Hidden Mecca of Northern Thailand - Green Door Enterprises

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[Published on 2011-11-14 in Attractionsby Jesse Schule]

Hidden Mecca of Northern Thailand

A Paradise In The Hills Of Northern Thailand

This little town in the mountains of Northern Thailand didn't even appear on the map a few years ago, however these days Pai is all the rage amongst Thais and foreigners alike. The natural beauty and stunning landscapes combined with old fashioned peace and quiet is appealing to tourists young and old, from all walks of life. What started out as a small little village with only dirt roads and a few guesthouses catering to hippies sporting dreadlocks, and spending their days smoking grass and sleeping in their hammocks, has blossomed into funky little town with an artistic style that is truly unique to Pai. These days you are more likely to bump into a businessman from Bangkok, than you are to come across a flock of hippies with dreadlocks, however there are still a few around, and that is all part of the appeal.

A trip through Northern Thailand would not be complete without a visit to Pai

Nowadays many of the roads have been paved, and there is even a 7/11 in the middle of the walking street, depending on your point of view, this could be either positive or negative. It is still quite a small town, and depending on when you choose to visit, it could be bustling with activity or so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Pai is extremely popular with wealthy Bangkokians and Thai tourists from around the country, it is considered to be a very trendy place to spend your holiday. Souvenirs from Pai are a hot commodity, many of them are focused on the road signs and the incredible mountain roads that connect Pai to Chiang Mai. T-shirts with a curved arrow and a sign pointing to Pai, or little miniature distance markers that look like what you see on the side of the highway, showing how many KM you are from Pai are amongst the most popular.

People come to Pai for the most part to relax, however there are a few popular activities for those who would like to stay active, such as white water rafting on the river, nature hiking and elephant trekking. One of the more leisurely activities that many people choose to indulge in would be bathing in the natural hotsprings, there is a national park with several pools, some far to hot to actually bath in. A far better option that the national park would be the Pai Hotsprings Resort, located just down the road from the entrance to the national park on the opposite side of the road. The cost of admission is similar to the cost of entering the national park, however the five star facilities make it a bargain, with a luxurious pool of water tapped from the hotspring, as well as an infinity pool right on the river bank. There is a bar serving cold beers, cocktails and drinks right at poolside, and plenty of seating with umbrellas for shade on the sundeck. There are also a few gazebos on either side of the pool, for relaxing in the shade while looking out on the river.

Most things in Pai are quite affordable, restaurants and guesthouses are reasonably priced to accommodate to Thais as well as foreigners. You can find rooms in Pai from anywhere between a few hundred baht per night, to several thousand baht per night in one of the luxury resorts that have been springing up in recent years. Getting to Pai from Chiang Mai is quite easy, there are mini bus services running every hour during the day, charging just 150THB each way.

A trip through Northern Thailand would not be complete without a visit to Pai, you certainly won't see anything like it anywhere else in Thailand, or anywhere else on the planet. The relaxing atmosphere and laid back attitude of locals make Pai a peaceful place to get away from the daily stress of life in the city. This tranquil hillside village is an ideal place for R&R after a busy work week.

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