Pai Canyon In Thailand – The Ultimate Guide

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The Pai Canyon (also known as Kong Lan) is an incredibly scenic canyon with stunning valley views and it’s one of the most reputable locations to catch a Pai sunset!

Of course, when in Pai, you can’t miss other attractions like the Bamboo Bridge and the Sai Ngam Hot Spring, but the canyon will definitely be the highlight of your stay.

I have put together this complete guide to the Pai Canyon which includes everything you need to know before you go plus lots of photos for inspiration.

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WHERE IS THE PAI CANYON?

Pai Canyon is located 8km south of Pai township along the main highway.

If you are heading south from Pai, it takes approximately 10-minutes to the parking lot on the right-hand side of the main road. If you pass the Pai Memorial Bridge, you’ve gone too far.

Click here to see the location on Google maps.

pai canyon map

 

HOW TO GET HERE

The best way to get to Pai Canyon is on a scooter.

Scooters can be rented for as little as 150 Baht per day from one of the many rental stores in the center of Pai.

Alternatively, some accommodations offer scooter rentals for around the same price. A money deposit or passport is generally required for insurance purposes.

I also highly recommend purchasing travel insurance, especially when riding on the roads in Asia.

If you aren’t confident with riding a scooter, you can hail a songthaew (pick-up truck with bench seats) to get from A to B. Make sure to agree on a price with the driver first before jumping in the back.

pai canyon, grand canyon pai,Sunset at the canyon

 

WHAT TO EXPECT

There is no entrance fee to visit this attraction, simply park your scooter, grab a snack and a cold beverage from the small stall vendors, and begin the walk up the paved stair trail.

It’s approximately a 5-minute walk up the stairs to the first viewpoint, which tends to be where most visitors gather for sunset, lining up to take photos.

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However, if you’re game enough to hike along the skinny ridges to farther, less crowded viewpoints, you’ll have a much better adventure and memorable experience at the canyon.

The ridge trails are very dusty with unprotected drop-offs of up to 30-meters on either side, so please take care and know your limits.

I recommend wearing a good pair of walking shoes when scrambling around the top of the canyon.

pai canyon, grand canyon pai,The entrance to the grand canyon Pai

 

PAI CANYON SUNSET

Pai Canyon is the most popular, and in my opinion, the best spot to watch the sunset over the mountains as the last rays of light leave the valley. It’s also busiest during golden hour so you can expect it to be crowded at this time.

We decided to hike along a narrow ridgeline to a farther away viewpoint where I could see a rocky platform jutting out from among some pine trees.

It was a bit of a scramble to get there but we managed to have this little spot all to ourselves to enjoy the vibrant colors spreading across the sky and get some decent shots!

RELATED ARTICLE: 10 THINGS TO DO IN PAI

On the afternoon that I visited, there was a group of young and talented fire twirlers taking the stage and setting some unreal vibes amongst the crowd that had gathered during their performance. 

pai canyon, grand canyon pai,Fire twirling performance

pai canyon, grand canyon pai,Sunset viewpoint

pai canyon, grand canyon pai,Fire twirlers

 

Have you got travel insurance for Thailand? We all know accidents can happen and having World Nomads Insurance will save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. 

 

WHERE TO STAY IN PAI

Pai has hundreds of accommodations to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to suit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.

See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

Luxury: Pai Island Resort

This is one of the best 5-star accommodations in Pai with a dreamy setting in the forests. Featuring a pong, well-kept gardens, a restaurant and bar, free wifi, and airport shuttle services. Each Suite is fitted with fine beddings and furnishings, gardens, patios, a minibar, air conditioning, and an outdoor bathtub. Recommended for couples, families, and friends.

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Mid Range: Rim Pai Cottage

Rim Pai Cottages are 3-star accommodations framed by beautiful mountains and the Pai River. Centrally located on Pai’s famous walking street, this property features a restaurant, infinity pool, and free wifi. Choose from a double room, family room, villas, or a suite, each fitted with air conditioning, tea/coffee facilities, comfortable beds, a private bathroom, and flat-screen tv. Perfect place to stay in Pai for couples, families, and friends!

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Budget: Spicy Pai Backpackers

Spicy Pai Backpackers is the most popular budget accommodation in Pai. Great place to stay for solo travelers, couples, and friends! This property is surrounded by mountains and rice fields, featuring a common area, communal kitchen, and free wifi. Choose from either a dorm room, private bungalow, or a quadruple king-size room with bed linen and towels. A complimentary breakfast is also included for all guests!

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FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN PAI, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR PAI

When visiting Pai, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;

  • Sunscreen – the Thailand sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
  • Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
  • Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
  • Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.

If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;

  • GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
  • Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
  • DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.

 

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TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!

  • BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
  • SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
  • VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
  • BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
  • RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
  • GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
  • TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free

Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please drop me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can. For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.

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THANKS FOR READING

Hey friend, thanks for reading this guide!

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