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.
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!
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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 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 about the conditions before departing.
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 hot tub.
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!
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.