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Visiting the Land Split in Pai, Thailand May 23, 2016

Visiting the Land Split in Pai, Thailand

GPS waypoint: 19°19'16.8"N 98°25'25.2"E Land Split in Pai
Location: Tambon Amphoe Pai, Chang Wat, Thung Yao, Mae Hong Son 58130

Overnight Gap on the Earth
Have you heard that expression, "What if the earth opened up and swallowed you"? Well, it could have been. In 2008, a farmer's land in Pai split 2 meters wide and 11 meters deep from an earthquake. He walked to his field the following day and got the shock of his life. Through the years, the split has become wider and longer as more earthquakes hit the area. How does a crack on the earth look like? Time to check it out.

Visiting the Land Split in Pai, Thailand

Epic Bicycle Ride
It was a gruelling bike ride to this farm as it was hot and I took the long loop covering 30 kms along roller-coaster and winding roads - from Pai to the Memorial Bridge and back the other way, passing through the essential tourism stops - elephant camps, hot springs, WWII Memorial Bridge, Pai Canyon and Pam Bok Waterfall.

Donation-Based Hospitality
The first thing that greeted me was an invite by Sam, a friend of the farmer/owner, to partake of the goodies they have harvested and prepared to all visitors - homemade wine, bananas (fresh and dried), tamarind, cut-up papaya, mangoes, sweet potato and drink-as-much-as-you-can Roselle juice. There is no fee - just a donation.

The Crack
It took a flight of steps on the ground to reach the crack-site. The vertical drop sections are fenced to prevent accidents. In some sections, the ground cracked wider leaving an 'island' in the middle where a tree holds the ground together. Other areas have become brushy as weeds and grass take over. But the cracks are very discernible. I couldn't imagine what it must have looked like if I was there seeing the earth open up as it happens.

Ending Thoughts
I haven't seen anything like this, so it's exciting and new for me. If you are already in the area, it's worth a visit - both for the cracks and the hospitality. While you're there, you can take the extra 4 kms inward for the Pembok Waterfall.

--- TheLoneRider

Google Maps Pai, Thailand

hotels in Pai - hotel
  • Medio de Pai Boutique Hotel - swimming pool, central location, gym, free bicycle use
    227 Moo 4, Wiang Tai, A.Pai, Pai City - 19°21'26.6"N 98°26'24.7"E

tourist attractions in Pai tourist attractions

location markers

keep on a lookout for signs along the way is a natural swimming pool at 'reception' where I was greeting by Sam, who seemed to be the welcoming committee with the farmer-owner, meeting him was like meeting Max Yasgur in Woodstock
with the amiable Sam the steps leading up to the crack site some 'islands' were formed when the ground cracked weeds and grass cover some of the site
small cracks remain deep and forboding they go down 11 meters the fence and the marker when the crack happened the view down from the top
one side of the crack is lower than the other a canyon walk comes to mind...why not? couldn't see the bottom putting the horizon in the background for perspective
the brushy section this would seem like a natural swimming pool with the coming of the monsoon    

Pai FYI / Tips

  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is clustered near the bus station. You're not too far away from anywhere in Pai
  • November through March is high season

How to Get to Pai from Chiang Mai

  1. Pai is one of the most common destination from Chiang Mai and they have developed a system around it. At the Arcade Bus station in Chiang Mai, there are vans leaving for Pai through these transport companies - Prempracha and Aviabooking (3 hours of winding road, B150). You will be dropped-off at the Pai bus station. It's walking distance to the hotels from there.

Things to do, Places to go in Pai

  1. Pai Canyon Pai Canyon (Kong Lan) - 8 km from Pai with nature walk and open lookout with panoramic view
  2. Wat Phra That Mae Yen White Buddha on the Hill (Wat Phra That Mae Yen) - 353 step leading up to the White Buddha on the hill, overlooking the valley below
  3. Land Split in Pai The Land Split - in 2008, the land cracked and opened 2 meters wide and 11 meter deep...the widening continues through the years. Donation-based to the farmer who makes hibiscus drinks. Along the way to Pembok Waterfall
  4. Pembok Waterfall - drive out to kilometer marker 93, you will find a sign that points you to Ban Pam Klang on your right. If you take that road & drive for 8 kilometers you’ll find Pam Bok Waterfall on you right hand side just before reaching Pam Bok village
  5. Tha Pai Hot Spring - 8 km from Pai in the Huai Nam Dang National Park, just 2 kilometers off Route 1095. Water temperature at 80° Celsius. B200 for foreigners. Best to use the private spas for B100
  6. Charn Chai Muay Thai Gym - located within the city, the place to learn Muay Thai, Thailand's national sport. 174 m.1 Chaisongkharm Road, Pai, Thailand 58130
  7. Mor Paeng Waterfall - 3-tier waterfall with chance to slide off rocks into the pool...but be very cautious as the 2 tiers are not doable
  8. Nam Yang Kung Fu - study Kung Fu and practise meditation in a retreat format

Pai Cost Index

(US$1 = Thai Baht 35.691 = Php 46.791 as of May 22, 2016)
  • B55 small bottle of Leo beer
  • B40 standard price for a soup noodle or rice topping dish
  • B40 hot coffee in a decent cafe
  • B200 one hour massage
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B20-30 coin operated laundry
  • B150 van to Chiang Mai, 3 hours
  • B100 dorm room, shared toilet during low season
  • B10 one hour, internet cafe
  • B30 haircut
  • B14 1.5 liter drinking water
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