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Set in a beautiful valley, the town of Pai has become one of the region’s most popular destinations. Although still very much a haven for backpackers, Pai is increasingly attracting larger resorts. Halfway between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son, the old Shan settlement is home to several hill tribes and is renowned for trekking and rafting.

The yellow and white tiles and multilayered roofs of Wat Klang, between the bus station and the Pai River, are typical of Shan temples. The hilltop Wat Phra That Mae Yen, just east of Pai, was also built by the Shan. The carved wooden doors of the main wihan depict scenes from nature and human life. The temple has sweeping views of the valley.

Guided treks of the area can be arranged at many guesthouses in town.

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