Look Ma, No Hands — Renting a Scooter in Pai, Thailand

Posted by - July 22, 2011 | Category: Asia, Escapes, Thailand

I was going to make this post about the town of Pai itself, but I think I’ll save that for when I actually leave this Thai hippie haven.  I want to give it the full treatment.  Anything less would be un-Thai-like.

Instead, I’m going to put you through a boring slideshow, and tell you a wee bit about the scooter trip I did yesterday. (Not to be confused with the biking trip in Ayutthaya I did a few days ago.)

First off, scooter rentals are cheap here – only 100 Baht (about $3.30 USD) for 24 hours. I spent more on gas today that I did on the rental.  But I think that’s pretty much the case wherever you are these days.

Since it was almost noon by the time we (yes, I’m still in the company of those Canadians) got our scooter on, we decided to just do the southern Pai loop.

Our first stop was Pai Canyon which is a bordered by a high eroded cliff.  The ridges are narrow. Too narrow for this clumsy fella’s liking.

Pai Canyon Ridge

Yes, this is my foot.

Pai Canyon

But the view is pretty amazing.

Pai Canyon View

Not far from Pai Canyon is the Memorial Bridge.  Built by the Japanese in 1942 to transport supplies to Burma during World War II.

Japanese Bridge from World War II

Further down highway 1095, acres of rice fields span the horizon.

Pai, Thailand Rice Field

A popular spot to grab some great photos at sunset is the aptly named Sunset View.

Pai, Thailand Rice Field


Pai, Thailand Rice Field


Pai, Thailand Rice Field

At the top of the hill is Wat Mae Yen.  Disappointing to say the least.  I had visions of some grandiose temple, monks in deep meditation, virgins being sacrificed.  Wait, I’m pretty sure Buddhists don’t do that.  In any case, a little more wat and a little less yen would have been nice.

Wat Mae Yen, Pai Thailand

Our final stop was the Mo Paeng Waterfall. It’s no Niagara Falls, but still worth a stop.

Pai Thailand, Mo Paeng Waterfall

On the way out, we spotted this little black furry caterpillar.  Apparently if you touch it with your hand, they give you a rash and cause your arm to swell up.  Or so the owner of our guesthouse says.  I will do some digging in the coming days and get to the bottom of this one.

Pai Black Caterpillar

And I am just now noticing I don’t actually have a photo of the scooter.  Stay tuned, I’m pretty sure I can pull that one off in the coming days too…

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20 comments - add one
    1. Ha ha — I drove the scooter up to the canyon and hoofed it from there. Even on two feet, it was no more than 30cm in some palces. Far too narrow for this fat-footed fool… 🙂

  1. yay! loved pai! although, i slept in a tee pee and it was freakin’ FREEZING at night! lol. BUtiful photos! wear a helmet! wear.a.helmet!!! tomorrow is the 9 anniversary of my scooter accident in mae hong son. wear.a.helmet please lovely! 🙂

    1. I am a fan of the helmet (and of insurance ever since I clocked a Mexican in Vegas). We drove our scooters to Ma Hong Son as well — on my way to read your story tout de suite!

  2. Ha we got a scooter in Pai for 24 hours. Did all the sights that you have above. Didn’t see any caterpillars though. The first bike that we were given had a rather bald front tyre and when I braked even slightly it just skidded! I was glad that I always try before I hire and swapped it after going up the road at 5mph and skidding. No wonder you see so many walking wounded!

  3. A scooter – what a great idea! I think they’re the way to go, especially in the city where its most advantageous in badly congested traffic. Though, it seems like a great idea for the countryside, too. Fresh air in you face while taking-in the vistas. I really want to try it except I’m so afraid to fall. I’m glad you didn’t with all those narrow roads.

  4. Genius! Exploring Pai by scooter is excellent way to appreciate the scenery and not feel so exhausted. I do a lot of travelling and most of my wonders are explored by foot. Sometimes it’s tiring to do so, but with the cliff you get through I guess I’ll just take a walk. hahaha. Good post and photos. And yeah, I’ll wait for the scooter photos. 🙂


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