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James Sutton

Travelled to 9 countries / regions

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Go to Thailand pretty much every December

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Asia > Thailand > Pai > Useful Info
Updated on Oct 09, 2018 Useful Info

How to get to Pai from Chiang Mai for cheap

  • Pai is a tiny town in northern Thailand most known for its shroom shakes (Sunset Bar) and western hippies. Most tourists take a minibus there from Chiang Mai
  • I used a bus operator called Prem Pracha Transport (website), they run hourly bus Chiang Mai to Pai starting at 6:30am and last bus at 5:30pm. The journey took me almost 4 hours
  • Fare I paid was 150 baht one way ($5). 3 ways to book their ticket:
  1. I bought my tickets in person at the bus station with cash and had no issue getting on the 930am bus I wanted (I got there 1 hour early)
  2. You can also book online on their site. Prebooking is a good idea during high seasons from late November to mid February every year. They charge a 20-baht ($1) transaction fee for online booking
  3. Or, you can use 12Go, which is a big ticketing agency in Asia. The prices are more expensive than booking direct
  • Their bus station in Chiang Mai is the Arcade Bus Terminal in Chiang Mai, a 80-baht Grab ride ($2.5) away from central Chiang Mai. They also have pickup service from hotels in Chiang Mai, which I think costs 50-baht ($2)
  • Check out their current schedule at http://premprachatransports.com/timetable
  • Other tips:
  • The road to Pai is winding with many sharp turns. There's a chance you might get motion sickness on the minibus so plan accordingly
  • Another somewhat popular option is to ride a motorcycle from Chiang Mai to Pai. I knew a guy who said he enjoyed the riding on this stretch, apparently the road condition was pretty good
  • Don't bother flying, there's no airport in Pai. The closest airport is Mae Hong Song airport, which is only slightly closer to Pai than Chiang Mai
  • There's no train on this route either
  • Apparently you can take a taxi there for 4000-5000 baht ($120-$150)