Phayao

“Located in the mountainous north of Thailand, between Chiang Mai and Nan, is the picturesque town of Phayao. The Green Bus, which services all of northern Thailand, connects Phayao to all the major northern cities, including Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Nan and Mae Sai. The buses depart regularly but fill up quite quickly, so booking online is often a wise move.

There are three overnight buses from Bangkok’s Mo Chit Bus Terminal to Phayao, an 11 to 12 hour journey journey of just over 700kms, so it’s a good idea to stock up on refreshments before boarding. The bus will also stop at the halfway point between Bangkok and Phayao at a 24-hour service station where hot meals are served.

The bus station is located fairly centrally, just south of the main Phahonyothin Road, and has all the amenities found in similar-sized bus stations in Thailand such as a ticket office and food and drink stalls, while, as is the case with anywhere in Thailand, a 7-Eleven is a stone’s throw away.

Phayao is rarely frequented by Western travellers and backpackers, although its tranquil surroundings make it popular with Thais. Among its main draws is its sizable lake, which lies on the southwest side of the town. It is a popular picnic spot among locals and, along Chai Kwan Road, there are a number of lively bars and restaurants.”