What To Expect At The Pai Memorial Bridge
The Pai Historical or Memorial Bridge is a truss bridge with quite some history attached to it.
The current version we see today is actually the third reconstruction of it:
- First Japanese soldiers forced villagers and PoWs to build it in aid of their Death Railway as this bridge would help to connect Pai and Chiang Mai. They subsequently burnt it down.
- The second build was done by the villagers who had since become accustomed to it.
- Finally, it was revamped a third time when the wooden version preceding this current version was destroyed by floods.
Now, years later, it’s merely a tourist attraction while a double-laned concrete bridge spans the Tha-Pai River right next to this one; the bridge that’s actually used as a bridge.
It really makes you think, before the bridge, nobody ‘needed’ it, but once it was built they couldn’t live without it.
So now? This once, twice and thrice built bridge serves no practical purpose as it was intended and previously used for – but I bet they never foresaw this at any of the stages before…
What To Do At The Bridge
Walk over it. I mean seriously, how could you visit a bridge and not even cross it?
The Pai Memorial Bridge is accessible to the public and the use of it is not restricted at all. There is a plaque recounting some of the history, but the rest is really up to you.
It has actually now become quite useful for people wanting to safely cross the river by walking or on a bicycle as they don’t need to navigate the tar road and cars or motorcycles. During our time at the bridge, we saw a few joggers, some teens playing around, a family walking their dog and even a family with their baby in a pram.
Quite the busy historical landmark!
The bridge is opposite a restaurant called Coffee Tea Sapan which translates to Coffee at Pai Bridge (กาแฟที่สะพานปาย) where you can stop and have some well, coffee, and contemplate the intriguing history. Just consider all the people that have crossed that bridge over the years… Ah! I love history. Anyway…
This restaurant is also attached to the resort where we stayed! This means that the bridge was literally across the road from us!
Pai Memorial Bridge Visitor’s Information
How Much Does It Cost?
It’s free! Yay!
When Is It Open?
It’s always open. The bridge has no opening or closing times.
How Do You Get There?
We suggest renting a scooter while in Pai. It’s very easy!
The company we trusted in Pai was D.D. All Travel. To be honest, they didn’t seem too great in the beginning. We thought they had pulled a fast one on us when our chain broke half a day in. As it turned out, they actually came to fetch us and the bike, transferred our petrol and gave us a new one to go.
Make sure to have your International Drivers Permit though! It isn’t asked for when you want to hire out a car or bike, but will be needed if you’re pulled over by the Law Enforcement.
P.S. Always wear a helmet!
X Marks The Spot
What Else Can I Do In Pai?
We have another blog post up talking about what to do in Pai. We didn’t get a chance to explore everything we wanted to since we were only there for two days, but we definitely plan to go back!
If you don’t already know, the journey to Pai is a harrowing one. We explain more below.
Have you already read about the Pai White Buddha AND our secret spot? If not, click below!
A Video Of Pai
This was our experience of Pai. Even though we were only around for 48 hours, we sure packed in a LOT of fun!
How To Get To Pai
We have heavily relied on 12Go Asia throughout all of our Southeast Asia travels.
It’s so great to be able to have all of your transport secured before stepping out the door – it’s one less thing to worry about!
Where To Stay In Pai
We stayed at Bura Lumpai Resort and absolutely fell in love with it. If only we could have stayed longer!
We had a joined chalet with two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The bathrooms were our favourite since they were semi-outdoor! Who doesn’t love an outdoor shower?
We were also right next to the pool. A greatly appreciated feature in Pai’s hot and humid weather.
As I mentioned above, there is a restaurant right on the property and it’s directly opposite the Pai Memorial Bridge.
➳ Explore Bura Lumpai (A Video)
➩ When you first sign up to Airbnb and book using our code you can score up to R600 off of your first booking and R225 towards an experience!
Have you crossed this very bridge? Are you also a massive fan of history or Thailand? Let’s chat in the comments!
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