Pai’s Pam Bok Waterfall is a Secluded Hidden Gem of Thailand

Pam Bok Waterfall in Pai: Off The Beaten Track

A visit to the Pam Bok waterfall is one of the best trips out of Pai (other than the magic mushrooms). It’s only 9km out of town so it’s easy to get to, and it’s less visited than many of the other waterfalls in the area so you can relax and enjoy the scenery in peace and quiet. 

A Scenic Setting

The waterfall itself is not the biggest in Thailand, but its setting between steep rocky cliffs means that it punches above its weight in terms of the wow factor. In wet season, water pours over the top of the falls and crashes into the plunge pool below. You feel like you’re enclosed in a miniature canyon, with blue sky at the top of the rocks and cool, freshwater rushing past your feet.

If you’re feeling adventurous then take the small path up the side of the falls and jump into the plunge pool from the rocks at the top. Only try this is when you’re sure there’s enough water in the pool below, and do a recce first for underwater obstacles. Jumping into pools is risky business so it’s a jumper beware!

When’s the best time to visit Pam Bok waterfall?

If you want to see the falls in full flow then the best time to visit is the wet season, July to November. Of course this does mean that you might get rained on! Alternatively the falls are still cool to visit in dry season, you just won’t see quite as much of the flow cascading over, and there may not be enough water in the plunge pool for a proper dip.

How to Get to Pam Bok Waterfall

The best way to visit the waterfalls is by scooter, if you’re a confident rider and have insurance and a license. There are a ton of bikes to rent in Pai and they only cost about 150 or 200 baht a day so it’s a pretty cost-effective way to see the area. 

Alternatively grab a few mates at Bodega and hire a songthaew shared taxi for the day and it will work out pretty cheap too!

One of Pai’s Best Day Trips

If you want to head out of town for the day and combine a visit to Pam Bok with some other sights, here are a few ideas:

  • The Pai Land Split was formed in 2008, when an earthquake quite literally ripped the earth in two. The local landowner now lets people onto his land to marvel at ‘the disaster that almost was’, and offers fresh fruit, sweet treats and cold drinks to visitors
  • The Bamboo Bridge is a pretty cool photo op about 3km past Pam Bok. You pay 30 baht for the privilege of wandering along this traditional construction that seems to float above the paddy fields. Do it for the ‘gram! 
  • Pai Canyon is a few km on along the main road, and is the closest Thailand has to the Grand Canyon in the United States. Think red earth, deep chasms, sweeping views and epic sunsets 

The Lowdown on Visiting Pam Bok Waterfall

Pam Bok is free to visit so there’s no entry fee, but you may be asked to pay anywhere between 20 and 40 baht for scooter parking depending on the season. 

To get there, ride out of town on the main 1095 road towards Pai Canyon, then turn to the right just past the Coffee in Love café. A fun, bumpy track winds on for about 5km to bring you to the parking place. From there it’s a short walk to reach the bottom of the falls. Perfect to cool off on a hot day!

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