We had another long weekend in March – and so decided to have a night away. This time we didn’t want to spend much or travel so far, so I got the maps to see where we could drive, and had a nice surprise to find a lake I didn’t know about just two to three hours from Chiang Mai. So – we got up early on Saturday – and after calling for Shanhong to have her hair cut and to check all camps were back safely at school – hit the road for Phayao.
As can be seen from the map – Phayao is to the North East of Chiang Mai – a very beautiful ride up and across the mountains. Most of the road was great – although one part was due to be relaid shortly – and was currently a dust track. No problem for driving – but boy did the car need a good clean when we got back. Fortunately the Prem Center gardeners have found a new way to supplement their income – they wash cars for 50baht (approximately 80p) a time. They think it is worth it, and we find it very cheap – so the car had another good wash on Friday!
Dating back over 900 years, Phayao is a pretty town located on the edge of Phayao Lake, but well off the normal tourism track. Phayao Lake is the largest freshwater lake in northern Thailand and is surrounded by beautiful hilly scenery. It is a great breeding centre for fish, supplying many excellent restaurants that line its shores. It’s a little short of hotels and guesthouses, so we stayed at the Gateway Hotel – just 10 minutes walk from the gate – and although dated, still comfortable. We were fortunate that the Thai holiday had brought a special event and there were many market stalls set up and stages where childrens’ dance groups were having a competition.
We only stayed the one night – coming back Sunday via the hot springs and a local temple, neither of us had been before so it was an opportunity for a few more photos. Even the dogs like to rest on a Sunday afternoon – although Teddy had a bit of an adventure – poor guy!
I end with news from the school apartment – all our plants on the balcony have been flowering – the pictures below are the proof! Being married must be good for me – the plants live!