Phayao Northern Adventure

If you want to explore Northern Thailand but get away from the crowds in Chiang Mai, try Phayao Province. It gets very few foreign visitors but offers great opportunities to experience the Northern culture and get close to the local people, with some wonderful homestays and friendly communities to explore. Add some light trekking, ancient temples and a boat trip on Phayao Lake and you have an unforgettable experience.

Day 1:  Chiang Rai Airport transfer – Baan That Sob Van in Chiang Kham District   (-/L/D)

Pick up from Chiang Rai airport and transfer to the Thai Lue community of Baan That Sob Van in Chiang Kham District. The Thai Lue are an ethnic minority Thai people from southern China. The drive takes about 2 ½ hours. On arrival at the village meet your host family and check into your homestay. Time to relax before enjoying a local dinner with your host family and other members of the community.

Day 2: Baan That Sob Van - Walking tour & local dessert course   (B/L/D)

After breakfast take a tour on foot to explore the village and learn about the way of life of the local people. The Thai Lue are noted for their adherence to a traditional lifestyle and the old ways of doing things. They are also meticulous about cleanliness. Enjoy some shared experiences, for example by helping to make Khao Khuob, sticky rice with coconut wrapped in banana leave; a famous local dessert.

Day 3: Baan That Sob Van – Phayao   (B/L/D)

Say goodbye to your host family after breakfast in and travel to Phayao Province, a drive of about 1½ hours. On the way stop to see the rock carvings of the Buddha in the main Buddhist postures in the cliffs at Wat Huai Pha Kiang (Thumninit Temple). Check-in at ‘Cozy Nest’ family-owned hotel near Phayao Lake. In the evening, before sunset, take a cruise on a Thai-style punt on the Kwan Phayao Lake. Afterwards have a Thai-Chinese dinner at a local restaurant opposite the hotel.

Day 4: Phayao – Ban Dok Bua   (B/L/D)

After breakfast take the drive to the village of Ban Dok Bua, winner of a national award for self-sufficiency. On the way visit Wat Analayo Thipphayaram, the grounds of which are replete with Sukhothai-style Buddha images in a variety of postures: reclining, walking, and seated. Mythical seven-headed Nagas, or sea serpents, guard some of the cherished statues. Overnight at a homestay in Ban Dok Bua, a community where peoples’ lives are guided by the principle of being economically self- sufficient and organic farming is practised. Visit a stag beetle composting enterprise in a tropical garden. Enjoy dinner with your host family and learn how they maintain their self-sufficient lifestyle.

Day 5: Ban Dok Bua – walks in Doi Luang Hills   (B/L/D)

After breakfast at your homestay, set off for a day of easy walking through the local countryside. Pass small villages and bamboo plantations, stopping along the way to learn about the local agriculture and way of life of the local people. The bamboo is mainly used to make a variety of handicraft products such as boxes, trays and kitchen items. Maybe try your hand at basket weaving. Take a Thai-style farm trailer ride to Lake Toon. After a picnic lunch, walk up the mountain in Doi Luang National Park to a waterfall and then continue up to a view point of Ban Dok Bua. During the day’s walk there will be opportunities to observe local wildlife, particularly the birds that live around the bamboo forests. Overnight at the homestay.

Day 6: Ban Dok Bua – Chiang Mai   (B/L/-)

Enjoy a leisurely morning in the village and after a final lunch with your host family take the-2 ½- drive to Chiang Mai and check in to the Thapae Garden Guesthouse. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 7 : Chiang Mai - departure   (B/-/-)

Breakfast and end of services.


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Services and Additional Notes

 Services included:

  • Accommodation in guesthouse and homestay as mentioned in the programme
  • Activities as specified in the programme
  • Local  English-speaking guide
  • Meals as mentioned in the programme
  • All entrance fees for visits included in the programme


Services excluded:

  • Additional soft drinks/alcohol
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Domestic and international flights
  • Travel insurance


Please be advised:

In some villages you may not be allowed take pictures of people and some places may be out of bounds to visitors. If you wish to take photographs or are unsure whether an action is appropriate, please ask your local guide for advice.


Responsible mind:

The villagers’ income from tourists is to help support the community and preserve its way of life. We have designed our tours to provide them with job opportunities and a sustainable way of maintaining their cultural heritage and to offer an alternative to illegal activities like mineral exploration, deforestation and hunting wildlife.

Back to:  North Thailand

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