I'm leaving for Thailand on april 26 and I've heard good things about Pai. If anyone has been there I'd be grateful to hear your opinions about whether I should I go there, are some good lodges to stay at there and what things that I should see while I'm there.
Pai is a really coolplace to visit. I stayed there for five days, its got everything, restaurants, cool bars, loads of sights to see andfriendly people. I would advise hiring a bike out from AYA bikes (think thats the right name?). They give you a map which has about five different routes around Pai that you can take and see some sights. Dont bother doing a tour you can do it all on a bike yourself easily.
We stayed in the town - double room for 150BHT a night, shared bathroom. Or you can walk to the river and get a cool little hut for about 200BHT a night. Our friends stayed in Family Huts and had a great time there.
You can catch the bus from Chiang Mai, or get a minibus there from any gueshouse for 200BHT each.
I enjoyed Pai too - we spent 3 nights there and stayed in a place called the blue house for 270 baht per night. it's a lovely chilled out little town. one of the main reasons for going to Pai is that the area offers great trekking options; these can be organised through one of the offices in the town.
If you want to onward travel within thailand or to the laos border the travel agent in town can organise this for you too.
I love Pai, I have travelled to many places and all over Thailand and I would say Pai is my favourite place ever. I went there 2 times on my own and met so many chilled out people. If you can get yourself a moped and ride up to the hot spa pools in a Pai hotsprings resort it's about 20mins outside town, but do it at night (closes at 8pm) it's lush, about 3 man made pools fuelled by hot springs. I think it cost about 60 baht but it is worth it, the springs a bit further up the road are only worth seeing to boil and egg.
Thanks for the responses everyone. Pai definitely sounds to be worth a visit so I'll have to find a way to squeeze it in. I appreciate the hotel suggestions becki and Bex, I've made note of them and will give one of them a try.
Hate to be the bearer of bad news but Pai may not be such a cool place for much longer. Word on the street is that a major resort owner is wanting to build an up market resort there so the back packers/low budget tourists are going to be moved on. There was a long term resident lifted by the local boys in brown a few weeks ago on the way to the market on his push bike, dope tested and detained. By the way this guy's a pensioner!!!!!!. The new police chief is cleaning up the town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Might be an idea to go visit the place sooner rather than later.
PAI is great if you like to chill out and enjoy the beautifull views. I was there 2 months ago, and despite the cold nights i stayed there for almoust 2 weeks, and if i could i would be there even longer. Try the mr. jan's guest house, a had a hut, a very simlke one for 80bath a day...