The Hidden Gems of Phrae City and Province
Phrae is a hidden gem in northern Thailand and a great destination to enjoy a low-key stay with good Thai food, warm company and several interesting attractions.
Known for its longstanding history in the Thai teak industry, present day Phrae in the north of Thailand still has a unique cityscape of beautiful stately mansions surrounded by elegant green gardens, all remnants of past glory.
Vongbury Mansion is the best-known reminder of that past glory. Built by a rich logging family, the teak house is now a museum and allows you a peek into the lives of the well to do in a time when elephants were still used in the logging industry.
Free Thai Museum
A less-known side of Phrae is the important role the city played during the resistance in World War II against the Japanese occupation. Seni Pramoj, a former Thai ambassador to the United States founded the Free Thai (Seri Thai) movement in 1942. His son continued his father’s legacy by creating a very interesting museum in a charming teak mansion in Phrae. Unlike many other Thai museums, the Free Thai Museum has signs in both Thai and English and holds many important artifacts from the Japanese occupation. It is well worth a visit. If you are lucky, Pramoj’s son is more than happy to tell you a bit more about his father’s legacy in person.
Temple enthusiasts can’t skip Wat Chomsawan. Built during King Rama V’s reign between 1900 and 1912, this place of worship is completely made from teak and is an exquisite mix of Burmese and Northern-Thai architecture. The main hall is constructed with an impressive display of gold leafed pillars reaching up to a vaulted ceiling lined with intricately carved teak panels.
Bordering provinces like Nan, Lampang and Uttaradit, Phrae is well connected to other parts of the country. Catching a daily flight from Bangkok is the easiest way to reach Phrae. Those who prefer to travel overland by car from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Nan or Phitsanulok can see more of the beautiful views of the Thai countryside along the way.
Huern Na Na Boutique Hotel
When staying in Phrae, Khiri Travel Thailand offers a few recommended hotels. Phoom Thai Garden is a comfortable hotel with a nice garden setting and spacious rooms. Huern Na Na Boutique Hotel is more suitable for the traveler who values comfort and luxury during their stay.
For those looking for a real local experience, Khiri recommends taking a day train to Ban Bin Station where a private transfer to The Red Brick Homestay in the town of Song is waiting. This accommodation, owned by a Thai-European family is set on a former tamarind plantation and offers private stays in the family’s home. Guests share meals with the host family who love to share stories about all the ins and outs of local life in Song. They also offer amazing programs to explore the area. Your hosts and the people of Song will make you feel completely at home.
For more information about including a stop in Phrae during your Thailand itinerary, please contact to [email protected]