Photo: Lakeside at Phayao.

Things to see and do

Wat Analayo Thipphayaram

Wat Analayo is one of the more interesting hilltop wats in Thailand’s north. The temple is set on the first range of low hills, more or less opposite Phayao town on the far side of the lake. The wooded hillside houses an eclectic collection of Buddha images, shrines, pagodas and halls and is set in lush tropical gardens with a real jungle feel to ... Read more about Wat Analayo Thipphayaram .

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Around the lake

This circumnavigation of Phayao Lake makes for a great trip with varied sites on route and, including a couple of detours to Wat Analayo and Champatong Waterfall plus, time permitting, a stop at the Phayao Cultural Hall on your way back into town, you can incorporate pretty much most of the area’s main sights into a convenient and interesting day ... Read more about Around the lake .

Kwan Phayao, (Phayao Lake)

Kwan Phayao, or Phayao Lake, covers around 20 square kilometres and was formed by the creation of a dam by Thailand’s Fisheries Department in 1941. 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 very popular spot with local tourists and is also an important fishing ... Read more about Kwan Phayao, (Phayao Lake) .

Wat Tilokaram

Lying on a small lake island opposite town, Wat Tilokaram offers a novel experience and an excellent opportunity to get out onto Kwan Phayao for some photos. It’s actually just a small shrine and chedi and there’s no temple as such but supposedly it does indicate the site of an older wat, long since crumbled under the water. In fact the entire low island covers around 100 square metres ... Read more about Wat Tilokaram .

Wat Sri Khom Kham
On the lakeshore, 1 km north of Phayao

Wat Sri Khom Kham is a large temple complex lying just to the north of the city centre. It’s not worth a detour on its own but would make an interesting stop if you were walking up to the Phayao Cultural Hall. Although famous locally for its impressive 17 metre sitting Buddha, what really turns heads at Wat Sri Khom Kham is a sculpture garden within the temple’s grounds. This garden contains a ... Read more about Wat Sri Khom Kham .

Phayao Cultural Exhibition Hall
Lakeside, just under 1 km north of Phayao centre
T: (054) 410 058

Phayao Cultural Exhibition Hall houses a small, but rather good, display of exhibits from Phayao’s long and rich history. The Museum, opened in 1995 covers exhibits from dinosaur fossils through the Neolithic period, medieval times and up to a display of fish and fishing techniques on the lake plus information on famous local historical personages. The collection also includes a wealth of ... Read more about Phayao Cultural Exhibition Hall .

Wat Phra That Chom Thong
Around 1.5 km north of Phayao

Wat Phra That Chom Thong is a pleasant and historic hill-top temple lying just to the north of the town centre. This is another site probably not worth visiting on its own but if you’re heading up to Wat Sri Khom Kham and the Cultural Exhibition Hall then Wat Phra That Chom Thong, on the wooded rise opposite is convenient and worth a peek. \ As usual you have the choice of a flight of steps ... Read more about Wat Phra That Chom Thong .

Wat Analayo Thipphayaram
18/20 km out of Phayao town

There’s a multitude of hill-top temples in this part of the world and while Wat Analayo is definitely one of the more interesting ones it would be best combined with a tour around Phayao Lake and/or a Champatong Waterfall trip rather than a 40 or so kilometre round trip just for the one site. The Wat lies on the first range of low hills, more or less opposite Phayao Town, on the far side of the ... Read more about Wat Analayo Thipphayaram .

Markets in Phayao

The main, daily city market fills an entire block between Don Sanam and Rob Wiang Roads in the centre of town, spilling out onto the surrounding lanes and alleyways. A large and bustling market it provides the usual mix of fresh produce, household goods and clothes plus of course plenty of snack and eating possibilities and is a photogenic and interesting spot for a stroll. Also good is a ... Read more about Markets in Phayao .

Phaya Ngam Muang Monument and Lakeside Parks
Lakeside, near the park

Born in 1238, Ngam Muang was educated in Lopburi before returning to take over the throne of Phayao in 1258. Eighteen years later, when expansionist King Mengrai marched on Phayao from Chiang Rai, Phaya, (King), Ngam Muang went out and confronted him. Rather than fighting, the two struck a deal making the two realms allies rather than enemies. The deal conceded some territory to Mengrai, ... Read more about Phaya Ngam Muang Monument and Lakeside Parks .

Champatong Waterfall
20km northwest of Phayao

Having optimistically followed countless trails to signposted waterfalls only to see the road disintegrate into a muddy track or to arrive at a dribble of water trickling over a boulder, you can excuse an iota of cynicism as we set out for Champatong. The sign from the junction of route 1193 heading north to Mae Chai and 1127 running between Phayao City and the falls, said 12 kilometres and, ... Read more about Champatong Waterfall .

Mae Puem National Park
T: (025) 795 269

Not a large park, with a total area of 356 square kilometres, but nonetheless split into two separate sections; one between Phan and Muang districts in Chiang Rai Province and a second further south, stretching across the provincial borders of Chiang Rai and Phayao. The headquarters buildings, visitor’s centre and accommodation are situated in Mae Chai district of the latter, set around a ... Read more about Mae Puem National Park .

Phu Sang waterfall
200km round trip from Phayao city

If you commissioned a designer to come up with a simple, cheap but charming and user-friendly roadside attraction, he or she would do well to create something as good as Phu Sang Waterfall. It’s perfect. Set just to the side of a little frequented, rural highway a clear, shallow stream flows through a picturesque, narrow valley with a lush jungle-clad, limestone outcrop providing a backdrop. ... Read more about Phu Sang waterfall .

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Where to next?

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

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