September 05, 2012
Pai, Northern Thailand
Pai, Northern Thailand

Pai is a small town in Mae Hong Son Province, Northern Thailand. It is part of the Mae Hong Son Loop 135km north of Chiang Mai on the way to the provincial capital. Pai is set in a particularly picturesque valley and is a predominantly tourist-oriented town offering a relaxed atmosphere with a broad traveller and backpacker scene. The town’s permanent residents are a seemingly harmonious mix of Western hippies and Thai rastas which gives the place a unique vibe which is appealing even if it isn’t authentic.

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A sudden boom in guest house and bar construction from 2006 onwards has resulted in a great deal of spare capacity in the off season with a large volume of internal tourism after Pai was featured in a romantic Thai film. In the high season it can be hard to find a room with the small city square   transformed by swirling crowds, western style restaurants, hawker stalls, souvenir shops & bars. Our retreat, however, is unaffected by this influx of tourism because although we are literally 10 minutes walk from the city center, we are secluded away on a hilltop overlooking the town.

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