Pai, located 111 km. from Mae Hong Son, is a quiet, relaxed little town set amid superb scenery and popular as a base for exploring the natural attractions of the area. Enclosed in a lofty mountain range, Pai district is endowed with many forms of natural wonders such as waterfalls, gorges, caves and hot springs. The famous destination for adventurous travellers is Pai River, the longest river in Mae Hong Son which welcomes its visitors with a series of rapids dancing along its scenic gorges.
Attractions in Pai
Maenam Pai is the longest river in Mae Hong Son, originated at Thanon Tongchai and Danlao mountain ranges through Pai which flows to the south passes by Mueang Mae Hong Son and eventually joins the Salawin river in Kaya, Myanmar, a total distance of 180 kilometres. Its depth is one meter in Summer. In rainy season the tide is very strong so tourist should have a professional guide for rafting. Rafting trip is very popular during July to December either bamboo rafts or rubber rafts. Many travel agents provide such a trip. The best time for rafting is from October to March.
With its approximately length of 180 kms., 30 m. width and 7 m. depth, the Pai River is the biggest and longest river in Mae Hong Son. This challenges the adventurous lover to raft along this river, and three most suitable points are recommended. They are:
- Source of the River to Amphoe Pai: Starting from Hua Chang Kaeo, 16 kms. Amphoe Pai to Wiang Nua Bridge or Ban Chumphon near Amphoe Pai, taking about 6 hours. Most suitable time to raft is between October – March, and 2 weeks prior contact for the raft is recommended.
- From Amphoe Pai to Amphoe Muang Mae Hong Son: Starting from Ban Mo Tang, 30 kms. from Amphoe Pai to Ban Pang Mu in Amphoe Muang. The distance of this route is about 70 kms and takes at least 5 days of rafting, and dug to much difference in water level at one point of the Pai River along this route therefore, two rafts setting are required to change at this mentioned point.
- From Amphoe Muang to Thai – Myanma Border Starting from Ban Huai Dua, Tambon Pha Bong, about 6 kms. from Amphoe Muang, to the border at Ban Nam Phiang Dir. Normally this section of the Pai River is more enjoyable to cruise along by the long – tailed motor boat which only takes 2-3 hour returned trip or trekking on elephant back instead of rafting since the nature and scenery are fascinated and beautiful.