I love coffee shops. That’s why, on my first trip to Pai, I was in seventh heaven because of all the incredible coffee shops there. Pai is a teeny tiny town in northern Thailand, close to Mae Hong Son and around a three hour drive from Chiang Mai. A laidback hippy town, up until a couple of years ago, it’s now one of Thailand’s top tourist spots and, as tourists love coffee shops, more and more are opening here. For the best coffee shops in Pai though – these four are must visits.
All About Coffee Cafe – Started by a couple of Bangkok yuppies who got sick of the hectic lifestyle of Bangkok, All About Coffee Cafe is one of the cutest coffee shops in Pai. The shop itself is all wood (very rustic looking), with cute little tables and chairs and artwork and around the walls. They sell more than 20 different types of coffee and coffee drinks, green tea, herbal teas and, of course, delicious food. Don’t miss their three course breakfast for just a couple of dollars, or any one of their incredible cakes (my favorite was an amazing cheescake). Open every day until 5pm. 100 Chaisongkram Road, Pai
Coffee in Love – The most famous coffee shop in Pai is one actually on the outskirts of town, Coffee in Love. Every one of my Thai friends that’s visited Pai has spent well over two hours here just drinking a latte and taking photographs, as it’s so beautiful. Built like a Swiss chalet, it has a beautiful view looking out over a stunning valley with mountains in the distance. Don’t miss sitting out on the lovely wooden deck, where you can enjoy one of the best hot lattes I’ve ever tasted or a slice of one of their many cakes. Don’t forget to take pictures too – particularly next to their famous sign. Located on the main highway into town, just a couple of minutes from Pai.
Black Canyon Coffee (Pai Now) – Probably the cutest Black Canyon Coffee I’ve ever seen, this branch was made famous in Thailand in a Thai movie a couple of years ago, “Pai In Love”. Bright yellow, all wood, and very funky looking, Black Canyon (also known as ‘Pai Now’) has their usual wonderful cups of coffee, lattes and iced coffee drinks, as well as green tea choices, teas, fruit juices and yummy food. They also have stacks of merchandise for sale, from t shirts to mugs, cute shopping bags and bags of coffee. Sit outside, as it overlooks the street and is a fabulous place to people watch. On the corner of the main road, near the hospital.
Sincere Coffee – Another favorite, and one of the best coffee shops in Pai is Sincere Coffee. Sincere Coffee is a nice place to relax and hang out, as the staff is friendly and not wanting to push you out if you sit for a while. They serve all the usual coffee and tea drinks (they do an excellent iced latte as well as a delicious hot vanilla latte), and have a decent variety of cakes. Located in the center of Pai.
One word of warning with coffee shops in Pai, even the best ones, – most of them are non air-conditioned and open-air, which, when it’s incredibly hot, as it is most of the time it can be unbearable for travelers not used to it. So prepare, with loose clothing, iced drinks and the right attitude.