7 Reasons Why Phayao is the Perfect Destination for Your Next Vacation

Phayao is a picturesque city located in the northern region of Thailand. It is the capital of the Phayao Province and is known for its stunning landscapes, rich history, and unique culture. The city is situated on the shore of the Phayao Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in northern Thailand, and provides a delightful backdrop to the provincial capital.

Phayao offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy, including exploring ancient temples, cycling around the lake, and sampling delicious local cuisine. One of the top attractions in Phayao is Wat Tilok Aram, an ancient monument that dates back over 500 years. The temple was built by Phraya Yutthitsathira, a ruler of Phayao town under the command of Phrachao. Another must-visit destination is Kwan Phayao, also known as Phayao Lake, where visitors can hire a bicycle and spend an enjoyable hour or so cycling around the lake or take an evening stroll along the lakeside.


Phayao is a province located in the northern part of Thailand. It is one of the seventy-seven provinces of the country, and it lies in the Phi Pan Nam Range, which runs across the province from north to south. The city of Phayao is situated on Phayao Lake (Kwan Phayao) in the valley of the mountains. The province is known for its natural beauty, with lush green forests, mountains, and rivers. The landscape is dotted with small villages and towns that offer a glimpse into the traditional way of life in Thailand. One of the most popular attractions in Phayao is the Phu Sang National Park, which is located in the northern part of the province. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, tigers, and leopards. Visitors can go on guided tours to explore the park and see the animals in their natural habitat. Another popular attraction in Phayao is the Doi Luang National Park, which is located in the southern part of the province. The park is home to several waterfalls and hot springs, as well as a variety of flora and fauna. Visitors can go on hikes to explore the park and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. In addition to its natural beauty, Phayao is also known for its rich cultural heritage. The province is home to several ancient temples and ruins, including the Wat Si Khom Kham, which is located in the city of Phayao. The temple is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings, and it is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Overall, Phayao is a beautiful province that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Whether you are interested in hiking, wildlife, or history, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this stunning part of Thailand.


Phayao is a province located in the northern part of Thailand, known for its natural beauty and rich history. The province was once a part of the Lanna Kingdom, which was one of the most powerful and prosperous kingdoms in Southeast Asia during the 13th to 18th centuries.

The history of Phayao dates back to the prehistoric period, with evidence of human settlements found in various parts of the province. The province was later ruled by various kingdoms, including the Hariphunchai Kingdom, the Sukhothai Kingdom, and the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

During the 19th century, Phayao became a part of the Chiang Mai Province, and it was not until 1977 that it became an independent province. Today, Phayao is a popular tourist destination, known for its historic sites, beautiful temples, and stunning natural scenery.

One of the most famous historical sites in Phayao is the ancient city of Wiang Lor, which dates back to the 7th century. The city was once a thriving center of trade and commerce, and it is believed that it was an important stop along the Silk Road.

Another important historical site in Phayao is the Wat Sri Khom Kham, which is home to one of the largest Buddha images in Thailand. The temple was built in the 14th century and is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Phayao.

Overall, Phayao is a province that is steeped in history and culture, and it is a must-visit destination for anyone who wants to experience the rich heritage of Thailand.

Culture and Festivals

Phayao is a province rich in culture and traditions. The locals are proud of their heritage and love to share it with visitors. If you’re lucky enough to be in Phayao during a festival, you’re in for a treat. Here are some of the most popular festivals in Phayao:

  • Songkran Festival: This is the traditional Thai New Year and is celebrated in mid-April. It’s a time for cleansing and starting anew. The festival involves water fights and is a lot of fun.
  • Thai Lue Cultural Festival: This festival happens in March every year and is a celebration of the Tai Lue culture. It’s a great opportunity to learn about the history and traditions of this fascinating culture.
  • Phayao Boat Racing Festival: This festival is held in October and is a thrilling event to watch. The boats are beautifully decorated and the races are very competitive.

Aside from these festivals, there are many other cultural events and traditions in Phayao that are worth experiencing. You can visit the temples and witness the daily rituals of the monks or attend a local market to see the traditional handicrafts and taste the local cuisine.

One of the most unique cultural experiences in Phayao is the Homestay program. This program allows visitors to stay with a local family and experience the daily life and traditions of the community. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the culture and gain a deeper understanding of the local way of life.

Overall, Phayao is a province with a rich cultural heritage and many festivals and traditions to experience. Take the time to explore the local culture and you’ll be rewarded with a deeper appreciation of this beautiful part of Thailand.


Phayao is a hidden gem in Thailand and is a perfect destination for travelers looking to get off the beaten path. This charming town has a lot to offer, from its beautiful temples to its stunning natural scenery.

One of the top attractions in Phayao is Kwan Phayao, a vast wetland that gives the town a back-to-nature feel that’s utterly lacking in most Thai cities. You can rent a boat and explore the lake or take a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined streets that surround it. Make sure to bring your camera, as the views are breathtaking.

If you’re interested in history and culture, then Phayao won’t disappoint. There are several ancient temples in the area that are worth visiting, including Wat Phra That Chom Thong, Ancient Wiang Lor Phayao, and Wat Tilok Aram. These temples are not only beautiful, but they also offer a glimpse into the rich history of the region.

For those looking for outdoor adventure, there are plenty of options in Phayao. Phu Sang National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, with its stunning waterfalls and hiking trails. You can also visit the Phayao Fresh-water Fishery Station, where you can learn about the local fish species and even try your hand at fishing.

If you’re a foodie, then Phayao won’t disappoint. The town is known for its delicious local cuisine, which includes dishes like khao soi, a spicy noodle soup, and sai ua, a flavorful sausage made with local herbs and spices. Make sure to try some of the local street food, which is both delicious and affordable.

Overall, Phayao is a wonderful destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for adventure, history, culture, or just a relaxing getaway, this charming town is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories.


Getting to and around Phayao is relatively easy, with several transportation options available. Here are some tips to help you get around:

By Bus

The most common way to get to Phayao is by bus. Green Bus and Sombat Tour are two popular bus companies that offer services to Bangkok and other destinations in Thailand. The journey can take anywhere from 8-10 hours, depending on the traffic and the time of day. If you’re looking for a more comfortable ride, Sombat Tour’s VIP bus is a great option. It’s a bit more expensive, but it comes with amenities like air conditioning, reclining seats, and a toilet.

By Car

If you prefer to drive, renting a car is a good option. There are several car rental companies located in Phayao, and prices are generally reasonable. Keep in mind that driving in Thailand can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to the local traffic laws and customs. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules of the road before you start driving.

By Motorbike

If you’re feeling adventurous, renting a motorbike is a great way to explore Phayao and the surrounding areas. There are several rental shops located in town, and prices are usually very affordable. Keep in mind that motorbikes can be dangerous, especially if you’re not an experienced rider. Always wear a helmet, and be aware of the traffic around you.

Getting Around Phayao

Once you’re in Phayao, getting around is relatively easy. Tuk-tuks and songthaews (shared taxis) are the most common forms of transportation. They’re cheap and convenient, and you can usually find them at the bus station or in the center of town. If you prefer to explore on foot, Phayao is a small town, and most of the major attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Overall, getting to and around Phayao is relatively easy, with several transportation options available. Whether you prefer to travel by bus, car, motorbike, or on foot, there’s something for everyone in this charming town. Just remember to stay safe, be aware of your surroundings, and have fun!