November 17, 2017 – Cycling Tour of Northern Thailand – Down to the Lake – Thoeng to Phayao

Today I cruised down 87 km southwestward to the provincial capital of Phayao, which lies on the shore of Kwan Phayao (Kwan = lake in Thai).  Kwan Phayao is one of the few fresh water lake in Thailand, and one could argue that it is the remnant of a system of lakes that occupied the basins of northern Thailand 15 million years ago.  During the last few million years, uplift affected all of northern Thailand, essentially draining the lakes as through-going, southward-flowing rivers developed in response to the uplift.  It would have been a fantastic cycling trip in those ancient times, riding along lakes, up over mountains, and down to more lakes, with all kinds of weird Miocene mammals around like camels and small horses to chase instead of the semi-feral dogs of the Holocene.

Phayao is a pleasant, clean town but with a vastly underutilized lake front.  They do have a small promenade, with a fountain and small park, but with such a fantastic view across the lake to the distant mountains, one would expect them to leverage this into a popular tourist attraction.  However, the lake-front pubs and restaurants seem to be mainly populated with locals.  I get the impression that Thais see so much water their whole lives that they can’t quite wrap their heads around why us westerners like to look out over water.

The ride today was uneventful.  No spills or thrills, just a fast ride on smooth roads through lovely heartland. I will let the pictures do most of the talking:

FE3D36D4-87C5-404D-B96A-0B58B0DCEF97
Corn er.. I mean rice silos are a common site in north-central Thailand
F79CA1BF-78EF-46D1-917D-C3F05F30EBC3
Young teak trees (at least that’s what I think they are).
2E448BFD-CD71-46CB-9710-840B13A7D884
Even the weeds are nice.
8AFEF494-EE10-4309-8C73-5F7FE1C22C19
Never tired of the golden rice paddies.
BEF3FA62-CF49-4729-8651-54861F7D400C
Stopped to pee and I had a captive audience!
1AA8CFF4-B1DA-4468-A9C8-9D1E498ECC57
Phayao Lake
8CD08F9C-D5DE-4A9E-9700-ECAB41C0E237
Fishing!
8CD05AB8-114E-4DA7-BC44-B884C3792CE0
A peaceful end to the day.

Tomorrow begins the final 2-day push over the mountains to Nan.

3 thoughts on “November 17, 2017 – Cycling Tour of Northern Thailand – Down to the Lake – Thoeng to Phayao

  1. Prem Saint November 17, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    Enjoyed your blog and the pictures, Brady, with a side incursion to the Miocene. Here is an opportunity for you to have a lakeside resort on Kwan Phayao, to entertain your American visitors.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s