Phayao – Explore the Land of Religion and Nature in Thailand
General Information of Phayao
Thailand contains more than 70 provinces and each of them contains the charm of its own. Some provinces are excellent in nature and some have great historical places to explore the history of Thailand. The province named Phayao is another province in Thailand that has great characteristics which are worth exploring and visiting. Phayao is considered to be a peaceful province filled with abundant nature of mountains and valleys. The community of Phayao still mostly stick to their nature roots, but with some modern twist in their lifestyle. As with most of Thailand places, this province allows you to visit many significant religious sites such as temples. It is also once a part of the Lanna Thai Kingdom in the 14th century, but the city itself can be traced back to more than 900 years ago.
How to travel to Phayao
The city of Phayao is located at the northern region of Thailand with about 691 kilometers from Bangkok. There are quite limited options for you to come here. The most obvious choice is to drive here by yourself which might be the fastest and most convenient way of traveling. As it is a long drive from Bangkok, be sure to take breaks as you feel like it. Next option is to use the bus from Bangkok. You can take the bus available at the Northern Bus Terminal and you can also check the price and the availabilities of the bus there. However, if you are living in Chiang Rai or Chiang Mai, you could take a minivan from there in addition to buses. Once you have arrived here, be ready for the breathtaking explorations that are waiting for you.
Things to do in Phayao
If you are talking about Phayao, there are so many places and activities that you can do and enjoy. Let us explore some of the best places in Phayao which are very famous for tourists.
Famous Tourist Attractions in Phayao
Kwan Phayao or Phayao Lake.
The first place is Kwan Phayao or Phayao Lake. The word “Kwan” comes from the Lanna local language which is used only by the people of Phayao.
In fact, it is the fourth largest lake in Thailand with magnificent views and beautiful sceneries of nature, especially when the sun is setting. There are so many things that you can do in the areas around the lake such as offer foods for the monks with sticky rice in the morning, do some exercises, eat fresh seafood from the lake, or just chill out or relax your body with your friends and families.
Wat Tilok Aram
However, the highlight of this place is Wat Tilok Aram that is located in the middle of the lake.
It was discovered in the year 1939 as an archaeological site that is underwater. It was actually built sometime around 1476 and 1486 which is about 540 years ago. To go there, you need to take a boat trip which costs you very little. The unique thing about this place is the method that they use to do their religious ceremony called vientiane.
Vientiane is not a city in Laos, but a Buddhist ceremony where people walk with lighted candles in their hands around a temple.
However, this place lets you vientiane on the water by sitting in a boat which circles around the temple for three times which is the only place in Thailand that does this. You will also hold your candles, incense, and flowers on your hands while you are circling around the temple. This ceremony is only available in the period of Visakha Bucha, Maka Bucha, and Asalaha Bucha.
Phu Lang Ka Mountain or Doi Phu Lang Ka
The next place is Phu Lang Ka Mountain which has a height of 1,725 meters. This mountain is a special one compared to other mountains in Thailand. You are able to rest at a resort on top of the mountain. In the morning, you can see the amazing views of the mountain once you open the windows from your room, including the sea of mists and sunrise. After that, you can order a cup of coffee from the local coffee shop here and watch the views at the same time.
Wat Sri Khom Kham
If you want to see another temple, Wat Sri Khom Kham is the temple that is here with the province of Phayao since the beginning.
The Buddha statue inside of the temple is called Phra Jao Ong Luang by the locals which is also in the province’s motto. This statue has been built since 1491 and it took more than 33 years to build. The statue itself is considered to be the biggest and oldest Buddha statue in the Land of Lanna Kingdom which is very important to the people of Phayao. Its dimension is about 14 meters wide and up to 16 meters tall. The Lanna Kingdom or Lan Na is an Indianized state which mostly centered in the northern region of Thailand from 13th to 18th century.
Above are the famous attractions that most tourists will probably be invited to visit once, but below are some recommendations from the locals which are definitely worth your time.
A mountain that you should visit is Doi Nok, the mountain has a sharp point with a round tip on top of it and it is about 1,694 meters tall.
There is a sightseeing spot up top that enables you to see four provinces and it is also suitable for anyone who is looking for an adventure for a change. Also, it requires a lot of hiking and energy to reach and see that views.
Phu Sang Waterfall
Have you ever heard of a warm waterfall? If not, take a visit to Phu Sang Waterfall which is the only warm waterfall in Thailand.
It has a height of 25 meters with a 35 to 36 degrees of water temperature. The water is clear with emerald-like color and no scent whatsoever. The waterfall itself has only one level in which the water comes down from a 25 meters cliff. You can get in and enjoy the warmness of the water for a whole day.
Wat Huai Pha Kiang or Huai Pha Kiang Temple
Next stop is Wat Huai Pha Kiang. The highlight of this temple is the crafted golden Buddha statues on the cliff in which the cliff is about five meters tall and 12 meters long.
You will see many beautifully crafted statues with amazing details that represent highly skilled craftsmanship.
Wat Nan Taram or Nan Taram Temple
Wat Nan Taram is a temple that is entirely built with the golden teakwood and contains beautiful multi-level roofs which are very unique. The Buddha statue is also built with the golden teakwood. Inside of the temple, you will see many decoration and highly detailed arts, including glass windows on the ceiling. There is also a museum that showcases old bank notes, ancient tools and fabrics, and ancient paintings that depict a sermon in every step.
Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/5EGxshSU5oR2
Living in Phayao
The motto for Phayao is “Kwan Phayao is the Source of Life, Holy Buddha Statue, The Ritual of Pho Khun, and The Beautiful Busarakum Mountain”. To get around in the province, it is best to use the bus as it could take you to anywhere you wish. There are various range of hotels that you can stay. Most of them are guesthouses, but you can also find resorts on the mountain as well. The price is quite cheap for guesthouses which is around 600 to 1000 baht and up. The resort’s price is much higher, but it is still in an affordable range. Enjoy your stay!
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Suggested cities around Phayao
Lampang – The City of Elephant and Culture of Thailand
Mae Hong Son – Perfect Destination for Caves in Thailand
Nan – A Hidden City on a River Valley of Thailand