Set in a particularly picturesque valley north of Chiang Mai, Pai is a predominantly tourism-oriented town, offering a relaxed atmosphere. Pai was once a quiet market village inhabited by Shan people (ethnic Tai) whose culture is influenced by Burma. Today, Pai primarily thrives on tourism. Further outside of town, there are several waterfalls and a number of natural hot springs varying in temperature from 80–200 degrees Fahrenheit. Some resorts tap the hot springs and feed hot water into private bungalows and public pools. As Pai lies at the foot of the mountains, many tourists use it as a base for trekking and visiting hill tribes like Karen, Hmong, Lisu, and Lahu. Another notable attraction is the town’s excellent Wednesday Market which brings large and colorful crowds of local villagers and tribal people from all around the Pai Valley. Fresh air, green mountains, friendly Lanna people – no wonder so many people decided to settle in the quiet, riverside town of Pai, Thailand. Situated in the mountains just four hours north of Chiang Mai, Pai is an accessible escape when the tourist hordes start clogging the moat around Chiang Mai.

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