This place prides itself in being an undiscovered and non-westernised part of North Thailand.
Phayao, or the Vienna of Southeast Asia as mentioned in some tourist brochures, is located in the northern provinces of Thailand, with Nan, Phrae, Lampang, and Chiang Rai as its neighbouring provinces.
Phayao is virtually enveloped by mountains and valleys, along with sacred religious sites. It also boasts a semi-natural freshwater lake called Phayao Lake, where local fishermen make their living by catching fish.
The large Kwan Phayao (Phayao Lake) is one of the main attraction to learn about the culture and untouched native surroundings.
For souvenir shopping, travellers can find plenty of snacks to local clothes at the major commercial street, Don Sanam.
While you’re there, make sure to stop at various temples like the Wat Si Khom Kham, home to the magnificent golden 16m high Sitting Buddha.
How To Get There
There are regular bus services from Bangkok to Phayao. There are also buses from neighbouring provinces like Chiang Rai, which takes just less than two hours to Phayao. By air, AirAsia flies from Kuala Lumpur to Chiang Mai where you can take a bus from there to Phayao.
Where To Stay
Phayao has a wide range of accommodation with a myriad of places in budget, mid and upper mid ranges. However, travellers are advised to book early as prices can fluctuate considerably between high season. Kwan Phayao Jumjai Homestay, Kwan Phayao Villa and Zen Home Resort & Garden are some of the notable accommodations in Phayao.
What To Eat
The Aurora House Restaurant is a scenic eatery while Ancharoen Noodle Soup offers local beef noodles and other variety soups. Local Thai dishes are available almost everywhere along Don Sanam street.
This article first appeared in GOASIAPLUS Asean Guide in 2017. ASEAN Guide is a collaboration with AirAsia to promote places for travellers in Southeast Asia countries from how to go, where to stay, what to do and eat.