Ever tried your hand at juggling or archery? Have you ever gone fishing for something other than fish (like piranhas)? Pai may be known for its chill vibes and cafes, but there are so many strange and non-touristy things you can partake in while traveling in this Northern Thai city that you must add to your itinerary. Here, some of the most unique things to do in Pai:
Take a Fermentation Class at Good Life Dacha
If you’re a big fan of kombucha, this fermentation class is perfect for you! Good Life Dacha is run by the same people behind Good Life Herb and Health Restaurant. They make their own bagels, kombucha, soft cheeses, sauerkraut, yogurt, and other fermented goodies. At this fermentation class, they’ll teach you the entire process and the science behind it. They will also explain the health benefits of probiotics and consuming “live food,” and the history of how these ancient products have been used for medicinal purposes in various cultures. You’ll also sample various homemade snacks and see each step of the fermentation process. This 4-hour course includes a booklet that has instructions on how to make various products and space where you can take notes, along with starters/culture, which are bits of the products so you can grow your own cheese, kefir, and kombucha at home!
Classes are every day from Monday to Saturday at 11 a.m. and cost ฿500 per person. Three people are required for the class to run and reservations aren’t necessary. You can also use the sauna at Good Life Dacha for ฿250, which includes all-day use, a towel, sarong, treatment for skin, and tea. Call a couple hours in advance so they can heat it up for you!
Location: 298 Moo 8 T, Wiang Tai, Amphoe Pai, Chang Wat Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 81 031 3171 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Go Fishing at Piranha Fishing Park
Load up that tackle box, grab a fishing reel and head to the Piranha Fishing Park in Pai. Fishing is seemingly a normal endeavor that may not sound like a unique thing to see and do in any city, but things certainly get a whole lot more interesting when you are not catching any old fish … you are catching the dreaded piranha. They are not as dangerous as one may think and some piranhas are even vegetarian.
The Piranha Fishing Park is filled with these piranhas ready to bite. They are freshwater fish and should not be let out into the wild, but when kept in a large pond in sunny Pai, they are ripe for the catching. Afterward, they are let back into the water and you can enjoy lunch on-site. You do not need to go on a tour in order to visit the Piranha Fishing Park. The cost is ฿200 for three hours which includes rod and bait or ฿500 for the entire day. Lakeside rooms hold two people max and include one free rod. There are other rooms available and prices and the number of people they can hold are flexible.
Location: Pai, Mae Hongsong, Northern Thailand, Pai, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 85 707 5074 | Facebook
Get a Little Weird at Pai Circus School
Pai Circus School is a bohemian-type of community, where backpackers come from all over the world to practice yoga and circus tricks like juggling, acrobatics, and slacklining. If you prefer to watch, you can hang out in the common areas or take a dip in the pool. Pai Circus has beautiful views overlooking Pai, which is reason enough to visit this place. To participate in classes, you must book a room or dorm. The classes and schedules vary based on what guests and teachers prefer.
Location: Mae Hi, Pai District, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 99 273 3678 | Facebook
Summon Your Inner Katniss at Chang Puak Coffee House
Why not enjoy a fresh cup of java with a bow and arrow in tow? At Chang Puak Coffee House, you can not only enjoy the mountainous terrain whilst relaxing on the stylish seating but also try your hand at archery. This delicious cafe doubles as an archery course. There are a handful of targets you can take aim for and enjoy partaking in an incredibly unique activity while enjoying some of the best coffee in town. Archery is normally used for combat, but try to remember that it is all fun and games at Chang Pauk Coffee House.
Location: Mae Hi, Pai District, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 063 239 6946 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed on Wednesdays)
Take Guitar Lessons at Easy Guesthouse and Gallery
If you are looking for a unique accommodation option with even more distinctive activities in place, look no further than Easy Guesthouse and Gallery. This quiet guesthouse is located right across the street from Easy Garden Cafe and is just far enough away from the city center to offer you some peace and quiet. One of the owners of the guest house, Tom, is one of the main musicians at Mojo Bar. Feel free to jam out and soak in his incredible skills before deciding on booking a class.
He teaches different styles and levels, so even if you have never picked up a guitar before, you are welcome to join. The cost is ฿300-500 per hour. The price depends on the style, technique, and skills of the student. The bigger the class, the cheaper the price is per person. There is only one guitar that guests can use but are encouraged to bring their own. There is also a Facebook page called our Pai Family where travelers sell old guitars. Lessons will be available as of the middle of October as Tom is currently out of town.
Location: 286 8, 183 Moo 1 Wiang Tai, Amphoe Pai, Chang Wat Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 98 797 4752 | Facebook
Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Go to Family Dinner at Buzza’s Backpackers Pai
Buzza’s Backpackers is so much more than a hostel. In addition to offering Thai cooking classes and beds for sleepy backpackers, they also host family dinners. There are both vegetarian and meat meals available. A long table holds up to 20 people and their chef, Singh, serves up large helpings of delicious Thai and Western meals that will leave you wanting more!
Luckily for you, you are welcome to go up for as many second helpings as you would like … the record? Six! The vegetarian meal consists of vegetables and fruit slow-cooked in a delicious curry until perfection. The family dinners are held every Sunday at 7 p.m. (Thai time, as the chef makes every dish to perfection). Prices vary depending on the season and range from ฿80-180 (about $2.40-$5.40).
Location: 67 Moo 1, Pai, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Contact: +66 85 247 6707 | Facebook
Meditate at Shekina Garden
Religious or not, Shekina Garden is a unique venue that welcomes travelers to join their community to meditate and enjoy a good meal or two. The group began in San Francisco and was working with homeless youth there, but it soon became an international entity. There are now meditation centers or Shekina groups in Goa in India, Asheville in North Carolina, and, of course, Pai. The meditation is Christ-centered, and there are also garden work days, devotion circles, workshops, and more.
Location: Unnamed Road Tambon Mae Hi, Pai District, Mae Hong Son 58130, Thailand — VIEW MAP
Visit a Roadside Theme Cafe: There are plenty!
Once you venture outside the town center, you might notice a variety of quaint, themed roadside cafes. These quirky little spots are the perfect place to relax and grab a cold drink, especially between touring different landmarks in the area. Love Strawberry Pai has some adorable photo ops with (you guessed it) tons of strawberry props and hanging umbrellas. A popular spot with some epic views is Coffee in Love — you can’t miss the ginormous “Coffee in Love” and “I am Pai” signs on the 1095 highway south of the center. Just half a kilometer from Coffee in Love is The [email protected] where you can curl up in a cute little hanging pod while drinking a fruit smoothie or iced coffee. For more roadside cafes with epic views, jump on a moto and explore the hills of Pai — it won’t be long until you discover one of these cute cafes!
Visit the Temples
While not boasting as many temples as Chiang Mai, Pai still has plenty of beautiful temples to admire when you’re exploring the city. It’s easy enough to stop at one of these beauties during a motorbiking trip to other landmarks. The most popular temple is easily Wat Phra That Yae Men, or the Temple on the Hill, which offers spectacular views of Pai. For something less touristy and quieter, check out the tranquil water temple, Wat Nam Hu. Our favorite temple is Wat Si Don Chai, which has an impressively beautiful exterior and interior. This Lanna-style golden temple is set in a quiet neighborhood a few kilometers north of the center. Marvel at the golden columns and intricately carved ceiling and window shutters.
More Information About Things to do in Pai
Did you love this article about unique things to do in Pai? Do you want even more information about this incredible city and what there is to see and do there? Then be sure to check out these articles we have rounded up on interesting things to do in Pai. Happy reading!
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