During our travels around Thailand, we learnt that Pai is a quirky little town famously known as a backpacker haven. Feeling adventurous, we wanted to embark on a trekking trip in Pai to visit neighbouring hill tribes. Here is the summary of our journey :

i. Book minivan ticket in advance
ii. Board the minivan
iii. Rest Stop at Soppong
iv. Reach at Pai

Book minivan ticket in advance

1. We booked our minivan tickets from Mae Hong Son to Pai with Prempracha Transport. On the day of departure, we arrived at Mae Hong Son Bus Terminal to collect our tickets at the counter.

We met many other backpackers who wanted to travel to Pai. However, they were unable to secure tickets to depart on the same day due to the limited number of tickets and the high demand. Fortunately, we booked our tickets in advance!

Ticket counter in Mae Hong Son Bus Terminal

Board the minivan

2. We went to the bus platform for boarding. We were at the bus terminal an hour early but the Prempracha minivan had already arrived. Nevertheless, we had to wait for the driver's instructions before boarding the van.

About half an hour before departure time, passengers were instructed to load their luggage into the minivan. Due to limited space, some bags had to be stowed on the roof of the minivan.

* Tip: It is better to come earlier to secure a space for your luggage. If not, it will be stowed on the roof of the van.

Load luggage into Prempracha minivan
Exterior view of Prempracha minivan
3. Before boarding, we had to present our tickets to the driver for checking. As seats are assigned, we were directed to our correct seats. The interior of the minivan is relatively clean. There was a total of 14 passenger seats in the minivan.

Interior view of Prempracha minivan

Rest stop at Soppong

4. The journey from Mae Hong Son to Pai is about 100 km and takes about 2.5 to 3 hours. After travelling for 1.5 hours, we made a brief stop at Soppong to pick up more passengers. We used this time to alight to use the restrooms. We had to be quick though→ we were only given 10 minutes!

Rest stop at Soppong going to Pai

Reach at Pai

5. We continued our journey to Pai for another hour. After travelling for a total of 2.5 hours, we finally reached in Pai!

*Extra tips: There were endless curves throughout the trip and passengers may get motion sickness. I highly recommend to purchase some medication beforehand as the journey can take a toll on even the hardiest of travellers.

More importantly, people prone to motion sickness should select seats in the front row, or the seat next to the driver. Avoid the last row at all costs!

Pai Bus Station
Pai Bus Station sign

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