Soak your troubles away at the best hot springs in Pai.
In a town as laidback as Pai, the hot springs are another level of relaxation. If you’ve spent a couple of days exploring everything that Pai has to offer- the big Buddha, the circus lessons, the nightlife – then you might be ready for a rest. The hot springs in Pai are here for you!
Feel like Tarzan and Jane
There are three main hot springs in Pai, and they all have one thing in common- a setting in a tropical paradise. Yes Pai is in the hills, and yes the climate is a bit more temperate than Chiang Mai or further south, but it’s still hot here and the jungle is still firmly in charge.
We’re talking lush vegetation, steaming hot pools overhung by vines and tree roots, and plenty of animals and birds to spot. It brings out your inner Tarzan!
The Local Favorite: Sai Ngam Hot Springs Pai
The first of the three swimming spots is the Sai Ngam hot springs. The water runs crystal clear here, and it’s normally quieter than some other spots. This is less of a tourist trap than a local hang-out, and residents from all around the Pai region can be found jumping in the pools here, sometimes fully dressed!
We recommend visiting Sai Ngam early in the day to have the best chance of having the place to yourself. Before 9am is ideal as the main crowds don’t tend to appear until mid-morning. It’s not too far out of town so you won’t have to get up too early! Make sure you leave time to carry on past the springs up the hill to see the local village. Its’ main selling points are traditional wooden stilt houses and smiling children!
Head about 15km along route 1095 towards Mae Hong Son, before turning right at the sign for the springs. There’s a 200 baht ($6.50) entry fee to pay at the gate, plus 20 baht per motorbike, and then a 5km ride along a winding road to arrive at the car park. The opening hours are 7am to 8pm.
The Connoisseur’s Choice: Pai Hotsprings Spa Resort
Want your hot springs a bit more developed? Check out the Pai Hotsprings Spa Resort, where concrete has somewhat taken over but all mod cons are on offer.
The jungle feels a bit more tame here, but what the resort lacks in wildness it makes up for in beautiful views. There’s a complex of thermal baths here plus a lovely swimming pool with a vista out over the countryside. Recommended for those who like a cold beer while soaking in their hot springs!
Pai Hotsprings resort is only 7km from Pai, so it’s a good choice if you’re pushed for time. Ride south towards the Pai canyon and watch out for the signs by the side of the road. Entry is only 100 baht ($3.25) and the complex is open from 8am to 6pm.
The Most Popular Hot Springs in Pai: Ta Pa Hot Springs
Ta Pai Hot Springs are the best-known and the most-visited hot springs in Pai. This is both good and bad news- the good news is that they’re popular for a reason, and the surroundings are spectacular, especially at dawn. The bad news is that you’ll be sharing those surroundings with a whole lot of other people!
There’s a nature park here so you can combine a visit with a stroll along the creek that runs through the area. If you take the time to explore then you’ll come across several small plunge pools which range in temperature from 33 to 38 degrees, perfect for a dip!
The Ta Pai springs are quite near the Pai Hotsprings resort, 8km along the road south out of town. Ride past the White Buddha and look for the road signs. There are plenty of elephant camps around here but please, don’t visit the ones that allow visitors to ride the elephants. There are plenty of ethical elephant camps to choose from!
Entrance to the Ta Pai springs is 300 baht ($9.50) and the complex is open from 7am to 6pm daily.
Insider Tip from Bodega Veterans
It’s easy to combine a trip to one of these hotsprings with some of the other great things to do in Pai. Jump on a scooter and visit the Tham Lod Cave or Pai Canyon to have an all-day adventure.