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Best Hostels in Pai: Where to Stay in 2019

Motorbike in Pai, Thailand

Riding through Pai, Thailand (photo: Shinsuke Ikegame)

To make the most of your stay, choosing the best hostels in Pai is crucial. With over 200 options for accommodation, it’s a sure bet you could spend hours on research.

Pai, Thailand is no longer a secret among Southeast Asia backpackers. Around a decade ago, budget travelers started showing up in this small valley town in northern Thailand, and it has exploded with tourism ever since.

Being only three hours from Chiang Mai (and quite a fun ride, at that), it has become the perfect weekend adventure for those in search of a backpacker paradise.

With so much to do, you might choose to stay longer. But if you are short on time, this guide will put you in position to be amidst the best of Pai on your stay.

Quick Recommendations

A traveler looks over a bulletin board

Bulletin board in Pai (photo: Gavin Firkser)

What to Look For

Pai has been taken over by budget travelers. Here are some tips to keep in mind when deciding where to stay.

Best Neighborhoods

Nowadays, everything in town is catered to backpackers, and there’s not much of a local presence left. However, that doesn’t mean this hippy town has lost its charm. 

Travelers shaped Walking Street into a hotspot in the heart of town. This is where all the action takes place.

You will undoubtedly find yourself walking the street at some point during your trip (if not every day).

It’s filled with quaint cafes and cute artisan shops. There are a handful of yoga/meditation studios and bars, each with their own flair. The entire area is focused around the arts.

Most backpackers will find themselves staying on Walking Street or just minutes from Walking Street.

Walking Street in Pai, Thailand

Walking Street (photo: Paul Arps)

Cost of Hostels

The cost of hostels in Pai depends heavily on what you're looking for.

There are small bungalows on the edge of town that will run closer to $10 per night. There are also budget options along Walking Street, which will cost you no more than $4 per night for a bed.

There are plenty of hostels in Pai to fit whatever budget you may have, but expect to pay (on average) anywhere between $5-7 per night at a hostel in Pai.

See also: The Cost of Travel in Thailand

A hilltop Buddha in northern Thailand

View of Pai from a hilltop Buddha (photo: Biron Clark)

Best Hostels in Pai

Below we have highlighted some of the best hostels in Pai based on what you may be looking for.

Best Hostel for a Quiet Night — Baan Mai Sak Hostel

From $6 for a dorm (6 beds)

Baan Mai Sak Hostel is perfect for a quiet rest and recovery night. As a matter of fact, that is exactly how they advertise themselves.

Spend the evening in the hammock reading or playing board games on the lovely balcony, but don’t expect a rowdy crowd.

The shared lounge stays quiet and mellow throughout the day and is a perfect place to clear your head for the next leg of your trip.

For anyone on a long trip, Baan Mai Sak is the perfect place to rest your head and catch up on sleep.

Check Availability: Hostelworld

Best Hostel for Social Atmosphere — Common Grounds Pai

From $10 for a dorm (6 beds)

Being only 50 meters from Walking Street, a hostel’s location doesn’t get much better than Common Grounds Pai.

We chose it as the best social atmosphere in Pai because of its balance as a social backpacker hostel and a place where it is still possible to get a good night’s sleep.

The staff does a good job of connecting its guests, and there is usually a nightly pregame. However, the excitement stops at 9 PM in the hostel, and the action hits Walking Street.

Usually, the staff will lead a group of its guests on a pub crawl or show them to the best live music in town.

Either way, it is a great hostel to meet people and share in the experience of Pai.

Check Availability: Hostelworld

Best Hostel for Partygoers — The Famous Pai Circus Hostel

From $9 for a dorm (12 beds) or $10 for a private room

Like they say — there is no place in the world quite like The Famous Pai Circus Hostel. This is one of the more unique places you will stay on your entire trip.

It has been the most-booked hostel in Pai since 2013. The party is always on at the Circus Hostel.

With its infinity pool, mountain views, and free taxi service to Walking Street, it is no wonder people love this place.

The hostel will regularly host free dinners, pool parties, open mic nights, or even spectacular fire shows. There is always something going on.

Staying at The Famous Pai Circus Hostel is like attending a miniature festival every night — you never know what’s going to happen next!

Check Availability: Hostelworld

See also: Thailand Nightlife – Bars, Clubs, and Dating Tips

White Buddha in northern Thailand

White Buddha (photo: Shankar S)

Best Hostel for Amenities — Green Hostel and Skate Park

From $7 for a dorm (4 beds)

We chose Green Hostel and Skate Park as the most stacked hostel in Pai as far as amenities go for all that it offers its guests.

Musicians will love the extra guitars lying around. Skaters will be in heaven once they see the (actual) skate park on the premises. Socializers will frequent the hostel bar in the middle of all the action.

It is the perfect place for just about anyone and the environment sells it all (not to mention the free breakfast).

Also, the staff is more than helpful in assisting with tour bookings and suggesting itineraries.

Check Availability: Hostelworld

Best Hostel for City Entertainment — Hummingbird Hostel

From $6 for a dorm (8 beds)

Hummingbird Hostel is a relatively new place in town. It is small (19 beds), so it usually stays quiet, but it packs a bang.

It is only a few minutes walk from Walking Street, which is an excellent location to see the rest of Pai.

There is free breakfast available and air-conditioning in every room (including the lounge).

We chose it as the best hostel for city entertainment because of the superb staff, which is more than helpful in booking tours and giving its guests suggestions.

You will stay busy until nightfall at Hummingbird Hostel, and then you can hit the hostel bar before taking on the Pai nightlife!

Check availability on Hostelworld

Best Cheap Hostel — Pai Backpacker Meeting Place

From $4 for a dorm (6 beds)

Pai Backpacker Meeting Place should be more expensive for all they offer.

Guests will be shocked when they step into the courtyard and make their way up to the open terrace bar.

There is free daily yoga practice, hammocks to relax in, weekly open mic nights, and even nightly bonfires!

It is the perfect place to stay, and with beds as cheap as $4 per night, you can’t go wrong. Pai Backpacker Meeting Place is the best cheap stay in town.

Check Availability: Hostelworld

Pai, Thailand

Pai, Thailand (photo:


Pai may not be as popular as the likes of Bangkok or the renowned Thai islands, but what it lacks in popularity, it makes up for with beautiful nature, an excellent traveler’s energy, and a collection of cafes and bars catering to the spirit of backpacking.

It has become the quaint but not-so-secret backpacker’s haven of Thailand and for good reason.

If you like an international crowd and don’t mind a twisting and turning ride into the valley, Pai is the perfect place for you.

Some of our favorite hostels in Pai are on this list, but surely there are some great ones we missed. Let us know what your favorites are!

More Thailand Hostels

Last Updated on August 23, 2019 by Dave Lee