What is the canyon?
As I said in the post about Pai, I first discovered this little town by coming across pictures of Pai Canyon. So no need to say that once in Pai, I didn’t want to miss it!
Pai canyon is a geological formation of eroded red sandstones offering a picturesque landscape. You can walk on top of these cliffs and climb your way from one to the other.
You must be warned that you need to walk on narrow ridges, so if you are afraid of heights it might be quite challenging. Also, even though some parts are very easy to walk on, other parts require a bit of climbing up and down in dusty passages: dress appropriately and accept the fact that you will get dirty-dusty! But really it is fun and very accessible!
If you are afraid of heights or don’t want to get dusty, you can always stay at the viewpoint at the beginning of the canyon. It is still a good spot for beautiful pictures!
How to get to the canyon?
The canyon is located 8km South from Pai and the road there is easy and good. You can go through the main road (kind of a highway) or through a smaller scenic road, which we recommend as there was much less traffic and the landscape was very nice.
We went there by bicycle, which is very doable but can get tough under the burning sun! Of course we went there in the middle of day, so it was very warm. Honestly the hardest part was to actually find bicycles to rent as everywhere there were only scooters!
What moment is best to visit the canyon?
Even though pine trees found a way to grow in this hilly landscape, there is barely no shades there. So be wise and don’t do like us: avoid lunchtime to visit it!
The best time to visit it seems to be sunset as it offers beautiful lights on the rocks and you have a great panorama from the top; but it is also when it is the most crowded as we noticed that many day-tours finish in that spot for sunset! Therefore sunrise (or at least early morning) might also be a good option to avoid the crowd while enjoying beautiful lights and bearable temperature!
Is it worth it?
The canyon is not that big, so depending how far you explore it don’t expect to spend more than an hour there. Therefore if you plan to go to Pai only for the canyon it is clear: no it is not worth it.
That said, the canyon is free, beautiful and fun to explore and if you spend a few days in Pai you really do not want to miss it!
Strawberries for a break?
We have to tell you about this place. It is cheesy, Chinese tourists love it and it’s a bit pricier, but it is a nice place for a break on the way! Especially if like us you love strawberries! (Note: don’t hesitate to buy some strawberries in the night market, there are very good!)
Located 500 meters before Pai canyon, this place is simply called “Love Strawberry – Pai“. You cannot miss it as its whole decoration is based on strawberry sculptures! Don’t be afraid if you see a bus of Chinese tourists stopped there: they only stay about 10 minutes to make pictures and then go. The strawberry shake we had there was very tasty and refreshing and we enjoyed wandering around the little garden.
They also have clean toilets if you need a happy break!