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Pai Circus Hostel

A popular backpacker holiday camp

T: (099) 273 3678

Pai Circus Hostel

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Formerly Pai Circus School Resort, Pai Circus Hostel have since changed their name as it was neither really a school nor a resort, but basically a cheap backpacker guesthouse with frills.

Frills include a trampoline, pool table, juggling, yoga and fire-breathing lessons (though not at the same time), plus their highlight, an infinity pool with spectacular views across the Pai Valley.

Bungalows all in a row.

Bungalows all in a row. Photo: Mark Ord

The location is on the valley slope to the east of town off the Wiang Nua Road, so assuming the bamboo footbridge over the Pai River is intact, it’s a brisk but not too long hike into the town centre. If the bridge is down, as is often the case in rainy season, then it is a long walk and a motorbike would be useful. Do your evening drinking at the in-house Circus Bar though, since negotiating the country lanes by scooter in the dark after a few drinks would be grade A lunacy.

The in-house bar and cafe aren’t too bad—a little on the expensive side with for example a fried pork in basil and chillies at 90 baht—but they do have a bit of a captive audience. There are the usual standard Thai dishes plus sandwiches, burgers and so on as well as juices. Plentiful and helpful staff are on hand, and WiFi worked well.

Rooms are very simple.

Rooms are very simple. Photo: Mark Ord

The accommodation comes in a variety of guises with four, eight and 12-bed dorms and a profusion of basic bamboo A-frames or a smaller selection of solid air-con chalets. The A-frame huts (chalet or bungalow would be stretching things) also have old and new versions, and come with shared bathrooms. The air-con rooms, which we will call bungalows, have ensuite hot showers.

New fan huts weren’t too bad, coming with small balconies and hammocks, but they are very tightly packed together—the old ones don’t look like they’ll last much longer. Dormitories are thoughtfully air-conditioned though communal bathrooms get mixed reviews. Decor in both communal areas and chalets is hippy-esque, 60s style Californian murals and there are plenty of better deals in the same price range around. At the end of the day, you would stay here for the scene, not the accommodation.

Welcome to the Circus.

Welcome to the Circus. Photo: Mark Ord

If you want to join in the fun and games and make use of their pool, then a 100 baht per person daily fee is charged for non-guests. This also allows you to participate in any of the free-for-residents activities such as yoga, circus lessons and slackline. There are also various daily specials on a chalkboard and on the day we visited there was free pad Thai at 08:30, free shots at 18:00, a trivia quiz at 21:00 and knobbly knees competition at 22:00.

Okay the knobbly knees bit isn’t true but you do feel as if it could be. If you’re 21, and on your first trip to Thailand, you’re probably going to have a ball here. If you’re just looking for good value accommodation and to soak up some tranquil Pai atmosphere, go somewhere else.

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Walk-in rates at Pai Circus Hostel

Type of room
Type of room, low and high season prices
Sgl fan share bathroom
220 baht
270 baht
A-frame. Add 30 baht for a newer hut
Dorm fan cooled
250 baht
300 baht
Up to 275/325 baht
Dbl fan share bathroom
320 baht
420 baht
A-frame. Add 30 baht for a newer hut
Bungalow fan private bathroom
500 baht
600 baht
Room: Sgl fan share bathroom, low season: 220 baht, high season 270 baht. Notes: A-frame. Add 30 baht for a newer hut
Room: Dorm fan cooled, low season: 250 baht, high season 300 baht. Notes: Up to 275/325 baht
Room: Dbl fan share bathroom, low season: 320 baht, high season 420 baht. Notes: A-frame. Add 30 baht for a newer hut
Room: Bungalow fan private bathroom, low season: 500 baht, high season 600 baht. Notes:

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Where is Pai Circus Hostel

Pai Circus Hostel

T: (099) 273 3678
Coordinates (for GPS): 98º26'54.02" E, 19º21'43.09" N
Room rates: Under 600B

Map for Pai Circus Hostel

Map for Pai Circus Hostel

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