Discovering Phayao – Thai Wonders of the North
If you want to experience another side of Thailand, head north! The mountainous regions in this part of the country boast stunning natural settings and ethnic minority villages as well as providing opportunities for trekking and caving adventures.
Visit Bo Kluea Village before driving to Doi Phuka National Park with its wooded mountains and remote hill tribe villages. Look out for Pho Khun Ngam Muang Monument as a reminder of an exceptionally kind and strong King from Doi Phuka’s history.
2. Mae Sang Da Tai Lue House
Are you searching for the ideal spot to admire Phu Lang Ka Forest Park and its sea of mist? Look no further than this remarkable mountainside home, designed by Thai architect Nai Chayanich from recycled materials and constructed on recycled waste land. Designed by Thai architect Nai Chayanich and constructed using only eco-friendly methods, this sustainable house serves as an example of how beauty can coexist with environmental protection. Featuring only a handful of rooms over a huge area but featuring amenities such as a pool, large dining room with valley view below and living room with fireplace surrounded by large glass doors that open onto terrace overlooking Kok river and shallow reflection pools with sweet khim music emanating from within – what an experience!
Wat Phra That Chom Thong appears from afar like an impressive castle with its numerous spires and golden roofs, but its real charm lies inside where Wat Phra That Chom Thong houses Buddha relics, an enclosed greenhouse, and an impressive 30 meters Lanna-style pagoda – making it one of Phayao’s key landmarks and worth the climb up its top floor for stunning views over Kwan Phayao lake and city!
The Lu tribe boasts its own distinctive culture, traditions, and way of life which have seemingly stood still over time. To gain more insight into this amazing group and their way of life, visit Ban Hat Ban Bae textile weaving village; passed down from generation to generation – now open for you to experience! You’ll have fun spinning cotton thread, preparing clothing to wear traditional style clothing whilst learning all about its history as well as cultural significance from its inhabitants.
Mae Phuem National Park offers nature untainted by human presence. You can hike along its nature study route and observe its vibrant ecosystem – hiking is also available within its boundaries! Camping opportunities exist within this national park or visiting Pang Nung Cave with its five halls filled with crystallized stalagmites and stalactites are nearby.
3. Phuklong Hill Vineyard
Phayao is home to one of Thailand’s most stunning vineyards: Phuklong Hill Vineyard is an all-in-one attraction, offering flower beds and orchards, recreational areas, water park rides, resorts, sheep farms and golf courses all under its umbrella. Particularly breathtaking during winter when covered with blooming flowers – and a fantastic spot for taking photos to post on social media platforms!
Near the vineyard lies Wat Huai Pha Kiang, a temple nestled into nature with intriguing rock sculptures etched into its rocks and popular among locals for making merit and receiving blessings. Additionally, its magnificent 30 meters Lanna-style pagoda offers spectacular views over old city and Kwan Phayao lake.
4. Doi Luang and Doi Nok
Ask someone about their favourite locations in northern Thailand and they may say Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai; but Phayao should be included among your list. Although lacking hill tribe trekking tours and attracting fewer foreign visitors than its rivals, Phayao provides enough natural charms that make it attractive as an exploration hub on two wheels.
Phayao Lake, popularly referred to locally as Kwan Phayao, is one of the region’s crowning jewels and provides a tranquil backdrop to this provincial capital. Consider hiring a bike from one of many rental shops around town and cycling along its shores while taking in views of surrounding mountains. On evenings when viewing sunset from around this body of water is truly rewarding.
Wat Tilok Aram was built over 500 years ago on an island near Phayao Lake before its formation was flooded by dam construction to form its lake, submerging much of it and its original temple in water. For easier access, longboats departing from Phayao Lake Pier are available when there are five or more people, leaving directly for Wat Tilok Aram’s island location in the center of the lake.
Ascending Doi Luang can be an exhilarating experience, particularly early in the morning when Phayao Lake often lies covered in mist. This cone-shaped limestone mountain boasts an expansive jungle at its summit where numerous plant species thrive.
Afternoons will find local villagers selling handmade souvenirs in their tiny village at the base of the mountain. A visit to Mae Sang Da Tai Lue House is an excellent way to contribute to community initiatives while learning about Tai Lue culture’s rich history; plus there’s even a museum there where visitors can witness first-hand how locals protect it through traditional wooden architecture designs and preservation efforts.