(#wanderlusttips #phayao #Thailand) Phayao may change your mindset about Thailand – a destination known for its spectacular islands and prestine beaches – with its tree-lined streets, antique wooden houses and an attractive lakeside setting.
The town’s inauspicious highlight is Kwan Phayao, the largest swamp in northern Thailand, and the fourth largest one nationwide. Framed by low mountains, the swamp is in fact much more scenic than its designation suggests, and it is the setting for some of the most beautiful sunsets in the country.
Kwan Phayao which covers around 20 square kilometres provides livelihood for local people of the region and it is also home to more than 50 fish species.
It’s also a great backdrop for dinner; Chue Chan, one of several restaurants that look out over Kwan Phayao, tends to get the most acclaim from locals. Huean Phak Jum Jai is a good place to bed down here.
Located in the heart of the swamp is Wat Tiloke Aram – a submerged 500 year old temple. The temple stood for nearly five centuries until an irrigation project in 1939 inundated the temple, along with more than 10 other ancient sites, which create the swamp as it is today.
Phayao lies on Thailand’s main north–south highway, and its bus and minivan station is quite busy. Because of this, if you’re bound for Bangkok, it’s possible to hop on one of the 40 or so buses that pass through the station from points further north. If you’re getting itchy feet, follow routes 1093 and 1155 from Phayao to Chiang Khong in Chiang Rai, a day trip that passes through some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the country.
Lonely Planet | Wanderlust Tips | Cinet