Pai Canyon (Kong Lan) is described in some tourist brochures as Thailand’s answer to the Grand Canyon. To say that’s stretching a point would be putting it mildly. Pai Canyon is interesting geographically and provides some fine views, but if you’re expecting to be blown away by the raw power of nature and jaw-dropping vistas you’re going to be disappointed. Nevertheless, the views are pleasant with the green valley below and mountains beyond providing a vivid contrast to the brown/red earth of the canyon. It’s also supposed to be a great spot to see the sunset.
There are stairs that lead from the bottom of the hill to the top of the canyon and the viewpoint. You don’t have to be super-fit to get to the top (less than 5-minutes steady walk), but it does involve some effort so take some water and try to avoid visiting at the hottest times of the day. Take care exploring the area because some of the pathways are very narrow and uneven with a sheer drop on either side. This isn’t a place I would recommend visiting with children.
Pai Canyon is located approximately 8km south of the centre of Pai town. If you have your own transport the location is easy to find just off Highway 1095. If you’re staying in Pai and book a day tour of the area, Pai Canyon will usually feature on the itinerary alongside other locations such as the Pai Memorial Bridge and Wat Phra That Mae Yen temple.