There are 6 operators that run from Chiang Mai to Pai, with 18 departures per day. If you decide to take a Minivan, you can take the Standard option.
There are 3 operators that run from Chiang Mai to Pai. If you decide to take a Car, you can take the SUV option.
When visiting Chiang Mai, you may be intrigued to explore more of this jungle region of Thailand that is so densely filled with fantastic natural sights. Pai, to the north of Chiang Mai, holds much of the same wild beauty, but with a stronger sense of having a peaceful, rural landscape. Pai is filled with lots of natural wonders to investigate such as the hot springs, Pam Bok waterfall, and Lod cave which consists of intriguing limestone formations.
When you are finished exploring the nature of Pai, a must-see man made structure is the huge White Buddha which also offers a great viewpoint. Of course, a trip to any Thai town would not be complete without visiting the markets and food stalls, while the nightlife scene is also vibrant.
A few options for traveling from Chiang Mai to Pai is with a minivan or by private car. Minivan services are good for larger groups and those on a budget. Cars can depart whenever suits you best, but some minivan operators also provide this option, although sometimes for a fee. Whatever way you choose to travel, the short 92-kilometer trip won’t take up the whole day so you can have time to enjoy your final hours in Chiang Mai and still have plenty of time to explore Pai the same day.
As you enter the town of Pai, you will be met by the wonderful stretches of rice fields and peaceful rivers and streams that pass through and around the town - a wonderful setting for relaxation and cultural exploration.
When traveling from Chiang Mai to Pai, you will pass from the province of Chiang Mae to Mae Hong Soon. Both regions are rich with jungle, national parks, and wildlife sanctuaries. The dramatic landscape is not just a flat jungle, as it also contains hills, mountains, and valleys.
The road leading out of Chiang Mai can often be busy, as it is one of the most popular hubs in northern Thailand. The regions of Chiang Mai and Pai feels less touristy and more genuine than other parts of Thailand, offering a great density of wildlife and rural areas interspersed by small towns.
Taking a minivan
Traveling by minivan from Chiang Mai to Pai is a quick and cheap option for larger groups. Depending on the operator you can book for up to 9 or 12 passengers. There are lots of minivan operators to choose from, with lots of departure times throughout the day. You can also book to leave at a time you choose, while some operators also offer accommodation pick up and drop off which may cost a little extra.
For additional amenities such as child car seats, it is best to check with the operator before booking. Keep in mind that the more passengers there are in the vehicle, the less space there is for luggage, and extra bags may incur a charge.
Taking a car
There are a few car operators to choose from when traveling from Chiang Mai to Pai. Depending on the operator, cars can take from 2 to 6 passengers. All cars have air conditioning and charging ports may also be available in some vehicles. Car operators can be flexible with pick up and drop off locations as well as departure times. Different operators offer different cancellation policies, so it is best to check this before booking. Once you arrive in Pai, you can easily traverse the area by scooter rental.
A great time of year to visit Chiang Mai is between November and February. Temperatures will reach a maximum of 86°F (30°C) while evenings can become chilly. This is also around the peak season for tourists, which creates lots of bustle in the markets and bars in the city.
Like Chiang Mai, the best months to visit Pai is between November and February. The northern region is particularly cool but pleasant at this time of year, particularly great for activities like hiking. In March, farmers in Pai burn their fields to encourage regrowth, so it is best to visit before this time to enjoy clear air and rural beauty.
Looking to head out of Chiang Mai, Thailand for the day? We count down the six best day trips from Chiang Mai.
Chiang Mai is a fun destination for those on a constant search for adventure, but it is also ideal for tourists who seek to learn more about Thai culture.
After arriving in Chiang Mai, a private minivan picked me up at the airport, where I experienced Thailand`s hospitality and kindness. The rest is history.
Bookaway's customers prefer Standard Minivan by Prempracha Transport
Economy Minivan 9 PAX by Tinnakornwhich usually takes 3h
92 Km (Air)
Standard Minivan by Prempracha Transport starting at US$6
Approximately, there are 18 departures each day. You can also book a private ride and leave whenever you want.