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Platform from Pai Canyon in Pai in the north of Thailand
Platforms from Pai Canyon in Pai in the north of Thailand

Image: ThailandMagazine.com


The Pai Canyon is perhaps the most touristic and crowded attraction of Pai and its beautiful surroundings. And even though the Pai Canyon is not at all comparable to the Grand Canyon in Arizona (America), this place is definitely worth a visit if you are staying in Pai. A nice advantage is that a visit to the canyon will cost you almost nothing. Parking is free and there are no entrance fees. The canyon is about fifteen minutes drive from the center of Pai and the road to it is easily passable. We ourselves stayed about an hour and a half in this area.

There have been many accidents at this place, some of them even with a fatal outcome. That’s why we think it’s important to warn you about this, safety first! For example, wear good footwear if you want to explore the narrow ledges. The ground is dusty and you can easily slip. The narrow ledges are sometimes between 30 and 40 metres high and there are no railings. In August 2017 another Dutch woman was rescued from the Pai Canyon. This proves once again that you have to be extra careful here!

Pai Canyon views of the mountains of Pai, Thailand

Route to Pai Canyon

To get to Pai Canyon take Route 1095 heading south from the centre of Pai. After a quarter of an hour on the scooter you have arrived. At the entrance you can buy a cold drink and a snack at the stalls on both sides. After visiting this location you can be at the Memorial Bridge within 5 minutes. Maybe this combination is something for you?

Almost every tourist hotspot can be reached via Route 1095. This is the main road that crosses the village of Pai. If you take Route 1095 southwards towards the Pai Canyon you will first pass other nice places like Coffee in Love and Love Strawberry.

On the way to the Pai Canyon
Sign with stickers at the Pai Canyon

Images: ThailandMagazine.com

Try to get to the Pai Canyon before 10:00 because it’s not that hot yet. At the end of the day it can be very busy and the warmed up rocks radiate the heat that they absorbed during the hot Thai day. But at the end of the day you can catch a beautiful sunset! Besides water, bring something against the sun because there is little shade once you’re on the Pai Canyon.

Pai Canyon cliff in Pai, Thailand

Image: ThailandMagazine.com

The Pai Canyon

From the starting point on the canyon (platform) where everyone arrives it is possible to continue walking on a narrow connection that goes further into the canyon. There are no railings and in some places a crossing is quite dangerous. If you suffer from fear of heights, has it just rained or are you here on flip-flops think carefully about whether you continue walking. Above all, enjoy the view and the views the Pai Canyon has to offer.

The Pai Canyon was created by constant erosion by wind and rain. We wonder how many heavy Thai showers it takes before a path has crumbled to such an extent that it’s not passable anymore. All in all the “mountain range” is a unique sight that towers above the wilderness. At several places you have a 360 degree view over all the beauty!

Pai Canyon sunset in Pai, Thailand

Sunset at the Pai Canyon

Between 17:00 and 18:00 it is always very busy at the Pai Canyon. This because of the beautiful sunset you can see from this hotspot. Not only visitors with a scooter come here quickly to see the last rays of the sun disappear behind the mountains of Pai. No, there are also numerous vans with (mostly Chinese) tourists arriving that are part of a tour with the Pai Canyon as the end point of their day tour. Of course it is wonderful to experience a beautiful sunset together with your loved one or family. In the high season between December and March it is really busy during the sunset. Go there on time if you want a good place to watch the sunset!

In the months of March and April (sometimes May) there are regular fires set by the farmers in the area. Because of the smoke and burning particles in the atmosphere a really beautiful color palette can arise during the sunset. Through this website you can see what time the sun sets in Pai.

Pai Canyon sunset in Pai, Thailand
Pai Canyon sunset in Pai, Thailand

Information about the Pai Canyon

Open: 24 hours a day 365 days a year (does not seem wise to walk around here at night)
Entrance: Free
Address: Highway 1095, Ban Rong Yang, Pai District, Mae Hong Son
Route: From Pai Walking Street to Pai Canyon takes about 15 minutes with scooter or car.

See the list with best hostels in pai here
Maps with links to popular neighbourhoods in Bangkok
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