Renting Scooters from Chiang Mai to Pai was a very popular option amongst travellers. So naturally, when my friend and I were in Chiang Mai deciding how to get there we had two options. Rent scooters, as was recommended, or take a 200 Baht (Thailand’s currency) transfer van there.
The van we heard was very ‘sickly’ due to all the twists and turns of the mountain to Pai; however, the bikes were supposed to be a bit difficult trying to make all of those mountainous turns yourself.
To sum it up…
Don’t take a scooter.
Just don’t do it.
Seriously, although it’s a beautiful ride I think you are WAY better off just renting scooters when you’re in Pai.
Here is Why.
- Too long of a ride to enjoy
- Gets dark too quickly
- High chance of rain while you are driving through the mountain for a couple of hours
For instance, say you leave Chiang Mai around noon. You’ll get to Pai around 15:30 or 16:00. And it starts getting dark around 17:30 (in high season). Leaving you not enough time that day to utilize the scooter.
They work on a 24-hour rental basis so if you rented it for one day you only have until noon the next day to see everything around Pai. Impossible. So, you’d automatically have to rent it for 2 days, and you’ve already wasted the first day.
So just do yourself a favor, enjoy the view of the ride from the transfer van, and then fully enjoy and explore the area of Pai for a day or two on your bike while you’re there.
My best friend and I rented scooters in Chiang Mai from one of the only companies that say you can drop it off in Pai (instead of also riding it back). It was called Aya Services. We thought it was only going to be 150/200 Baht per day. However, you have to give a 2,000 deposit, plus pay 100 for the helmet, 200 for 24 hours, and another 300 to drop it off in Pai. As well as, you start with the bike on empty, so you have to pay 100 Baht to fill it, plus whatever gas you’ll need afterwards.
It ended up being just another 40 Baht for 24 hours. Turning what we thought was going to be a simple 150 Baht plus 50 Baht of gas. Into a total of 2600 Baht upfront, plus 100 for gas. When we returned the bikes, depending on if it was Pai or Chiang Mai, we would get 2,000 or 2,300 back, respectively.
Compared to the easy 200 Baht transfer van it was way more complicated and unnecessary than it needed to be. That’s why I would NOT recommend renting scooters from Chiang Mai to Pai. You are much better off to rent a scooter once you get to Pai and use it for a couple of days to explore the beautiful surroundings the city has to offer.
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