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I have a day spare in Chiang Mai and wanted to check out Pai via scooter. However, I don't know how long it will take to get there - various sites I read when I Google the question state anywhere between 2 and 8 hrs.

Can Pai be visited in a day with a scooter (returning before 6pm to return scooter to office)?

  • '... returning before 6pm to return scooter to office?'. That all depends on when you leave, how fast you are driving and how much time you intend to spend in Pai. It is about 120km one way. How long would you take to drive that distance on a scooter somewhere else? 2 hourse sound a bit optimistic, but roads in Thailand are usually ok, so you are probably the limiting factor. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 17 '19 at 14:17
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I have done the trip in a scooter (the whole classic trip in fact), and it took me about 3 hours, and it certainly is possible to do the trip in a day.

But I recommend you to stay a day in Pai. It's a nice little town, and one of the best things to do it watching the sunset at Pai canyon, which you wouldn't be able to do if you were to return the bike at 6PM. There are plenty of scooter rentals in Chiang Mai, and you can easily negotiate to get the bike for 2 days which gives you a night at Pai.

When you have a scooter, the Tham Lot cave is an hour away from Pai. Self plug: https://travelemy.com/Thailand/Tham-Lot-Cave

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It may depend a lot on how confident you are on a scooter, and specifically on Thai roads with Thai traffic.

It's around 120km one way.

This video shows the trip and runs for about 2 hours. It's unclear exactly how close to the town it starts though.

Adventuresunsets points out it's windy, with "762 turns during the whole 3-4 hour drive." That's probably not ideal for a beginner.

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