Photo: Small town.

Piang Luang

Our rating:

We recommended overnighting in Piang Luang rather than Wiang Haeng but even if you’re just passing through, the village is worthy of a stop in its own right.

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It’s a cute and traditional small town and the sort of place—now increasingly rare in Thailand—where many of the women still wear sarongs, many of the kids wave at passing foreigners and the local guys will give you a thumbs up or nod. Unlike Wiang Haeng, which is a collection of buildings along a straight stretch of highway, Piang Luang is almost picturesque. Built on two parallel ridges, its steep streets wind up and down and you’ll see plenty of traditional teak buildings as well as Yunnanese Chinese houses with their walled courtyards.

Welcome! Photo taken in or around Piang Luang, Wiang Haeng, Thailand by Mark Ord.

Welcome! Photo: Mark Ord

Piang Luang began life as a tiny frontier trading post before becoming established as the headquarters of General Mo Heng’s Shan United Revolution Army in the late 1960s. Many residents today are either the descendants or families of the Shan soldiers or of their former rivals the KMT. Meanwhile, Lisu and Palaung villagers live in the surrounding hills.

As you enter town, broadly speaking the Shan quarter lies to the right of the road and the Chinese district to the left. There’s a classic Shan-style wat at the entrance to Piang Luang, a 24-hour convenience store and several decent cafes and noodle stalls. The open area beside the road immediately before the minimart is the site of a weekly, Saturday morning market.

Piang Luang also comes with a couple of good accommodation options and several decent eateries so makes for a cuter, quirkier alternative to Wiang Haeng if you’re staying up this way. This is an interesting and definitely off the beaten track destination and the chance to stay in a former rebel ... Travelfish members only (Around 300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Piang Luang lies approximately 15 kilometres past Wiang Haeng on the prolongation of Highway 1322. A minibus service links the two towns and songthaews regularly ply the highway during daylight hours. Occasional songthaews travel east to Kae Noi. Wat Fa Wiang In and the border at Lak Taeng are just four kilometres further up the road past Piang Luang.

Piang Luang
15 kilometres north of Wiang Haeng

Location map for Piang Luang

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Popular attractions in Wiang Haeng

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Wiang Haeng.

Best places to stay in Wiang Haeng

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Wiang Haeng.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Wiang Haeng.
 Read up on where to eat on Wiang Haeng.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Wiang Haeng.
 Read up on how to get to Wiang Haeng, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Wiang Haeng? Please read this.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Wiang Haeng? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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