TO AND FROM PAI
At Pai you only have 3 choices, go west to Mae Hing Song, go east to Chiang Mai or to any village along the route, and you have the choice of mini-vans, a/c bus or old local buses which tend to be a little beaten up and crowded. Buses take 4 hrs to Chiang Mai but they will stop for a snack/break half way there. Soppong is one hour, while Mae Hong Song is 2 hours. Usually the buses will depart every two hours or so, but try get to the small bus station early in order to find a good seat.
Mini-vans will go much regularly, especially during the tourist season and you won't have to wait too long before they are full. Of course they are quicker and more expensive, taking 3 1/2 hrs to Chiang Mai and 1 1/2 hrs to Mae Hong Song. Getting there quicker and more comfortably as you have a seat to yourself and they are air-conditioned is an advantage, but on the downside they drive faster, so they are more dangerous. The first bus will leave around 7 am and you will not find much departing after 4 pm.
All the buses and minivans will take you to Chiang Mai's Arcade Bus Station.
Moped/Motorcycle or car
To see more of Pai than just the town, get yourself a set of wheels. But only do this if you feel confident enough to drive. Don't be tempted to drink and drive, as people still do. We paid 120B a day for a 125cc moped. Try the places near the bus station. They should give you a helmet for free.
- Budget Travel
Admire the View-Minibus from Chiang Mai
We had heard that this is an uncomfortable ride. We had heard that from December 2006 you could get a Golden Dragon half bus from Chiang Mai's arcade bus station to Pai and that it was alot more comfortable. We went to the bus station, no sign of the bus only a small mini bus. So we booked a mini bus from a travel agent in Chiang Mai for 150B. It was alot more comfortable than we had expected. Beautiful scenery along the way. It took about 3 hours. We were dropped off at a travel agent just around the corner from Pai's bus stop.
- Budget Travel
Rent a motorbike
You can rent a motorbike in Pai's main shopping street. It is a great way of exploring Pai's surroundings and some other villages, where they aren't really used to tourists and still wave when you're passing by. The landscape you'll see is of breathtaking beauty.
When you rent a motorbike make sure to drive on the left, where a helmut and take a full insurance!! Before you leave check weather the motorbike is allright or not, because otherwise they will let you pay for the "dammage" afterwards.
Minibusride with airco
When you want to go to Pai, it's easy to do this from Changmai.
For instance at Top North Guesthouse in Changmai (Moon Muang Rd2) you can get bustickets to Pai.
The bus leaves from Top North and has airconditioning. It takes 4,5 hours to get to Pai and you usually sit in the bus with 6 to 8 other people.
After 2,5 hours the bus stops at a teahouse. You can get tea / coffee and snacks here. You can use the toilet here (bring your own toiletpaper!). You also have to change bus here.
And then the ride goes on. The roads are not straight anymore, so you have a chance to get sick in the stomach :o( After 2 hours you arrive in Pai.
Prize of the total ride: 200 baht (4,40 EURO).
When you want to ride around in Pai itself it's a good idea to rent a scooter. But be careful always wear a helmet, cause lots of scooter accidents happen here.
you should try travel around but bicycle it 's so cool and tired. You have to bike up and up from about 500ft to 1000ft ( from sea level) But you will see many interesting thing along the road.
I think you should be more exercise when you plan to go there .
I guess you need a car
The pai area is lovely... It's possible to get there by bus from Chiang Mai but to explore it a car is necessary, since transportation is quite limited. I rented a jeep with four other people to go there, but it's possible to get to Pai by public transportation and join day trips to nearby attractions from there. Buses leave Chiang Mai at 7.00, 8.30, 10.30, 12.30, 16.00.
Map from: http://www.thailine.com/thailand/english/north-e/chmai-e/pai-allg.htm
Rafting on the river
2 funny ways you have riding on the river for 1 or 2 hours, starting from north pai:
take a bamboo raft to let you guide around, or
rent a big truck tube to lay in and enjoy...