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Things to see and do

  • Kwan Phayao
    4 stars

    Prior to the dam's construction the area was filled by a number of smaller lakes and swamps, with their levels changing seasonally with the rains. Today Phayao Lake is a pretty spot popular with local tourists and is also a large fishing resource. Head down to its banks in the early morning and ... read more

  • Wat Sri Khom Kham
    3 stars

    Sometimes called the Heaven Hell Park, the somewhat dilapidated sculpture garden sits just north of the temple entrance and contains a collection of statues representing heaven and hell, with a focus on the latter. In temples throughout Thailand it is not unusual to see heaven and hell portrayed in ... read more

  • Wat Analayo
    4 stars

    The eclectic mix of religious architecture and iconography rambles across a fascinating area stretching out along a hilltop ridge. White rabbits, large mandalas, towering seated Buddhas and stretching nagas come together in an interesting and not too strenuous stroll. Construction is ongoing and ... read more

  • Wat Tilokaram
    3.5 stars

    The small platform and shrine in the lake was supposedly built to commemorate and replace a sunken wat of the same name established many years ago. The departure point for boats headed to the shrine is centrally located along the lakeside stretch of downtown, and at 20 baht a person, there is ... read more

  • Wat Phra That Chom Thong
    3 stars

    Although you'd expect the views to be great, the grove blocks most of them, with the exception of the vista back down the stairway. According to information on site, the chedi was originally built to house a relic of the Buddha that was sent here from Chiang Saen, which in turn had been shipped ... read more

  • Phayao Cultural Exhibition Hall
    4 stars

    Particularly intriguing is a section giving information on prominent Phayaoians (living and dead) and why they are important to the locals. Well-designed with English labelling throughout, it's a great example that Thailand's other museums would do well to follow. Walk out of town along the lake ... read more

  • King Ngam Muang Monument
    1 star

    Eighteen years later, when expansionist King Mangrai marched on Phayao from Chiang Rai, King Ngam Muang went out and met him. Rather than fighting, the two struck a deal making the two realms allies rather than enemies. The deal gave some territory to Mangrai (who was the more senior and ... read more

  • Champatong Waterfall
    3.5 stars

    Champatong waterfall can be found in the mountainous area west of Phayao city, and is surrounded by small trails and forest scenery. The waterfall has five levels, though it may be difficult to get to the top if the water gets very high or the path too treacherous during rainy season. From the ... read more

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