Capital: Phayao Location: Northern Area: 6,335.1 km2
Population: 502,780 Density: 79/km2
Town and Districts
Mueang Phayao, Chun, Chiang Kham, Chiang Muan, Dok Khamtai, Pong, Mae Chai, Phu Sang, Phu Kamyao
Lying between Chiang Mai and Nan provinces and due south of Chiang Rai, Phayao province is split between lowland rice growing areas and mountains containing substantial hilltribe populations. The neighboring provinces are Nan, Phrae, Lampang and Chiang Rai. In the north-east it borders Xaignabouli of Laos. Phayao was administratively separated from Chiang Rai in 1977 but further back in Thai history. This province was founded in 1096 it was a small city-state kingdom. In the 13th century it gained enough importance to be equal partner of King Mengrai of Lannathai and the Sukhothai kingdom. However a later king of Lannathai captured Phayao in 1338, and made it part of Lannathai. During the Burmese rulership of Lannathai the city became deserted, and in 1897 became part of the province Chiang Rai. Rarely visited by foreign travellers, Phayao does attract a steady flow of domestic tourists, and foreign visitors will find that the local infrastructure is tailored more to local tastes than foreign.