Don’t let anybody make you worry to drive from Chiang Mai to Pai. Don’t. It’s not worth listening to them. We drove from Chiang Mai to Pai on a 125cc motorbike and we definitely enjoyed it and would recommend it to any other traveller. So this is our review:
We looked up a lot of scooter rentals in Chiang Mai that offer scooters with more than 100cc. We opted for 125cc as you need a little bit more power to climb up the steep mountains and take the 762 curves. We chose Mr Mechanic as it was next to our guesthouse All in 1 Guesthouse and it got good reviews. We payed about 7 euros a day including insurance. We only wanted to stay one night in Pai so we stored our luggage at the guesthouse and only brought one small backpack. You leave Chiang Mai on a quite big and busy road (about 30 kilometres). After about 20 minutes, we got into a roadblock with police. The police man was friendly and he only wanted to see our international drivers license.
You will see a sign saying Pai on the left after about 30 kilometres. After that, the street is quiet, it gets smaller and curvier. The best thing with driving a scooter is that you can stop whenever you want to. We took a break at The Green Café which is on the left. I don’t know exactly when it comes but there are signs about 10 minutes before the Green Café. The owner won the coffee brewing championship. That’s why the coffee was so good. Food is decent,as well and you can enjoy a good view.
It took us about 4 hours getting up to Pai, including a lot of stops to rest and fill up gas. We can totally recommend it, don’t listen to blogs that say the road is horrible. It’s not. It was one of the best roads we drove in Asia. See for yourself:
As a heads up: there are two other road blocks some kilometres before Pai, so be prepared to show your international drivers license.
So, get a scooter (at least 125cc), sunscreen, an international drivers license and head to Pai!