While little of its historic heritage remains for visitors to see, Phayao was once an independent kingdom nearly 1000 years ago. While the capital has developed into a charming, relatively modern town, much of Phayao remains unchanged; the province retains its greatly unspoiled natural beauty, featuring both rice growing lowlands and substantial mountains where many hill tribe villages continue to live traditional lifestyles. Phayao town, which is situated beside picturesque Lake Phayao, features ornate gardens and parks that are popular picnicking grounds ideal for watching the fading sunset’s light reflecting upon the lake. The small city exudes a relaxing vibe, although Chai Kwan Road, which runs along the lakeside, features a respectable variety of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. A reasonable selection of accommodation is also available as the region is popular with Thai visitors from other provinces. Aside from the large lake and a number of charming temples however, there is little to do in Phayao except relax and plan for explorations of the countryside and neighboring provinces. Nonetheless, few who make the journey to Phayao have any regrets about visiting this stunningly beautiful province.