COME SEE Pai Canyon, Pai. Thailand.
PAI CANYON: THE GUIDE
LOCAL NAME: KONG LAN
REGION: Mae Hong Son Province
ACCESSIBILITY: Open 24 hrs, arrive by private scooter or hire a Songthaew
BEST TIME TO VISIT: During the cool season (end Nov -Feb). Early in the morning or at sunset
LOCATION: 3 hours from Chiang Mai | 12mins From Pai | Open in Google Maps
WALKING DISTANCE: No set trail or distance. Up to you to decide how far to explore.
TIME REQUIRED: 30 mins +
TOURIST RATING: Very popular natural site
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PAI CANYON: THE EXPERIENCE
As told by Jackie Te-Aroha.
Pai Canyon was the first sight on our list and we planned our visit during sunset because it had been 2+ weeks since watching one. So after relaxing poolside at our hotel all day we packed our camera equipment and headed south. On the side of the highway at the entrance point there are a few small stalls offering food and drinks. You can either park in front of them or continue along another 10-15 meters to a slightly more ‘formal’ style car park. At the end towards the left there’s a staircase that you follow for less than 10 minutes, then at the top you’ll reach a viewing point where the majority of people stop, and for good reason.
Just after this platform the earth steeply plummets down forming a park of narrow spine like trails that weave around the hillside between the shrubs and bush land. After passing the first platform and walking along narrow ridge immediately you’ll come to the second point at which the crowd lessens again. It’s here that you’ll need to use your hands to assist your decent. This is also the point where parents with small children decided their adventure had gone far enough. We watched a few people squeeze through a small crevasse, so we knew where to step and then like the good girlfriend I am I sent Zade in first!
Once through, we followed the path left along another ridge and to the third level plain which I’m naming the ‘Pai Canyon Sunset Platform’. You could see right out over… town and out to the surrounding mountain range behind. There were already a few people waiting for the evenings show to begin so we decided to see if there were any other spots we could set up before settling in. First we went right, it was decent but because it was a little lower the views of the skies are slightly reduced here.
We went back and followed the path to the left of the Sunset Platform until we reached another steep crevasse that made the first look like child’s play. Its was definitely a trail for the experienced only which is why we called it quits there. We sent Frida up to explore from the skies boy did Mother Nature put on a show for us. She lit the heavens in a fiery orange which contrasted against the deep blues of the mountains and the even deeper greens of the vegetation below.
If your ever headed to Pai we definitely recommend a stop at this sight. You have to be somewhat brave to push past the crowds but once you do you’ll be rewarded with a strange but incredible natural landscape.
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