Phayao: Discovering the Hidden Gems of Northern Thailand

Phayao is a province in northern Thailand known for its natural beauty, rich history, and unique culture. The area is between the two popular tourist destinations of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, making it an ideal stopover for those who want to explore the region.

Phayao has several attractions showcasing its natural beauty, such as the Phayao Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Northern Thailand. The lake is surrounded by mountains and is a popular spot for fishing, boating, and picnicking. Other natural attractions in the province include the Doi Phu Nang National Park, known for its waterfalls, caves, and hiking trails, and the Phu Sang Waterfall, a picturesque cascade popular with locals and tourists.

Aside from its natural attractions, Phayao has a rich cultural heritage in its temples, museums, and festivals. The province is home to several ancient temples, such as the Wat Sri Khom Kham, which dates back to the 14th century, and the Wat Analayo, known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings. The Phayao Cultural Centre is another must-visit attraction that showcases the province’s history and culture through exhibits and interactive displays. Finally, the annual Songkran Festival, celebrated in April, is a colorful and lively event that attracts locals and tourists from all over Thailand.


Phayao is a province located in the northern region of Thailand. The province is situated between the provinces of Chiang Rai, Lampang, and Phrae. The province covers an area of 6,335 square kilometers and is divided into eight districts.

Phayao Lake, the largest freshwater lake in northern Thailand, dominates the province. The lake is surrounded by mountains, making it a popular destination for tourists who love nature and outdoor activities.

The climate in Phayao is tropical, with three seasons: hot, rainy, and cool. The rainy season lasts from May to October, while the cool season lasts from November to February. The hot season, the driest period, lasts from March to April. The average temperature in Phayao is around 25°C.

Phayao is also home to several national parks, including the Phu Sang National Park, known for its beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails. The park is home to various wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and bears.

Overall, Phayao is an excellent destination for nature lovers and those who want to experience the beauty of northern Thailand. With its stunning lake, surrounding mountains, and national parks, this province has plenty to see and do.


Phayao is located in northern Thailand and experiences a tropical savanna climate. The city has a hot and humid climate throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 35 degrees Celsius. The most desirable are April and May, while the coolest is December and January.

The rainy season in Phayao begins in May and ends in October, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in August and September. Visitors should be prepared for sudden downpours and occasional flooding during this time. From November to April, the dry season is the best time to visit Phayao, as the weather is more relaxed and drier.

It is essential to pack appropriate clothing for the climate when visiting Phayao. Light, breathable dress and a rain jacket or umbrella are recommended during the rainy season. Sunscreen and a hat are also advised to protect against the intense sun.

Phayao’s climate is typical of northern Thailand, with hot and humid weather and a distinct rainy season. Therefore, visitors should plan accordingly and come prepared for the weather.

Culture and History

Phayao is a city located in the northern region of Thailand, known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. The city is home to various ethnic groups, including Tai Lue, Tai Yuan, and Tai Yai, who have contributed to the unique cultural blend of the region.

The city’s history dates back to the 13th century when the Lanna Kingdom ruled it. Later, it became a part of the Burmese Kingdom before being annexed by Thailand in the late 18th century. The city has since then undergone several changes, but it has managed to preserve its cultural and historical heritage.

One of the most significant historical landmarks in the city is Wat Sri Khom Kham, a temple built in the 15th century during the Lanna Kingdom. The temple is known for its stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and beautiful murals depicting Buddha’s life. Visitors can also witness the daily rituals and practices of the monks who reside in the temple.

The city is also known for its vibrant festivals celebrating its cultural heritage. The most famous festival is the Songkran Festival, which marks the Thai New Year. During the festival, locals and tourists participate in water fights and other fun-filled activities. Another famous festival is the Phayao Boat Racing Festival, which takes place in October and features traditional longboat races on the lake.

For those interested in learning more about the city’s history and culture, the Phayao Cultural Center is a must-visit attraction. The center features exhibits and displays that showcase the city’s rich cultural heritage, including traditional clothing, handicrafts, and artifacts.

Overall, Phayao is a city that offers a unique blend of history and culture that is sure to captivate visitors. With its stunning landmarks, vibrant festivals, and rich cultural heritage, Phayao is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Thailand.


Phayao is a hidden gem in Thailand that tourists often overlook. However, this quaint city has much to offer for those looking for a peaceful and authentic Thai experience. Here are some of the top tourist attractions in Phayao:

Phayao Lake

Phayao Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northern Thailand and is a must-visit destination for tourists. The lake is surrounded by lush greenery and is an excellent spot for picnics, boating, and fishing. In addition, several restaurants and cafes offer stunning views of the lake.

Wat Sri Khom Kham

Wat Sri Khom Kham is a beautiful temple located on Phayao Lake’s banks. The temple is known for its unique architecture and stunning lake views. Visitors can also witness the daily rituals and offerings made by the monks.

Phu Sang National Park

Phu Sang National Park is a nature lover’s paradise, just a short drive from Phayao city. The park is home to several hiking trails, waterfalls, and caves. Visitors can also camp overnight and enjoy the serene surroundings.

Chiang Kham

Chiang Kham is a small town just a short drive from Phayao city. The town is known for its traditional Lanna architecture and is a great place to experience the local culture. Visitors can also visit the local markets and try delicious local cuisine.

Phayao Night Market

Phayao Night Market is a great place to experience the local nightlife and try delicious street food. The market is open every night and offers various food, drinks, and souvenirs.

Generally speaking, Phayao is an excellent destination for those seeking a peaceful and authentic Thai experience. In addition, Phayao will leave a lasting impression on any visitor with its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.


Getting around Phayao is relatively easy, with several transportation options available to visitors.

Tuk-tuks are a popular mode of transportation in the city and can be quickly flagged down on the street. These three-wheeled vehicles are perfect for short trips around town and are a fun way to take in the sights and sounds of the city.

Taxis are also available if you’re looking for a more comfortable ride. Be sure to negotiate the fare before getting in, as some drivers may try to overcharge tourists.

Renting a motorbike is an excellent option for those exploring the surrounding areas. Several rental shops are in the city, and prices are generally reasonable. Just wear a helmet and drive safely, as the roads can be narrow and winding.

If you prefer to travel in a group, several tour companies offer day trips to nearby attractions such as the Doi Phu Nang National Park and the Wat Phra That Chomthong temple. Overall, transportation in Phayao is convenient and affordable, with plenty of options to suit every traveler’s needs.