Pai, located in Northern Thailand, is surrounded by mountains and the natural wonders that come with it, such as hot springs. Prior to arriving I had already set an intention to visit the ‘secret’ hot spring made infamous by budget backpackers – but luckily the owner of the guesthouse I chose, Baan Mai Sak, informed me that the ‘secret’ hot spring in Pai now has a 250 Baht entrance fee!! I dislike paying for nature so the owner recommended the only free hot spring in Pai: Mueng Peang. Thus, my friends and I went to the walking street in the centre to randomly choose a tour agency with the lowest price; we paid 200 Baht each (800 Baht altogether) to visit Mueng Peang and the canyon, via an air-conditioned car.
Mueng Peang Hot Springs
Located almost an hour from the walking street in Pai, the road to Mueng Peang is an experience in itself; bypassing rural villages surrounded by rice-paddies, every curve (and there are many) is home to a glimpse of life unaffected by the spoils of modernity.
Upon arriving at Mueng Peang hot springs, you will see a make-shift area acting as a parking lot, with a bamboo hut nearby belonging to the owner – who ain’t gonna charge you, woo!! Btw, he just so happens to conveniently sell eggs in case you want to try the infamous ‘boil an egg in Pai with hot springs’ trick…
Due to its location and obscurity, my friends and I were literally the only tourists at Mueng Peang – well, besides the owner and our appointed driver; but still, it felt refreshing to be able to enjoy a sight unaffected by crowds (*cough* canyon *cough*).
Besides visiting Mueng Peang to cut costs and continue living on the cheap, I also highly recommend staying at Baan Mai Sak – not getting paid to say this but the host, a fellow inter-racial Malaysian baby, is awesome in terms of tips, guidance, and just host-skills in general. Whilst there I stayed in a four-bed female dorm for 150 Baht per night, which included: wifi, hot water, a hair-dryer, a locker, drinking water, and washing equipment (buckets, detergent, and a machine even)!
“Your deepest roots are in nature. No matter who you are, where you live, or what kind of live you lead, you remain irrevocably linked with the rest of creation.” Charlie Cook