Destination, the tiny town Pai

The tiny town Pai located right on the banks of the picturesque Pai River, Pai has become a favorite with backpackers and explorers who want to see a different side of Thailand.

You won't find luxurious hotels with swimming pools here, but Pai makes up for it with stunning hills perfect for hiking; hot springs; and plenty of hill tribes, including Karen and Hmong villages, that you can visit.

Santichon Village is one of the most popular city attractions. It consists of a complex of clay houses and shops that showcase the way of life of the Yunan People, an ethnic group from Southern China with important ties to the Pai area. Over 2,000 people live in the village permanently, where they grow tea, offer donkey rides to visitors, and hand power a wooden Ferris wheel for those brave enough to get on.

For the best views of Pai, climb up to Wat Phra That Mae Yen, where the big white Buddha at the top of the hill also provides some great photo opportunities.