Guesthouses, hotels and resorts
Pai is a pretty small place with a very simple layout. Nothing is far away. Chanasongkram Rd is the main strip but there is plenty of accommodation on the nearby crossroads. Many opt to stay on the edges of town -- especially near the river, but there is plenty of good options in town as well.
Classy in a lush, riverside garden99/1 Moo 3, Pai
T: (053) 699 133; F: (053) 699 234
This is three-star accommodation at budget prices and a cracking deal during low season. Beautifully decorated wooden chalets are set in a lush riverside garden where shaded paths wind through ... Read the full review of Rim-Pai Cottage.
Classy mid-range mini-hotelRungsiyanon Rd, Pai
T: (053) 064 351-2; F: (053) 064 353
Li Lu is another spot that falls into the great deal in low season but forget it during high season category. This brand new mini-hotel just near the junction of Rungsiyanon and Raddamrong Roads by ... Read the full review of Li Lu.
Great, quiet garden setting68/6 Tesaban Rd, Pai
T: (053) 699 554;
A little bit hard to find lying as it does down a side street off Chaisongkran Road, Mr Jan's is well worth the effort. Chalets are dotted around a delightful garden which is decorative as well as ... Read the full review of Mr Jan's Guesthouse.Under 600B 5 votes Backpacker
Nice bargain roomsBetween Chiasongkram Rd and the Pai river, Pai
T: (081) 998 4597;
Breeze of Pai offers clean, decent-sized rooms with a little design flair yet without being too expensive. There's row houses or detached bungalows to choose from, all with fan and hot water. The ... Read the full review of Breeze of Pai.Under 600B 11 votes Backpacker
Small and sweet35/3 Moo 3, Chaisongkran Rd, Pai
T: (053) 699 859;
Baan Sangheaun is a nice quiet spot set a bit back from the main road in a peaceful garden, at approximately the halfway mark on Chaisongkran Road right next to Wat Pha Kham. Friendly, cosy and ... Read the full review of Ban Sangheuan.
One of the best in the budget range3 Rungsiyanon Rd, Pai,
T: (053) 699 074;
Five concrete rowhouse rooms make up this gem. For a budget guesthouse, Palm House is great value with clean, generous-sized rooms and bathrooms with hot showers for once not directly above the ... Read the full review of The Palm House.Under 600B 4 votes Backpacker
Upmarket at mid-range price98 Moo 4, Pai
T: (053) 698 068;
A stay at a nicely decorated wooden chalet at this relatively new guesthouse boasting a well-cared for garden includes swimming pool, WiFi and free sauna. It's quite a small setting but good use of ... Read the full review of Unicorn Guesthouse and Resort.
Great low season option123, Moo3, WiangT Tai, Pai
T: (053) 699 796;
Another opportunity to stay in an upscale resort at budget prices, so long as you're there in low season. (This starting to sound familiar?) High season probably best to forget it since if it's not ... Read the full review of Wang Chang Phuek Pai.
Popular and central95 Chaisongkram Rd, Pai
T: (053) 699 368;
Popular Pravee has a great garden and is in a good location as well. The owners also run the nearby Palm House (basic but okay if all else is full), and the similarly okay-but-nothing-special Taiyai ... Read the full review of Pravee's House.Under 600B 2 votes Backpacker
Simple, good value but avoid during peakChaisongkram Rd, Pai
T: (053) 064 377;
Just off Chaisongkran Road -- go to the end by the footbridge and bear left to find it -- this pleasant spot is close to the river though not quite on it, which could be an advantage during a heavy ... Read the full review of Family House Guesthouse.
Centrally located and friendly16/1 Chaisongkran Rd, Pai
T: (053) 699 041;
Abodaya has a very central location, just down the road from Duang House and very close to the bus station. Service is efficient and friendly (at least in low season), and their restaurant is one of ... Read the full review of Abodaya Guesthouse.
Great deal in town centre88 Tesaban Road, Pai
T: (053) 698 152; F: (053) 699 057
Located at the Chaisongkran end of the street -- just opposite Cafe Paille -- Baan Pai Village is an excellent spot and within its range one of the best deals in the centre of town. It's central but ... Read the full review of Baan Pai Village.600B to 1,500B 3 votes Flashpacker
Another popular longtimer9 Rungsiyanon Rd, Pai
T: (053) 699 039;
Being one of the oldest and best known guesthouses in town, renowned Charlie's is another guesthouse that's seen better times but remains very popular. It does have a very central location, if that's ... Read the full review of Charlie's House.Under 600B 3 votes Backpacker
Simple but clean and comfortable117 Moo 4, Pai
T: (053) 698 116;
Set down a quiet lane off Raddamrong Road, Ban Tawan is well signposted and easy to find -- just walk past the school on the way to the bridge and take the first right. Service gets mixed reports. ... Read the full review of Baan Tawan Guesthouse.600B to 1,500B 5 votes Flashpacker
West of Pai
This is the area just on the edge of town along the National 1095 road leading out of Pai to the northwest. The road leads to the airport, Soppong and Mae Hong Son. Further out lies Nam Hoo -- in the foothills to the northwest of town, past the airport and on the way to the popular Mae Paeng Falls. A few villages plus a few guesthouses and several vast Thai 'country resorts' scatter the mostly bare hills. We've left aside most of the latter since many are not particularly attractive and most cater mainly to Thai tourists. (All are pretty much in the middle of nowhere too and most conform to the unfortunate Thai garden creation technique, whereby you begin by stripping the land bare for miles around of any and all natural vegetation, then plant some new trees from the Chiang Mai flower market instead and wait for them to grow!) A couple of the more farang orientated guesthouses aren't bad though if you want to get away from it all in the sticks.
Quiet country hideawayBan Nam Hoo, Pai
T: (053) 698 172;
Tucked away on the edge of Ban Nam Hoo, this isn't the sort of place you'd come across by accident but if you are looking for it and have your own transport then it is well signposted. Otherwise give ... Read the full review of Ban Nam Hoo.
Worth a splash out113 Moo 6 Huay Poo Rd, Pai
T: (053) 698 226-7; F: (053) 698 228
Another slightly out of the way spot which only just creeps into the outskirts of town category located, as it is, down the right hand turn off immediately before the airport. Belle Villa isn't ... Read the full review of Belle Villa Resort.
Good setting in a great river view garden117 Moo 3, Pai
T: (053) 699 499;
Very friendly staff and a delightful location overlooking the valley from a pleasant garden setting make this a good address to remember. Baan Mai Konmuang is far enough off the main road to keep the ... Read the full review of Baan Mai Konmuang.
Great chalets on the town's edge132 Moo 1, Pai
T: (053) 699 366;
Brookview is just on the edge of town, past the traffic lights on the right hand side of the road leading out to the airport. It's a mere 5 minutes' or so from the bus station and downtown though, so ... Read the full review of Brookview.
North of Pai -- Mae Khong and Wiang Nur
This covers the loop north of town from the airport round through Mae Khong village and over the river to Wiang Nur, and the collection of small Shan villages to the northeast of Pai. You're never very far from Pai on this loop and the Shan villages are mostly quiet and cute and there is some good accommodation in this area. It's quite a nice area for hiking as well, since you're close to the hills to the north of the valley. As with many outlying areas though there's no public transport to speak of so if you haven't hired any transport you would be a bit stuck. Though there are some very nice places to stay, unfortunately the best ones such as Ubud Guesthouse and Amy's Earth House are a fair way from town -- especially late at night on a motorbike after a couple of beers, so bear that in mind. If you want to hang out, party and meet people then maybe stick to town, one of the riverside spots or one of the excellent places just over the bridge within walking distance of Pai. If you want peace and quiet and to avoid the party scene however, then do go for one of these further flung satellite villages. On the basis that it needs to be good to get you all the way out there we have been a bit more ruthless with our recommendations.
Classy yet cosy65 Moo 3, Tambon Vieng Nour, Pai
T: (089) 635 7556;
Situated past Vieng Nur Village on the road going south back towards the bridge, Pura Vida is more east of Pai than north but since it's situated on its own a bit in the middle of nowhere, we plumped ... Read the full review of Pura Vida.
Charming, friendly and peaceful63 Moo 3, Ban Tarn Jet Ton, Pai
T: (081) 021 1362;
This delightful little guesthouse is located in a small Shan village, some 5 or 6km out of Pai town. It boasts a very nice teak restaurant and immaculately kept garden with just four well-designed ... Read the full review of Ubud Guesthouse.
South of Pai - Hot springs and Tha Pai Village
You're getting pretty out of the way by the time you get down here -- a 10- or 15-minute motorbike ride from town, and you can forget about walking. There's not really much in the way of attractions to keep you down here either, apart from a hot spring and a row of low-key elephant camps, which are probably better done as a half-day trip. This means your accommodation's going to have to be something really special to make the stay worthwhile. (Though Pai Canyon is worth a trip -- see activities section.) A string of mostly mid- to upper-range resorts runs along the ridge to the right of the road as you go down from Mae Yen. These have good views over the valley, but cater to mostly Thai weekenders. Then there's a bunch of mostly new and large resorts, again mostly catering to the Thai trade, by the river as you cross back over the bridge on the main Chiang Mai - Pai road. Lastly is an eclectic collection of resorts situated around Tha Pai village and the springs themselves. Hot springs are ten a penny in northern Thailand, and these are no more than average ones, though a couple of the resorts have constructed hot bath facilities. Same goes for the elephant camps (also see activities section), which are not the most exciting ones in the region either. The majority of the resorts aren't very exciting either so we don't even need to be ruthless to prune the accommodation list down. If you want budget options, go back to the river or try Sun Hut or Eden in Mae Yen.
Treehouses103 Moo 3, Wiengtai, Pai
T: (053) 6893 271; F: (053) 065 729
Pai Tree House, located along the road between Mae Yen and the hot springs is in a good location with a well kept garden and a very wide spread of accommodation types to suit all but the most meagre ... Read the full review of Pai Tree House.
East of Pai - Over the bridge, by the river
Crossing over the bridge at the end of Raddamrong Road and turning left along the river bank will bring you to a string of mostly simple bamboo hut guesthouses lined up one after the other, with a second row behind jostling in vain for a river side position. (Some of these are more easily reached by crossing the footbridge at the end of Chaisongkran Road). Most of the bamboo hut locations -- squarely in the backpacker range -- have been around for a while and while they are all fairly similar in layout, design and price, a couple do stand out mainly by virtue of better maintenance and service. If our suggestions are full or you don't quite agree, just toddle along the riverbank footpath to the next one. This is certainly a good location, with easy access to the town and plenty of splash-about-in-the-river spots around, but at worst it can get very crowded with a lot of huts, and backpackers, crammed into a relatively small area. Being convenient and riverside they are also the first to fill up.
If you follow the road rather than turn left, follow it for 200m or so to a low ridge that separates the river valley from a raised plateau of farmland that stretches off to the foot of the hills. This is traditionally farmland -- mostly rice -- but is now dotted with resorts and guesthouses. The sealed road, upon running into the ridge, makes a T-junction with the right fork, parallel to the river, leading to Mae Yen village and on to the hot springs, while the right turn also runs parallel to the river in a northerly direction towards Wiang Nur village. Both eventually swing round to meet up with the Chiang Mai - Mae Hong Son highway on either side of Pai. Take any of the several dirt tracks leading across the farmland from the T-junction and you'll hit a whole range of guesthouses that don't stop until the foothills are reached. Sticking a few chalets in the midst of flat bare paddy can produce desolate results, so the best ones up here are the ones where more effort has been made with their gardens. There are a couple of excellent spots up here.
Else, continue to Mae Yen village. The village itself isn't much to write home about but it is within easy walking distance of Pai and it does have a good selection of accommodation plus a couple of basic cafes and grocery stores. There are some great low season deals and they would certainly fill up a bit later than riverside or in-town guesthouses during high season.
Top spot!191 Moo 1 Mae Hee, Pai
T: (081) 180 3064;
Pai Chan is such a good spot but with only a few chalets it means that even in low season it can be full. Set just on top of the embankment, overlooking paddy fields behind and across the valley to ... Read the full review of Pai Chan Cottage.
Good chalets and nice garden169 Moo 1, Mae Hee, Pai
T: (089) 691 3367;
Not far down the left hand fork, Pai Lanna is a well situated five-minute walk from the bridge with a good view over the river and valley. The garden is immaculate, with lovely sitting areas and the ... Read the full review of Pai Lanna.
Absolutely stunning with plenty of space98 Moo 1, Mae Hee, Pai
T: (053) 698 065;
Just a short way down the road from Pai Lanna is the rather laboriously named but actually quite nice Pairadise Resort. (It's not a typo, but rather the owner's idea of a joke!) Very nice chalets are ... Read the full review of Pairadise.600B to 1,500B 3 votes Flashpacker
Well run and a good deal90/2 Moo 1 Mae Hee, Pai,
T: (087) 172 6632;
The Country side is another Dutch - Thai run location with friendly Thai service and good food, and efficient Dutch organisation and management. It's down the dirt track running across the fields, ... Read the full review of The Countryside Bungalows.600B to 1,500B 4 votes Flashpacker
Small and cosyNear the river, Pai
T: (081) 548 2346;
Heading along the riverbank from Baan Pai Riverside is a string of cheap guesthouses, Pai Country, Family Hut, Pai Riverview and so on. The first is our favourite while among the second row of ... Read the full review of Baan Pai Country Hut.
One of the budget spots on the river88 Moo 3, Vieng Tai, Pai
T: (053) 698 152; F: (053) 69 9057
If you were to stop by the river instead of continuing down the track to Twin Hut you'd be at Baan Pai Riverside Resort, one of the best along this stretch of the river. It's large, with 60 huts, so ... Read the full review of Baan Pai Riverside.
Quiet and friendlyTambon Mae Hee, Pai
T: (086) 924 0146;
Set back from the river somewhat means Twin Hut has a quieter location, albeit without the view. If you're coming from the footbridge then continue down the track instead of turning left or right at ... Read the full review of Twin Hut.
Upmarket Lanna huts in a paddy field199, Moo 1, Mae Hee, Pai
T: (083) 304 3300;
Huts at Pai Klang Na are about as expensive a bamboo hut as you will find. Set in the middle of a paddy field, literally, there's no way you could complain about lack of space. The huts may look ... Read the full review of Pai Klang Na.
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