Pai

Pai's beautiful, lush jungle combined with the incredible mountain scenery of Northern Thailand makes for some stunning views, skies, and photographs. A vibrant and colorful town is nestled in these mountains; nightly markets peddle a vast array of wares, Christmas lights are strung up from shop to shop, giving the town a pleasant homely feel, and you can find delicious coffee on every corner. But Pai represents what some travelers want least: westernization to the point of overwhelming local culture. Practically every sign is in English, the majority of houses here are solely for guests, and you will undoubtedly have to search for some authentic Northern Thai food. At some point you will no longer feel as if you are in Thailand, but rather a never-never land of foodies and self-proclaimed philosophers eating organic burgers and drinking imported beer. Turn away from the downtown area and gaze at the incredible mountains with the earth-houses lightly dotting the countryside leading up to them and you will be quickly reminded, you are definitely in Thailand. Regardless of the effects of popularity on this small town, it has a charm that cannot be denied. The people are friendly, the houses are adorable, the food is really quite delicious, and Pai's beauty simply cannot be understated - it is well worth a visit, that is if you can stomach the 762 turns in the road from Chiang Mai it takes to get there.