Photo: Not a bridge too far.

Mae Yen village and waterfall

Our rating:

In addition to being a cute little Shan village with a collection of chalet resorts and cafes, nearby Mae Yen also has a couple of noteworthy sights of its own.





If you cross over the Pai River by the road bridge on Raddamrong Road and bear right at the first fork, then Mae Yen is the first village you reach. This means it’s within reasonable walking distance of town and has a couple of very pleasant cafes along the way.

Just delivered. Photo taken in or around Mae Yen village and waterfall, Pai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Just delivered. Photo: Mark Ord

The first feature—difficult to miss as it towers above the village—is a huge white seated Buddha image on the hill above the village temple, Wat Prathat Mae Yen. Of recent construction (when we visited in mid-2017 it still came with attached scaffolding), the statue and adjacent viewpoint have shot up Pai’s list of popular sites and a sunset visit to Wat Mae Yen is now an almost de-rigueur element of any Pai stay. On the eastern slope of the Pai Valley, the Buddha faces west so it’s the end of day complement to Yun Lai’s sunrise viewpoint.

The wat is reached from a side turning on the left in the village centre and is clearly signposted in English. A sealed road leads from here up the hill to the main temple buildings and carpark at the foot of a giant staircase taking you up to the Buddha itself. From here you can continue on the dirt track that winds its way up to the right side of the hill or you park and walk. It’s a fair climb and though we didn’t count the steps you’ll definitely be glad of a sit down at the top. The wat itself includes a bell-shaped stupa said to contain an actual relic of the Lord Buddha.

If you’re without transport and are up for walking the whole distance, then we’d set out from town at least a full hour before sundown, though plenty of agents in Pai do offer return taxi trips to the sunset viewpoint. These are pick-up truck songthaes taxis which stop in the carpark, so you’ve still got to do the staircase on foot. The going rate is 100 baht per ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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