Is this Thailand’s most beautiful short trek?
The windy road suddenly turned very bumpy. The steep climb up the muddy path was tough for our little 125 CC scooter. As we turned the corner, a stream appeared which completely crossed the path. We carefully traversed the liquid obstacle. I hung on tightly as our little scooter groaned. Would this arduous journey be worth it?
I can happily report that the short, bumpy path leads out onto one of the most beautiful places in Pai. It leads to the spectacular bamboo bridge trail.
What is the Pai Bamboo Bridge?
Boon Koh Ku So is beautiful bamboo bridge which leads to the bamboo temple. The bridge is almost 1km long and is well kept by the locals. Suspended a couple of meters above the ground this pale-yellow path is one of the world’s most pleasant strolls.
The wonderfully springy trail takes you over bright green rice paddies. We arrived at the end of rainy season where the rice paddies were at their most beautiful.
The name Kho Ku So translates into ‘The Bridge of Merit’. Originally built for the monks at the bamboo temple by the locals. Before the bridge, the monks had to walk over 6 km to reach the village to obtain food. The journey took them a long time as the path lead through forest and the rice fields. In order to make the journey shorter the bridge was built. Now the monks no longer have to avoid stumbling through the rice plantations as they can stroll over the lovely fields via the Kho Ku So.
Take a moment to admire the stunning landscape. You are surrounded by beautiful mountains which block out noises from nearby Pai. Simply breath in the fresh mountain air and stroll along the bouncy bamboo path.
How do I get to the Pai Bamboo Bridge?
Head towards Pam Bok waterfall just outside of Pai. The route is well signposted and takes you through stunning landscapes.
Once you reach the Pam Bok Falls car park you are almost there! It is just 1.5km further along a bumpy road. Hold on tightly as the road heads up the mountain side. I would not advise attempting this road after heavy rain fall. We arrived at the end of rainy season and there was still a small stream gurgling its way across the road.
Am I insured to go past Pam Bok Waterfall?
Some of the scooter shops state that they will not cover damages on scooters past the falls. You can either be very careful or leave your bike at the falls and walk. If you do decide to walk it will only take you around 20 minutes. The road is quite bumpy after Pam Bok waterfall so just be very mindful if you do decide to take the risk and ride!
What should I bring to the Pai Bamboo Bridge?
Once you arrive at the Bamboo Trails, leave your helmet with your bike.
Put plenty of sun cream on as path is pretty exposed. There are some sheltered sections where you can stop too though. Apply mosquito spray although as the trail is so exposed you are less likely to be bitten than at other places in Pai.
In terms of footwear you can wear whatever you like. Flip flops would be perfectly fine on this trail. You could probably even go bare foot. The entire trail is 800m from the car park to the temple. The path is quite flat and suitable for all fitness types.
Also make sure you bring your camera as there are numerous photo opportunities along the way.
How long should I spend at Pai Bamboo Bridge?
Depending on the amount of time you have you could spend between 15 minutes to a few hours. We spent a couple of hours here wondering along the lovely path over the lush green rice paddies. You could just see the fields then move on if you are in a rush. There are numerous photo opportunities as well at the start of the bridge. Yet I would recommend walking all the way to the temple. There are fewer tourists the further you go.
The temple itself is interesting. Not opulent but very peaceful. The bamboo temple stands on a hill in the forest. There are scarfs to borrow at the entrance if you wish to go inside and need to cover any bare skin. Toilets can also be found in the temple grounds. Spend around 10 minutes wondering around the hidden temple.
What wildlife can I expect to see at the Pai Bamboo Bridge?
Local wildlife includes lots of pretty butterflies and dragon flies. Sit on the edge of the bridge for a while and see what you can spot. Or who knows they might spot you! A very friendly butterfly decided he liked the look of my H&M sunglasses. He sat on my sunglasses for about 10 minutes and then moved onto my arm. Maybe you will make friends with a butterfly too!
Are there restaurants or toilets at the Pai Bamboo Bridge?
Yes, there is a small restaurant at the Pai Bamboo Bridge with a toilet and also a small coffee shop on the bamboo trail itself.
When is the best time of year to visit the Pai Bamboo Bridge?
The best time of year to visit is the rainy season or just after. This is when the grass is long and its finest shade of green. I am sure the rice paddies must look lovely soon after the harvest, when they have been filled with water too. Try and avoid the early summer as the fields are very bare, patched and quite yellow.
How much does it cost to visit the Pai Bamboo Bridge?
Our visit was during the low season and it was free to enter. I have since read on tripadvisor that there is now a small charge (20 baht) to walk over the bridge. As its popularity increases, I assume the charge will stay in place in order to maintain the bridge and pay the locals for their labour.
Is the Pai Bamboo Bridge very popular?
Not everyone risks the road to Boon Koh Ku So meaning the bridge receives fewer tourists than other attractions in Pai. Boon Koh Ku So used to be a hidden secret yet now more and more
It is quite romantic to wander along the path with just you and your loved one. In fact, some say that Pai is one of the world’s most romantic honeymoon destinations!
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Hope this has helped you plan your visit to the Pai Bamboo Bridge. The gorgeous spring path is one of the most wonderful short treks to do in Thailand. Would you like to visit the Pai Bamboo Bridge?