The Journey of 1,000 Curves' is the infamous name of the route between Pai to Chiang Mai. The trip from Pai to Chiang Mai is notoriously known for its endless curving road, spanning more than 100 km! In this article, we will share our travel experience of travelling from Pai to Chiang Mai, as well as some tips to survive this trip.

Here is the summary of our journey :

i. Book Prempracha Transport minivan tickets
ii. Board the Prempracha Transport minivan
iii. The journey from Pai to Chiang Mai
iv. Arrival in Chiang Mai

Book Prempracha Transport minivan tickets

1. We booked our minivan tickets from Pai to Chiang Mai with Prempracha Transport for 150 THB per person. On the day of departure, we arrived at Pai Bus Station to collect our tickets at the counter.

* Tip : Book your tickets in advance, especially if you are catching a flight home! Many backpackers were unable to secure a minivan ticket on the day itself, due to high demand.

Pai Bus Station
2. After collecting our tickets, we settled down to wait for our minivan at the waiting area.

* Tip : The waiting area is extremely hot and humid. Purchase some cold beverages at the 7-11 convenience store nearby!

Waiting area at Pai Bus Station

Board the Prempracha Transport minivan

3. About 15 minutes prior to the departure time, several minivans arrived. The drivers announced for passengers to board the minivans. The drivers called out for passengers based on departure time and bus number, for example “4.00 PM Bus 1” or “4.00 PM Bus 2”.

* Tip : Double check with the driver before boarding the minivan. Some minivans will travel from Pai to Mae Hong Son, while others will travel from Mae Hong Son to Pai. Within the same departure time, there may be different minivans. You don't want to end up at the wrong province!

Prempracha Transport minivan arrives
4. Before we boarded the minivan, the driver loaded our luggage in the back. He then checked our tickets and directed us to our assigned seats.

* Tip: Come as early as possible so that you can load your luggage in the back area of the van! Once the luggage compartment is full, any other bags will be stowed on the roof of the van.

Load luggage into Prempracha Transport minivan

The journey from Pai to Chiang Mai

5. The minivan seats were relatively clean and spacious. Behind each seat is a vomit bag, for obvious purposes.

* Tip : Take some motion sickness medication beforehand as the endless curves may be hard to deal with.

Minivan Seats
Direction to use vomit bags
Vomit bags in Prempracha Transport minivan
6. The initial 100 curves are relatively mild and pleasant, as we were greeted by wonderful sights and scenery. We saw many different Northern Thailand-style architecture, such as temples. After that, the journey began very dizzying. Many vomit bags were used.

* Tip : The seat next to the driver and the front row have the best seats to enjoy the view, while avoiding dizziness.

Stunning view
7. After about 1.5 hours, we made a rest stop of about 10 minutes. Most of the passengers felt too unwell to alight.

* Tip : When booking tickets, avoid the last row at all coats! Passengers sitting in the last row fared the worst during the journey.

Rest stop

Arrival in Chiang Mai

8. After travelling for 2.5 hours on the mountainous regions, we finally arrived in Chiang Mai. It is another 1.5 hours on the road before reaching Chiang Mai Bus Terminal. A total of 4 hours is required to travel from Pai to Chiang Mai Bus Terminal. The remaining stretch of journey may take longer than expected as the driver stops frequently to allow passengers to alight along the way.

Alight in Chiang Mai Bus Terminal

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