--the camp says that here, "guests interact with elephants in an ecologically responsible manner."
7. You can also connect with your inner well-being by doing exercises at a yoga center. A famous one is the Xhle Yoga Retreat, where you can take a five-day yoga and meditation class. Here, you'll have activities like yoga sessions, Pranayama and cleansing breathing, and midfulness meditation.
8. There are also plenty of cafes and tea houses to hang out in. For a unique experience, visit Art in Chai, where you can enjoy sweets, tea, art, all at the same time (you can buy hand-painted shirts and handmade jewelry as well).
Pai opens doors of great budget-friendly adventure for travellers. More information are listed on the town's official website.
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