Camping North Thailand – Phayao

We opted for some luxury after a week in a tent and stayed in a decent hotel on the lakefront. Phayao has a very laid-back feel to it and a marvelous lakeside boulevard with seating, flowerbeds, and plenty of shade trees. By late afternoon the locals gathered there to flirt, fish, or exercise and we joined them – for the fishing and a cold one to watch the sunset. 

The advantage of staying on the fifth floor in a good hotel is that you get a solid night’s sleep and are not woken up by roosters. The disadvantage is that it feels a little sterile after the great views, natural ambiance, and isolation of the campsites. 

Today we took a 50 baht paddled boat ride across the lake to Wat Tilok Aram, a Buddhist shrine and pilgrimage site on an islet in the middle of the lake. The days in the north are pretty hot but temperatures soon plummet when the sun drops which was a good time to visit Phayao’s night market, the best one so far. 

Phayao was the best town out of the four for me, it had a relaxed vibe but enough going on and a fantastic lakefront. Uttaradit and Phrae were just two very uninspiring Thai towns but Nan had a good feel and plenty to see and do.


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