Surrounded on all sides by mountain ranges and dense forests, Phrae was the center of the Thai teak trade for centuries before many of the forests in the area became protected by national parks in the late 20th century.
Ancient defensive walls separate the ancient part of the city from the modern development that’s sprung up in the last decades. In the old city, beautiful traditional Thai houses built from teak rest alongside the colonial style mansions European businessmen built when they came to the region to gain a foot hold in the lucrative teak trade. Several of these homes function as museums and are open travelers on Thailand tours.
Many of the temples in town feature distinct architecture from Laos, Myanmar, ancient Northern Thai kingdoms like Lanna. Wat Luang is a good example of this structural diversity as it’s an ancient temple built in the Lanna style in 829 A.D.
Best Time to Visit Phrae:
Phrae’s best weather falls between November and January. March to May have the highest temperatures, and rains fall between June and October, resuscitating the wonderful teak forests after the dry season.
How to get to Phrae:
Phrae is the capital of Phrae Province in Northern Thailand. It’s best reached by private vehicle using Thailand’s modern road system.
With great natural scenery and interesting and diverse architecture Phrae is a great stop for travelers on tours of Thailand as the head north to Chiang Mai.
Western style clothing is fine in town, but if you’re visiting the many temples in the area remember to cover shoulders, arms, and knees in a sign of modesty while on temple grounds.