Looking for some action-packed adventure in Pai? So did we! We visited Pai’s most impressive, coolest, adventurous and fun waterfalls and have only one piece of advice: GO GO GO! So rent a motorbike, put on your hiking boots and bathing suit – because you’re going on an adventure!

1. Mor Paeng Waterfall

This monstrous waterfall has three levels and is known as the biggest and most exciting slide in Pai! This is the place to be during the rainy season (July to October) because by then the waterfall will have grown into a true wild water ride. WHEEEEEE!!!
On weekends, this waterfall is also popular among locals and you’ll find many playing children there as well as other backpackers, making it a fun place to be.

The Mor Paeng Waterfall is located 9 kilometers from the center of Pai and is easy to get to. Drive past the hospital and airport and you’ll end up on the main road (1095) towards Mae Hong Son. You’ll soon see signs saying ‘Waterfall’ indicating a left turn. After 10 minutes of driving past several small villages, park your motorbike at the small parking lot. From here it’s a short one-minute walk to the Mor Pang Waterfall.

Mo Paeng Waterfall in PaiSliding down from Mo Paeng Waterfall in Pai

2. Pambok Waterfall

The Pambok Waterfall is amazing and possibly our favorite waterfall in Pai! Go for a swim, dive bomb and take a plunge beneath this beautiful canyon-waterfall. The water is deep enough.

The walk to get there (5 minutes) is also gorgeous. Follow the rattling creek along a narrow path across a wooden bridge. You’ll soon see the shapes of the canyon where you can drop your bag, put on your bathing suit and take a refreshing dip in the water.

There’s also a narrow, steep path to the right of the waterfall right before you enter the canyon. We climbed it and came across a couple other small waterfalls. And the best part is: you won’t see any other people here.

Because the Pambok Waterfall is easily accessible, there will always be people there – you won’t quite get that ‘I’m swimming all alone under a waterfall in the middle of the jungle’-feeling. So make sure you get there as early as possible!

The Pambok Waterfall is located approximately 15 kilometers from Pai. Drive towards Pai Canyon from the center of town, keeping the two gas stations to your left. After about ten minutes you’ll see a clear sign telling you to turn right towards ‘Pambok Waterfall’. Follow a winding road that takes you to the waterfall’s parking lot. The views along the way are worth it too!

Pambok Waterfall in PaiPambok Waterfall in Pai

3. Hua Chang Waterfall

The Hua Chang Waterfall is Pai’s best-kept secret. We were directed towards this waterfall by word of mouth and… we found it! It was great because we didn’t see a single soul on the way there or at the waterfall itself – this made it a true adventure!

For about an hour you’ll pass huge banana trees, dense jungle and cascading waterfalls while walking along an easy path. Eventually, you reach this amazing waterfall. We greatly enjoyed the peace, nature, birds, blue skies and churning water. To top it all off, we took a refreshing jungle shower beneath the waterfall, something we can highly recommend to everyone!

The Hua Chang Waterfall is difficult to find because there are no signs directing you towards it from the road. Drive out of Pai’s center via the bridge crossing the Pai River. Then take the first road left towards the ‘Circus School’. Follow this road, through a town, for another ten kilometers, until you see a big sign saying ‘@ PAI’. Take two right turns at the big tree and follow the narrow country road until it eventually changes into a muddy path. After a good five kilometers, you’ll encounter your first obstacle: the river. Park your motorbike and follow the easy path to the waterfall!

The road to the Hua Chang Waterfall can be quite dangerous during the rainy season (May to October), because you often have to cross the river – which can get very deep. Also during the burning season (March – April) the road can be quite dangerous because of the forest fires. Ask locals the about the conditions before departing.

Hua Chang Waterfall in PaiPathway to Hua Chang Waterfall in PaiThe road to Hua Chang Waterfall in Pai

4. Mae Yen Waterfall

The Mae Yen Waterfall is by far the most challenging waterfall of the four. It’s a ruthless, painstakingly long hike to this unique waterfall that includes a jungle-jacuzzi.

To begin with, we made this trip in the smokey season, which meant everything – both literally and figuratively speaking – was on fire. Secondly, there was a long detour on the way to the waterfall, which meant we had to cross over a mountain (80% grade). After three exhausting hours, we reached the waterfall; right in the middle of the jungle with nobody around! Needless to say, we took a lovely dip in the waterfall’s second level. This was the best part – fantastic!

Only the trip back remained, which didn’t exactly go as planned. One of my flip-flops broke, which meant I had to continue on barefoot. I then stood on a bee (ouch) and we completely lost our way ending up hovering somewhere halfway up a mountain on an impassable path in the middle of nowhere.

It was crazy dangerous. And trust me: I’m not exaggerating in any way. Looking back, we can only smile now, but at the time we were drained.

All in all, you’ll be hiking for 6 hours minimum. Bring at least 2 liters of water per person and enough food to eat along the way. A decent pair of walking shoes is not an unnecessary luxury and make sure you start your hike to the waterfall early – at least before 11:00 AM!

The Mae Yen waterfall is located in Pai’s deep jungle, although the drive to the parking lot is short and easy. Drive out of Pai via the bridge crossing the Pai River. Pass Fluid Swimming Pool and immediately turn left. Follow this country road for a few kilometers until you can’t go any further. Park your motorbike; your adventure awaits you!

Before departure, always ask a local about the current condition of the pathway. Especially during the rainy season (May – October), but also during the hot season (March – April) the road can be quite dangerous.

Mae Yen Waterfall in PaiMae Yen Waterfall in PaiMae Yen Waterfall in PaiBurning the forest at Mae Yen Waterfall in Pai

Best Hotels Pai

Medio de Pai - $$

Excellent rooms equipped with aircon and a nice swimming pool. But the best part about Medio de Pai is its location: right in the center, on a street parallel to the Walking Street. It also has some spacious, and affordable, family rooms.

Puri Pai Villa - $$

Puri Pai is a luxury resort with rooms with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Pai’s rice fields. Stay in your own villa with a swimming pool and hammock. You won’t regret this - it is one of the highlights of your trip!

Which waterfall will you conquer in Pai?

Sander

Author Sander

Former elementary school teacher, storyteller, sports enthusiast, and adventurer. Love to do the "impossible", which is usually the exact opposite of what’s expected.

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