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Phrae and Phayao

Posted by gatoguts on 17/10/2019 at 06:16

I will be traveling around Nan and will have 3 or 4 days to stop in Phayao and/or Phrae, two provinces I've never been to. I could split my time between the two, or just spend the entire time in one. Is either one of those places worth the longer stay, or would 2 nights in each be sufficient?

#1 gatoguts has been a member since 23/7/2012. Posts: 28


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Posted by amnicoll on 17/10/2019 at 11:15

Firstly I like Nan province a lot and if you are traveling using public transport I might spend more time in Nan and give Phrae a miss - yes I had a good time there BUT I was fortunate to be shown round and hosted by a local

Phayao is nice for a couple of days there used to be an excellent night food market there and the only pity was that it was not next to the lake which would have been ideal

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 19/10/2019 at 10:23

Hi. I was just in both towns a fortnight ago.

Phayao has a lovely location and some good waterfront restaurants, but you can pretty much see the town in a day (or half a day, if the town museum was unaccountably shut during your visit, as it was during mine. I think it may have been because the abbot of the neighbouring temple had recently died). If you've got your own wheels TF mentions a possible route around the lake whuch you could do on day 2.

Phrae isn't as pretty a location but has a few small house museums and wats to keep you occupied for a day, and so offers more active sightseeing than Phayao, but again, you'd be hard pressed to fill a lot of time there, so I'd suggest 2 days would be plenty for each.

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Posted by carolined on 10/11/2019 at 05:41

Hi I spent 1 week in Phrae and 4 days in Nan during Dec 2018. Highly recommend both. Phrae is lovely and full of old teak houses, quiet streets good for cycling, get free bikes at local municipal office, good night market and excellent walking street on sundays. Stayed at the teak Bua-Khao hotel basic but interesting and easy to walk everywhere. Very few foreign tourists and felt a lot more authentic than many other places. Nan is also very nice but try to avoid weekends when it fills up with middle-class Thais escaping from Bangkok. If you go to Phayao check the dates as I got stuck there during the peak season for Thai students who flood into town and couldn't find any accommodation. But the bus trip from Phayao to Nan went through some stunning scenery.

#4 carolined has been a member since 30/10/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by carolined on 10/11/2019 at 05:42

Hi I spent 1 week in Phrae and 4 days in Nan during Dec 2018. Highly recommend both. Phrae is lovely and full of old teak houses, quiet streets good for cycling, get free bikes at local municipal office, good night market and excellent walking street on sundays. Stayed at the teak Bua-Khao hotel basic but interesting and easy to walk everywhere. Very few foreign tourists and felt a lot more authentic than many other places. Nan is also very nice but try to avoid weekends when it fills up with middle-class Thais escaping from Bangkok. If you go to Phayao check the dates as I got stuck there during the peak season for Thai students who flood into town and couldn't find any accommodation. But the bus trip from Phayao to Nan went through some stunning scenery.

#5 carolined has been a member since 30/10/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by andreynel on 10/11/2019 at 14:29

Both of the cities are nice and worth a visit. 2 nights in each - yes, I think, it's sufficient.

Even 1 night in each of them may give you a good idea about these cities.

There is not so much to see in Phayao , but the location on the lake is really nice. Spend a morning at a waterfront promenade, visit a Wat, then make a motorbike trip around the lake, be sure to take a boat trip to the small island with a Wat on the lake an our or so before a sunset. Then visit a nightmarket (if you come on Saturday, they have a weekend nightmarket at a big square in the eastern part of the promenade). So it's possible to "do" Phayao in just one day. If you have more time... you may do the same but in a more lax schedule. Or include some other natural attractions in the surroundings, perhaps.


Phrae has many old beautiful teak houses turned into museums and a lot of curious wats. I had only one full day in Phrae and I wish I could spend a couple of days more. So, I think, two days at least.

#6 andreynel has been a member since 25/11/2018. Posts: 1



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