Top things to do

Top Choice Landmark in Phayao

Kwan Phayao

This vast body of water is the largest swamp in northern Thailand and a symbol of Phayao. Although naturally occurring, the water level is artificially controlled - otherwise the wetlands would go dry outside of the…
Buddhist Temple in Phayao

Wat Sri Khom Kham

Phayao’s most important temple is thought to date back to 1491, but its present structure was finished in 1923. The immense prayer hall holds the Phra Jao Ton Luang, the largest Chiang Saen–era Buddha statue in the …
Museum in Phayao

Phayao Cultural Exhibition Hall

This two-storey museum is packed with artefacts and a good amount of information on local history and culture (in English). Standout items include a unique ‘black’ Buddha statue and a fossil of two ­embracing crabs …
Thai in Phayao

Chue Chan

Of all the waterfront restaurants, this place has received the most acclaim from the various Thai food authorities. The lengthy menu, which has both pictures and English, spans tasty dishes you won’t find elsewhere…
Thai in Phayao

Khao Soi Saeng Phian

One of the better bowls of kôw soy (northern-style curry noodle soup) in this neck of the north is available at this family-run restaurant, a block from the waterfront.
Buddhist Temple in Phayao

Wat Li

Just off the main highway opposite the turn-off to Phayao, this Buddhist temple features a small museum with a decent variety of items from the Chiang Saen era.
Thai in Phayao

Kaat Boran

This largely food-based night market sets up every evening near the King Ngam Muang monument.
Buddhist Temple in Phayao

Wat Phra That Jom Thong

This is an attractive chedi (stupa) on a wooded hilltop 3km from the centre of town.
Thai in Phayao

Night Market

An extensive night market convenes along the north side of Th Rob Wiang every evening.