Welcome to Phayao
One tourist brochure we came across described Phayao (พะเยา) as the 'Vienna of South East Asia'. Although this is just slightly stretching the truth, Phayao is certainly one of the more pleasant and attractive towns in Northern Thailand. Its setting on Kwan Phayao, a vast wetland, gives the town a back-to-nature feel that’s utterly lacking in most Thai cities, while the tree-lined streets, temples and traditional wooden houses of ‘downtown’ Phayao provide a pleasing old-school Thai touch.
The little-visited and quiet town is the perfect place to break up your journey to/from Chiang Rai, and can also serve as a bookend to a drive from Chiang Khong.