Phayao doesn’t have an airport or a railway station, so the only way to travel by public transport from Chiang Mai to Phayao is to take a bus.
Bus Times from Chiang Mai to Phayao
Bus services from Chiang Mai to Phayao are operated by the Green Bus Company.
- The journey by bus by Chiang Mai to Phayao is scheduled to take 3 hours 15 minutes.
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Location of Chiang Mai Bus Station
Bus services from Chiang Mai to Phayao depart from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 3.
Location of Phayao Bus Station
Bus services from Chiang Mai to Phayao terminate at Phayao Bus Terminal.
Phayao is an off the ‘beaten track’ destination that is steadily growing in popularity with Thai tourists but yet to form a part of many foreign tourists’s travel itineraries. Only three hours by road from Chiang Mai, the small town of Phayao, with around 20,000 permanent residents, has a long history. About 1,000 year ago the province of Phayao was founded as an independent city state which managed to maintain its independent status for many centuries in the face of aggression from much larger neighbouring states through a series of deftly chosen strategic alliances. The town itself is blessed with a location rich in natural beauty. Phayao is located on the edge of the massive fresh water Phayao Lake, which covers just under 20 square kilometres and has over 50 species of fish living in it. Surrounding the town are three relatively large mountains the tallest of which, Doi Luang, rises to 1,694 metres over sea level offering relief to those who visit the summit from the hotter climate at sea level.
Phayao itself is a quaint and quiet town. It has facilities such as good hotels, guesthouses and restaurants, but no busy nightlife or major commercial activity. Many visitors are content to spend a days in Phayao walking or cycling around the lake and generally relaxing. For visitors seeking a more active stay in the area, then they could visit some of the following attractions:
- Wat Tilok Aram: 500 year old temple on an island in Phayao Lake. This is Phayao’s most famous tourist tourist attraction.
- Wat Si Khom Kham: Temple by Phayao Lake famous for its large bronze Buddha statue cast in 1491.
- Wat Analyo Thipphayaram: Temple located 14 km from Phayao Town in a hillside.
- Phayao Walking Street: On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays night this busy market takes over the streets in the centre of Phayao. This market is a great place to try traditional Northern Thai cuisine.
- Namtok Phu Sang: Waterfall with water warmed by a hot spring, located 91 km to the north east of Phayao town centre.