Pai Canyon - A dangerous place for careless hikers

Pai Canyon, also known as Kong Lan, beckons the intrepid and the curious with its picturesque vistas, dramatic topography, and adventurous trails. Emerging from the quaint charm of Pai town, this natural amphitheater boasts of stunning, eroded sandstone formations and a dense forest tapestry that amplifies its wilderness vibe.

What makes Pai Canyon such an irresistible draw, you might wonder? Is it the slender trails that defy gravity, weaving and winding along the deep, dramatic cliffs? Or is it the panoramic views that the canyon generously offers – a spectacular amalgamation of green valleys, towering hills, and the expansive sky painting the perfect backdrop?

From the adrenaline-pumping pathways perched precariously above steep drops to the serene nooks perfect for soaking up the sun, Pai Canyon promises an adventure for every kind of traveler. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker chasing the next heart-racing experience or a quiet observer who revels in nature’s magnificence, Pai Canyon delivers.

As you navigate the canyon’s narrow walkways and steep staircases, the soft whisper of the wind and the symphony of birdsong accompany you, creating an ethereal ambiance that amplifies the experience. The crescendo, however, is the breathtaking vista that awaits you at the golden hour. As the setting sun douses the canyon in hues of crimson and gold, you’ll witness a spectacle that transcends words.

Prepare to be entranced by Pai Canyon, a glorious testament to nature’s artistry. It’s more than a destination; it’s a journey into Thailand’s hidden wilderness, where every step is an adventure, and every view, a masterpiece.

Hiking in the Pai Canyon

Now Pai Canyon is a beautiful and, most importantly, unique place where you can enjoy unique panoramic views of Thailand like you won’t find anywhere else.

Pai Canyon Hiking

Fans of extreme experiences or just brave ones can take a walk along the trails of the canyon, and visit the observation deck where you can admire the red ridges of canyon with steep cliffs surrounded by pine and dipterocarp forests, from which you can enjoy stunning views.

Danger Warning

It is worth taking precautions when visiting canyon, as there are no fences, and meanwhile the canyon is 30 to 50 meters high!

For example, the ledge in the photo where the girl is sitting no longer exists. Because it broke off from the main ridge of canyon back in 2020, and collapsed downward. Even though there was always a line of hikers waiting to take pictures, luckily no one was on the ledge at the time of the collapse. This place often makes local news headlines.

Be careful!

Use sunscreen

Do not go close to the edges, which can crumble, and do not let young children walk through the canyon alone. Before hiking in canyon, it is also worth stocking up on headgear, closed clothing, and sunscreen, as it is an open area and the sun tends to burn your exposed skin with its hot rays. The UV level here is so high that at noon your skin will burn in just 15-20 minutes.

Best time to visit

Pai Canyon

The best time to visit this place is in the morning, but at sunset it is also incredibly beautiful!

By the way, entrance to Pai Canyon is absolutely free. The location of Kong Lan is only 8 kilometers from Pai. You can get here either by rented transport (car, bicycle or motorcycle of your choice) or by cab (tuk-tuk or sunteo at a negotiated price).


The canyon is located approximately 8 km from the center of Pai town in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The easiest way to get there is to take a tuk-tuk or rental car from Pai town. Alternatively, you can take a motorbike or bicycle from town and follow the signs to the canyon.

Sure, it is possible to explore canyon alone, as long as you take necessary safety precautions. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing, apply sunscreen and take plenty of water. The terrain can be quite treacherous so make sure to stay on the designated paths and keep an eye out for potential hazards.

It typically takes 1-2 hours to explore Pai Canyon, depending on how many stops you make and how much time you spend photographing. The canyon is roughly 2km in length so keep that in mind when planning your visit.

Falls at Pai Canyon are not common, however it is important to take necessary safety precautions when exploring the area. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and stick to the designated paths. Pay attention to your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards. Be careful when climbing over rocks and uneven terrain, and use caution when taking photographs.

There is a dedicated parking area for cars at Pai Canyon, located near the entrance of the canyon. Make sure to arrive early as the area can get quite busy during peak times.

The most striking views at Pai Canyon can be experienced during sunrise and sunset. The light during these times casts a beautiful hue over the canyon and is perfect for photographs.

Yes, the paths at the Pai Canyon can be narrow and high with steep drop-offs, so caution is necessary. Always stick to the trails, wear sturdy footwear, and avoid visiting during or after rain when the paths can be slippery.

Hiking boots or sturdy sneakers are recommended due to the rough and sometimes slippery terrain. Sandals or flip flops are not advised.


A visit to the Pai Canyon can take anywhere from one to three hours, depending on how much of the area you wish to explore.

As of my last update, there is no entry fee to visit the Pai Canyon.

The difficulty can vary depending on the path chosen. Some areas are quite steep with narrow ridges, which may not be suitable for young children or those with mobility issues. Always exercise caution.

Pai Canyon is approximately 8 kilometers from Pai town. It can be reached by motorbike, car, or bicycle in about 15-20 minutes.

The Pai Canyon is more renowned for its unique geological formations than its wildlife. However, you may see various birds and insects, and the area is covered in a variety of local plant species.

There are basic facilities available at the entrance of the Pai Canyon, including restrooms and small local vendors selling snacks and drinks.

The Pai Canyon can get busy, especially around sunset. However, if you venture further into the hiking trails, you’ll likely find more peace and quiet.

Basic etiquette applies, such as not littering, staying on the trails, and not disturbing any wildlife. In terms of safety, be mindful of the uneven and potentially slippery terrain.

Check out our prices for renting automatic scooters and maxi-scooters, semi-automatic motorbikes, and motorcycles with manual gear.

If you prefer to travel by car, be sure to read our guide on how you can save up to half the cost of a rental car in Chiang Mai.

For a complete list of our travel guides, see our Northern Thailand Routes and Travel Notes section.

If you find inaccuracies in the text or want to add interesting information for our readers, feel free to message us at any time.

Cat Motors Team

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