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Climbing up the White Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen) May 21, 2016

Climbing up the White Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen)

GPS waypoint: 19°21'00.3"N 98°27'22.2"E Wat Phra That Mae Yen
Direction: from Pai town center, take the main street towards Chiang Mai, cross the bridge and look for signs to "Wat Phra That Mae Yen" on the left side, 2 kilometers

353 Steps
The White Buddha on the hill is an imposing presence from the Pai town center. It's a walkable distance, about 2 kilometers with a final 353 steps to the top. It can also be reached by motorized transport on a sealed road. The top area where the Buddha sits is a wide open tiled space to rest and watch the view. It is best to be there for the sunset as the Buddha faces the west.

Climbing up the White Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen)
Wat Phra That Mae Yen

Ending Thoughts
The temple itself or the Buddha, given the countless Buddha offerings scattered across Thailand, isn't that spectacular. But when you combine the proximity of the White Buddha to main street, the challenging climb and the spectacular view and the chillout space on top, it's not one to be missed when you're in Pai.

--- 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

lots of these colorful lizards along the way view from the first landing point looking down on the steps stupas on the first landing plateau
halfway up is a temple adorned with Buddha statues the Beast guards the White Buddha more steps to the White Buddha ...and more steps
the White Buddha lords over the hilltop kids from the hill tribes also make it to the Buddha spectacular view of Pai and the surrounding area from the top a headstand for Buddha
handstand for Buddha the chillest lookout point in Pai the landing stage where a temple stands still under construction, the parts that will make the scales of the dragon leading up to the top

How to get to the White Buddha from Pai town center

  • from the main road, Mae Hong Son 4024, go south towards Chiang Mai. Pass the bridge and go through the winding road. The entrance is on your left. (1.9 kms, 30 mins by foot or 6 mins by motorcycle) White Buddha

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
  1. 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  2. Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  3. Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
  4. Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
  5. Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
  6. Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
  7. Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
  8. Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
  9. Adventure Hostel Review Feb 22-26, 2016
  10. Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct. 20, 2014
  11. The Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
  12. Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
  13. Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
  14. Bangkok Dec 31, 2005

  15. Chiang Khong
  16. Ten Days in Chiang Khong, Thailand Apr 30 - May 9, 2016

  17. Chiang Mai
  18. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  19. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  20. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  21. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  22. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  23. Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai July 31, 2018
  24. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  25. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  26. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  27. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  28. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  29. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Chiangmai (Thailand) April 9-10, 2016

  30. Chiang Rai
  31. Exploring Chiang Rai, Thailand May 11-16, 2016
  32. Visiting the White Temple of Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun) May 15, 2016

  33. Chiang Saen
  34. Exploring Chiang Saen, Thailand Apr 28-30, 2016

  35. Mae Sai
  36. 4 Days in Mae Sai, Thailand Apr 25-28, 2016
  37. Border Crossing - Mae Sai (Thailand) to Tachileik (Myanmar) Apr 23, 2016

  38. Pai
  39. Exploring Pai, Thailand May 19-24, 2016
  40. Visiting the Land Split in Pai, Thailand May 23, 2016
  41. Trekking the Ridges of Pai Canyon May 23, 2016
  42. Climbing up the White Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen) May 21, 2016

  43. Pak Chong
  44. Pak Chong (Thailand) En Route to Siem Reap (Cambodia) Mar 20-21, 2016
  45. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  46. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  47. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  48. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  49. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  50. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  51. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  52. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  53. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  54. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  55. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  56. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

  57. Phan District, Chiang Rai Province
  58. Yoga with Amm Prajna Pitchaya and the Sivananda yoga community of Phan May 16-18, 2016
  59. Visiting the Nam Lot and the Pha Khong Caves of Phan District May 18, 2016

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Reader Comments:

Metz Diaz TaerMetz Diaz Taer
(May 23, 2016) Where's the sunset pic?

May 21, 2016

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