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  1. #1
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Mae Hong Son Province, Pai, Hotsprings Spa Resort, Northern Thailand

    Link: http://www.paihotspringssparesort.com/

    I did not see any reviews on Teakdoor about this resort so I thought I would give anyone who was interested some information about the trip we took to Pai in January, 2009.

    Last Saturday (1/3/09) in the late morning we left BKK (Don Mueang) for Chiang Mai on Nok Air (Nokair.com) then from Chiang Mai we connected with another flight on Nok Air to Pai where we were picked up by the Hotsprings Spa Resort driver and taken to the resort.

    The flight from Chiang Mai to Pai was in a single engine which was a surprisingly nice flight.

    Landing at Pai:



    Single Engine





    Pai from the Plane




    Pai Airport


    The Hotsprings Spa and Resort is located along the Pai River and has some minor landscaping construction going on (no building construction). I saw some rubble rip-rap that looked like it was going to be placed along the bank of the river, some newly laid sod and landscaping that was newly placed. The older rooms (along the river and not overlooking the pool) had hot spring pools outside their doors. The newly built rooms had a small sitting pool outside of each room on the terrace. Over all it was a nice stay.
    I only had one complaint. The small sitting pool outside on the terrace took at least 100 gallons (?) to fill with water. However, the hot water tank outside the room was about a thirty gallon tank. Now the problem,…………when you fill the pool with Warm water (actually hot water and it takes about one and half hours to fill), the hot water will run out and the rest of the time it is being filled with cold water. So you get into a sitting pool that is uncomfortably cool. We both stepped in the sitting pool and decided it would not be a good idea, since the weather outside was cool.
    The resort was full of Thai tourists on the weekend except for a couple of rooms that they could not sell out.



    Pai Hotsprings Spa and Resort




    Pai Hotsprings Spa and Resort




    Pai Hotsprings Spa and Resort, Early Morning


    After settling in we went on a slow river rafting ride on the Pai River. The country side along the river was beautiful and the ride lasted about 2 hours. The raft consisted of about eleven bamboo shoots (?) loosely bound with rope and smaller pieces of bamboo. To get the rafts back to their starting point they are disassembled and then loaded up on a pick-up and reassembled at the starting point.
    We did not go on a normal rafting ride (so we were told). Our ride was along the country side. We did not see any standing homes/permanent structures,….only forest and some cleared fields.

    Pai River Rafting (slow ride):




    Pai River Rafting




    Pai River Rafting

    After the rafting ride we went into Pai for dinner and visited the tourist area along a few roads (maybe 3 roads). Most vendors were selling the normal Thai tourist memorabilia. We ate at a few spots along the main street, just picking things up as we walked. A blurred picture is attached.



    Pai at Night



    I will continue the story about the trip, later today.
    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

  2. #2
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    phunphin's Avatar
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    Thai hot springs could be so much better than they are, our families own one included.
    Just look at how the japanese and korean design and landscape theirs.

    Thai hot springs are generally ugly and boring.

  3. #3
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    Yes agree, most thai hot springs are very ugly destinations.

    How much did Pai spa cost ??

    Did they actually have any hot water to lounge around in....nothing worse than going there for a hot bath and get luke warm or cold water....but typically thai.

  4. #4
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    Continuing the story,.............

    For the next day and a half we visited some tourist sites in the Mae Hong Son Province.

    It seems to be a big deal to see the low lying clouds in the morning to some people so we visited a few places between Mae Hong Son and Pai.

    Link:




    Along the way we stopped at two different places were they had some Hill Tribe people entertaining the tourists. Just donate some money to the kids and they will play music, dance for you and smile for the camera. All of the kids were adorable.
    We also stopped at a small village were some Karen lived. I had to pay 250 baht (?) to enter the area, but the Thai’s are allowed to enter for free. At this Karen village we were told that some of the products being sold were manufactured by Hill Tribe people and then sold to the Karen and then resold to the public. We bought a few things.



    Hill Tribe Kids



    Karen Woman

    A visit to a beautiful National Park on our way to Mae Hong Son.





    Finally on our last day in the province we visited the Pai Hot Springs. I believe it is in a National Forest so I had to pay to get into the area.
    There is a sign where the hot springs are with a warning,…………80 degrees Centigrade. Hot enough to boil eggs in the water. Down from the hot springs the water gets a bit cooler where you can sit in the small pools and relax in the warm/hot water (water temp varies at different places along the brook). The brook is dammed off to create small pools of water, large enough for a couple of people to sit in them.
    The girlfriend got into a few of the small pools, splashing around wanting to stay longer. She enjoyed herself.

    Link:



    Boiling Eggs in Hot Springs



    Brook At Hot Springs

    There was one other place the girlfriend wanted to visit. It is called “Coffee in Love”. It is just a place were they sell coffee/pastry/snacks/etc. I must admit,.the place has a beautiful view after the mist/fog burns off, later in the day and would be a nice place to have a cup of coffee.



    Coffee In Love

    What we missed and will try to do on our next visit,…….ATV riding and white water rafting in the Pai River.

  5. #5
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    Nice photos + new info for me! A dip in the hot springs sounds good to me'

  6. #6
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    I recently attached some related videos together of the trip to Pai (Mae Hong Son Province). The results are below.
    One is a scenic view Mae Hong Son Province,…. the other is a long version of a river ride on the Pai.
    They will bore you to tears if you are not into this type of video, so I wouldn’t suggest opening them.








  7. #7
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    Just out of interest, how much did the flight from Chiang Mai - Pai cost? I've traveled to Pai several times in the past, by song-taew or clapped-out bus, but never in such luxury as you did. BTW, very nice photos.

  8. #8
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^Two people,.. round trip tickets were (all taxes/fees included, airport/insurance/admin/fuel surcharge/vat/other fees) 7,859.10

    fuel surcharge was 3,800.00,.......and I imagine would constantly change

    We flew due to time constraints, the gf didn’t want to rent a car to drive to Pai and didn’t want some driver she did not know, driving us to Pai on that highway (too many curves)

  9. #9
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    Nawty's Avatar
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    Yes, the road is a good one, driven it a couple of times.

  10. #10
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    A very nice bike trip I've done several time is Chiangmai -> Mae Sariang -> Khun Yuam -> Mae Hong Son -> Pai -> Chiangmai. Nice road and wonderful sceneries.

    Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the report!

  12. #12
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    Fine set of pics Landy. Cheers

  13. #13
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    Abysmal, IMHO!!

    We suddenly received a last minute booking, our usual resort in Pai couldn't accommodate everybody so we cancelled and went here instead. Block-booking, company discount and all the rest, they still wanted 800b/night for basically a 200b/night room! DON'T GO!!

    We of course upgraded our party of 22 to the 'Suite' bungalows which were, well, acceptable; at our own expense needless to say. Our 'Staff' room hadn't even been cleaned nor the bed made when we arrived at 5pm?

    While our luggage was being moved (after a VERY serious argument at reception, resulting in a 50% price reduction, but still way over what I'd expect to pay for similar accommodation) we tried the pool, and bar. Could we find a single member of staff? Not likely!! Luckily we always carry a couple of flagons of wine, so we drank those instead over the next hour and a half. Still no signs of staff the entire time, we went to the restaurant but were told neither was their department nor responsibility. At reception the usual "Coming soon"

    Attempting to find ONE redeeming feature for the place so it wasn't a complete washout; the restaurant appeared to be adequately staffed, and with a reasonable choice of western food? Everybody ordered at around 7pm, some of our guests were still waiting for their evening meal at 9.50?? Breakfast? Inedible, even for me and I've been known to eat Somtam for brekkie when nothing better! I sent mine back, they didn't even ask what the problem was.

    Quite frankly in all of our research trips for new, possibly better accom/dining, this was by FAR the worst we've ever experienced! Shit rooms, sulky staff, wank service, cold, hard, dry inedible food, gardens maintained 'au-naturelle' (jungle style), I've not a single good word to say about this shit-hole.

    Just because you pay 5* prices doesn't mean you get 5* quality you know? Maybe once it was good, Farang built and owned, but then that familiar old story recurred, I HONESTLY can't convey the depth of my dismay at such shoddy...everything!! Piss-poor would be a compliment.

  14. #14
    Guest Member S Landreth's Avatar
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    ^Nice update. It’s been almost two years since we were there. Things change and I guess in this case, for the worst.

  15. #15
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Afraid so, this was November last year. As I said, you could see it had been nice once, a great deal of thought put into the design and suchlike, but by god had they let it slip. There are MANY better places in Pai these days, they're springing up all over!

    Shame actually, we're seeing the place lose so much of it's backwater charm as time goes on...

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