Getting from Chiang Mai to Pai offers several transportation options, given that Pai is situated approximately 135 kilometers northwest of Chiang Mai. While some adventurous souls may consider the motorbike journey, we strongly advise against it due to the challenging road conditions and erratic driving habits.
Instead, opt for a more convenient and safer mode of transportation such as car, bus, or plane.
Getting from Chiang Mai to Pai
Chiang Mai to Pai By Bus:
Traveling by bus is one of the most popular and economical ways to reach Pai from Chiang Mai, despite the potentially uncomfortable four-hour journey, especially for those prone to motion sickness. Most minibus services charge around ฿200 (approximately $6) per person, with an additional ฿50 (about $1.50) for doorstep pick-up.
AYA and Prempracha Transport are reputable bus services offering multiple daily trips from Chiang Mai to Pai. AYA, known for its reliability, operates five times a day from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., while Prempracha Transport runs hourly from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. from the Chiang Mai Arcade Bus Terminal, costing ฿150 for a one-way ticket when booked directly. Book van or bus ticket
Flying from Chiang Mai to Pai:
Pai boasts its own airport, conveniently situated approximately 1 kilometer outside the town center. In the past, travelers could comfortably fly from Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) to Pai in a mere 30 minutes.
Previously, Kan Air and Wisdom Airways operated flights on the Chiang Mai-Pai route, offering service via small touring planes that provided a scenic and picturesque journey. However, as of now, there are no scheduled flights along this route.
Keep in mind that flight availability is irregular, and sometimes flights are suspended indefinitely. For the latest updates on flight availability and ticket prices, check out flights from Chiang Mai to Pai.
Chiang Mai to Pai By Private Car:
Groups traveling together might find hiring a private car from Chiang Mai to Pai advantageous. This option allows flexibility and comfort, potentially reducing travel time by an hour or more. Prices usually start at ฿1,000 (approximately $30) for car and driver hire, while car rental services like AVIS Thailand offer daily rates around ฿1,600 (about $50). Despite the cost, renting a car grants the freedom to explore and make stops at leisure, ensuring a more comfortable journey. Book a private transfer from Chiang Mai to Pai
Chiang Mai to Pai By Group Tour:
Rather than enduring an exhausting journey, opt for a day tour that allows you to savor all of Pai’s top tourist spots. Explore attractions like the Memorial Bridge, the dramatic Pai Canyon, the delightful Love Strawberry Pai, the unique Santichon Village, the enchanting Tree House, and the Wat Phratat Mae Yen, perched atop a hill. Book a day tour from Chiang Mai to Pai
This experience is tailor-made for those who want to fully appreciate Pai’s beauty without an overnight stay.