Chiang Mai to Pai on scooter

Chiang Mai to Pai on scooter
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Chiang Mai to Pai on scooter

Pai is always mentioned as must-visit for everybody visiting Nothern Thailand. Distance from Chiang Mai to Pai is not big, so we decided to go there.

Many people go there for one or two day-trip from Chiang Mai. Most of them use bus. But only a few decide to go there by scooter.

Why? Because you can read on the Internet that it’s dangerous and the road is difficult. Also many companies in Chiang Mai refuse renting scooter for someone willing going on it to Pai.

It’s true that the way is risky. But in our opinnion it’s a risk worth taken.

We’ve came back from our trip to Pai few days ago. And we think it was one of the best journeys we have ever had!


1. Take your time.

The road from Chiang Mai to Pai takes at least 3 hours. We were driving about 5-6 hours because we took about 10 short breakes.

Our advice for you is to do the same. You won’t exhausted and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful views!

Nothern Thailand

2.Leave early in the morning.

This is the most important advice:

  • it’s not very hot in the morning
  • views are incredible (we even saw elephants without any chains on the way back to Chiang Mai)
  • you will have a lot of time in case if something bad happens (flat tire etc.)
  • you will avoid traffic jams

Road from Pai to Chiang Mai

3. Make sure you know what you are going to do.

We don’t think the road it’s difficult. It’s true it’s a little curvy but all the stories about extremly winding road that you can read on the Internet are a little exaggerated.

The most difficult part of the trip is… painful butt. Sitting on the scooter for a very long time is not comfortable. Make sure you are resistant to that kind of pain ;).

Patryk on the scooter

 4. Dress wisely.

We were traveling on April and sweat suit+ t-shirts were enough for us.

Wear sunglasses and helmets. They will protect you from the sun and wind.
Karolina&Patryk travelling on scooter

5. Get some fuel.

If you have a full tank in Chiang Mai, you should get to Pai without fueling up on the way.

Remember that there won’t be any place to buy gas about 50 km before Pai. If you are looking for the best and the cheapest way to refueling your scooter, choose gas machines.

They are very easy to use– just put in the money (coins or 20, 50, 100 baths) and fuel your motorbike up.
Singer gas machine in Thailand

Enjoy your trip! Let us know in comments if our tips were helpful for you :).

Disclosure: Yay for transparency! Some of the links in the article are affiliate, which means that if you book something by clicking on them, we will get a small commission with no extra cost to you. Your support helps this blog going.


  1. Hi, i have a question for the ride from chiang mai to pai. Did you keep your back pack with you during de trip? If no, where did you stored it ?
    Thank you, your blog help us a lot !


    • Hi Samuel,

      We left our big luggage in our hotel in Chiang Mai. We were leaving our luggage many times in different hotels and hostels in South East Asia. Most of the times, they don’t even charge for it.
      We were traveling with one small backpack that was either on my back or next to the Patryk’s feet when we were riding the scooter.


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