Chiang Mai to Pai on a Scooter
So according to Google maps it’s only 2 h 30 mins, good luck!
It would have to be the most popular routes for travelers on a Scooter. With 762 turns through the mountains and good roads, it’s no wonder why.
Starting in Chiang Mai there are a few things to consider.
Hiring the Scooter. Make sure that you check out reviews on Trip Advisor or Google before hiring. Of course, I recommend Bamboo Bikes Chiang Mai with a good selection of well-maintained Scooters at affordable prices. The business is run by an Australian so all questions can be answered and explained in English easily. Thai staff are also available so local knowledge can be sort. The business is run with the customers experience the number one priority. No rip-offs if something unfortunate, like a scratch, was to happen. I recommend taking a new Honda Click i 125cc which will save on gas and make the experience so much safer and enjoyable. The ride can be done on a cheaper 125cc or even a 110/115cc but this is slower and with a backpack or two people not recommended at all. Either way, the staff at Bamboo Bikes will walk you through their selection of Scooters and match the best one to your needs and budget.
Plan your trip. With 762 corners it is important to plan ahead. What is the best time to leave? If I hire a Scooter at 10 am I need to have it back at the same time so I will need to leave Pai at 6:30. Do I have a raincoat? It often rains unexpectedly and riding wet can be a lot colder than you expect making the experience very uncomfortable. What do I need to pack? I recommend packing as light as possible. Take a small backpack and leave the rest of your bulky items at Bamboo Bikes. With 13 security cameras, you know your gear is safe. Make sure you pack some water or if renting from Bamboo Bikes you will receive a free bottle for your trip.
Don’t Rush and Be Safe. There are many people sharing the road to Pai and some of them in a hurry (for whatever reason). If you too are in a hurry and round the corner face with the same anything can happen. Going as fast as possible all you will see is the road and you will find yourself in Pai tired or even worse injured. It is far better to take your time and stop along the way to look at the many points of interest. Stop at a village and say hi to the locals. A simple bow of the head and saying Sowadee Krap/Ka will gain you a big smile and a load of hospitality.
Sabi Sabi Take it easy, be friendly and respectful to all other travelers and locals. Share the road and remember there are many people using it at different levels of competency so be considerate.