Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Thailand : Northern Thailand : Northern River Valleys : Phrae
An old and important community in northern Thailand, Phrae was founded after Chiang Mai had been established as the capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom. With one of the largest reserves of teak forests in the country, it is on the banks of the Yom River, 555 km from Bangkok.
Covering an area about 6,538 square kilometres and surrounded on all sides by mountains with level plains in the middle.
Nok Air flies from Bangkok Donmueang Airport. Flights leave daily at 13:00 as at April 2016.
The bus station is at the north end of Yantarakitkoson Rd, some 300 metres to the right.
You can also take the train to Den Chai and take a songthaew to Phrae.
A bus from Uttaradit bus station will cost you B50. This is the Chiang Mai/Mae Sai bus.
This City can be walked around as it is reasonably compact. The bus station is about 1 Km from the roads leading to the City Centre.
There are no Tuktuks here. But there are plenty of motorcycle taxis as well as samlors (three wheel pedal tricycles). Bargain your price beforehand.
If you want to travel any distance, then hire a songteow (two bench pickup truck). Ensure that the price is either per person, or all persons included.
There are numerous old buildings in Phrae. Try to get the "historic buildings of Phrae" map if you can find it.
Pratabjai House - old teak house made from nine old buildings. 30 baht.
Wongburi (Vongburi) House - old teak house. 30 baht. 09:00-17:00 (in theory), Wichairacha Rd
Khum Chao Luang - another old teak house, where the King & Queen stayed when they visited Phrae. Free. Khumderm Rd
Old City Wall - there isn't much left of it, but you can see where it used to be along portions of the moat.
Local Market - if you have a bicycle there is a nice local market on the way to the Yom River just past a temple in a small village, there are also two separate night markets in the city which are great places to eat and observe local culture
Phrae Museum - located at the Nareerat Demonstration School. Most of the explanations of the displays are in Thai but there are several rooms worth visiting. One has some beautiful paintings done by local artists. On the second floor is a beautiful collection of textiles and antiques. It is the closest thing to a Phrae National Museum that exists at present although you can get a pretty good idea by visiting all the different 'museums' around town...(i.e., old houses, temples, and government offices that use the museum label as well)
The TAT office is slightly out of town, near the intersection of Muang Hit Rd and Khamlue Rd.
There are several natural attractions out of town, such as Phae Muang Phi, Doi Pha Klong National Park, etc. If you are interested in visiting the former hunting and gathering group known as the Spirit of the Yellow Leaves (Mlabri tribe), this is as good as Nan as a launch point for a day trip as one village is about 60-70 km from here. Also, as you pass the river going out of town you will see the sign for a government horticulture centre. It is about 10 km outside town. If you have your own transport, there is a nice garden to walk through and you might tour if you go in the morning. About 100 m down the road from there is a project for disadvantaged youth (mentioned below in things to do). The Rice Research Centre on Rt 101 just after Pae Muang Phi is also worth visiting.
This is approximately 10 km out of town along road 4011.
It is quite interesting because of the rocky outcrops formed by erosion over the millennia. There is no entry fee at all, and there are toilet facilities and (limited) shops on site.
To get to here from the city, you will need to hire a songteow (two bench pickup truck), which should cost B400 for all passengers.
About 17 km outside of town, next to the Government Horticulture Centre, there is a foundation for disadvantaged children that is often looking for volunteers to come help through teaching or building. They also have accommodations. Sharon is the contact here, but there is an on-line application for volunteers at . Look for the children's village project in Phrae for more information.
Restaurants are rather scarce around this City. There are a couple of street eats stalls scattered around, but otherwise, your hotel may be the best choice.
Vegan Food for Health - Charoenmuang Rd near Namkhue Rd (near the moat). Brown rice, health drinks, etc., 09:30 to 21:00, +66 85 856 6081, +66 83 426 8525, +66 84 741 9260. English/Thai/picture menu and English speaking staff.)
Ban Suan Restaurant - On Yantarakitkoson about a 5 minute walk south of Charoen Meuang Rd on the east side. The Thai chef cooks up Thai and Chinese food. It's open from 10:00 to 22:00. +66 80 491 8118, +66 81 757 1907. The chef and his wife both speak some English.
There are a couple of Bars/Restaurants along the road leading to the bus station.
There are a number of places in the vicinity of the bus station (budget and higher-end) that would involve a lot of walking around as they are spaced apart a bit. If you have your own transport you will find places scattered all around. If you are walking and looking be patient. There is plenty of accommodation, but there doesn't seem to be one central tourist zone.
A minibus to Lampang will cost B80, and goes about every 45 minutes.