Phrae Province, often referred to as the “Gate of Eastern Lanna,” beckons travelers with its rich historical and cultural charm. This enchanting province is a treasure trove of ancient and captivating cultural attractions, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a glimpse into Thailand’s fascinating past. One of the priceless sanctuaries of Phrae Province is Wat Phra That Cho Hae, a temple steeped in history and revered by locals for generations. Its sacred significance and architectural beauty make it a must-visit site for tourists looking to immerse themselves in Phrae’s cultural heritage. Another gem is Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri, a temple that proudly showcases some of the most exquisite examples of Lanna art in Thailand. This magnificent temple serves as a testament to the region’s artistic prowess and serves as a captivating site for cultural exploration. For those who appreciate Thai-European architecture, Phrae Province presents several remarkable attractions. Khum Wong Buri, Khum Chao Luang, and Khum Wichai Racha are exceptional examples of beautifully adorned structures adorned with intricate wooden fretwork patterns, offering a visual delight for visitors. In addition to its cultural heritage, Phrae Province boasts an array of fascinating natural attractions. Pha Nang Khoi Cave and Phae Mueang Phi are among the highlights for nature enthusiasts. Especially at Phae Mueang Phi, visitors are treated to a captivating natural phenomenon where soil and sandstone have been eroded into strange and mysterious column-like shapes, creating a surreal and awe-inspiring landscape. Exploring Phrae Province is a journey into the heart of Thailand’s captivating history and natural wonders. As travelers step through the “Gate of Eastern Lanna,” they are greeted by a province overflowing with cultural charm and timeless allure. Whether admiring ancient temples, marveling at intricate architectural details, or witnessing nature’s artistic creations, a visit to Phrae promises an enriching and unforgettable experience for every traveler.
Phrae Province, located approximately 575 kilometers from Bangkok, covers a vast area of about 6,538 square kilometers. It shares borders with Phayao Province, Nan Province, Lampang Province, Uttaradit Province, and Sukhothai Province. The province is administratively divided into 8 districts: Mueang Phrae, Rong Kwang, Long, Sung Men, Den Chai, Song, Wang Chin, and Nong Muang Khai.
Wat Phra That Cho Hae:
Wat Phra That Cho Hae, located in Phrae, Thailand, is an ancient and revered temple that holds significant cultural and religious importance in the region. Nestled among the scenic beauty of Phrae Province, this holy site has been a cherished sanctuary for both locals and visitors for many centuries. The highlight of Wat Phra That Cho Hae is the Phra That Cho Hae Chedi, a splendid stupa that stands as a symbol of the temple’s sacred legacy. This stupa is believed to enshrine sacred relics of Lord Buddha, making it a place of deep reverence and pilgrimage for devout Buddhists. The temple’s architecture showcases the classic Lanna style, characterized by graceful and intricate details that reflect the region’s cultural heritage. Visitors to Wat Phra That Cho Hae are amazed by the ornate decorations and craftsmanship displayed throughout the temple complex. As visitors approach the temple, they are welcomed by a majestic entrance adorned with mythical Naga serpents, an iconic feature of many Thai temples. The peaceful ambiance of the temple grounds and the sound of tinkling bells create an atmosphere of harmony and sacredness.
Surrounded by lush greenery and serene landscapes, Wat Phra That Cho Hae offers a tranquil setting for contemplation and introspection. The temple’s cultural significance and sacred aura make it an ideal place for both worship and quiet reflection. The annual temple fair, held at Wat Phra That Cho Hae, draws crowds of locals and visitors who come to pay their respects, make offerings, and participate in various traditional festivities. This lively event showcases the vibrant culture and traditions of Phrae Province, providing an immersive experience for all who attend. Visiting Wat Phra That Cho Hae is not only a journey into Thailand’s rich cultural heritage but also an opportunity to witness the enduring sacredness and devotion that continue to thrive in this holy space. As travelers explore the temple’s ancient beauty and sacred significance, they are sure to be enchanted by the timeless allure of Wat Phra That Cho Hae in the heart of Phrae.
Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng:
Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng, situated in Ban Khrai, Cho Hae Subdistrict, Mueang Phrae District, Phrae Province, is a revered temple that holds profound cultural and spiritual significance. Located only about 1 kilometer away from Phra That Cho Hae and approximately 10 kilometers from the city, this temple is easily accessible to both locals and visitors alike. Perched atop a small hill with a height of 29 meters and a base of 10 meters wide, Phra That Chom Chaeng resembles Phra That Cho Hae in shape. Encircled by a protective wall, the pagoda boasts arches in all four directions, adding to its grandeur and allure. Within the pagoda are enshrined sacred relics of Lord Buddha, making it a site of deep reverence and devotion. Phra That Chom Chaeng is an exquisite example of mixed art, combining elements of Sukhothai and Wiang Kosai styles. This blending of artistic influences creates a unique and visually captivating pagoda, serving as a testament to the region’s rich artistic heritage.
Inside the temple grounds, visitors will encounter a large standing Buddha image enshrined alongside the sacred relics. Additionally, a substantial reclining Buddha image takes its place in the courtyard of the meditation garden at the temple’s entrance, offering a serene and contemplative atmosphere. The viharn, the temple’s assembly hall, is home to the esteemed Luang Pho Chom Chaeng, a 600-year-old stucco Buddha image depicted in the posture of subduing Mara. This impressive Buddha image, adorned with lacquer and gilding, blends elements of Chiang Saen and Sukhothai art styles, adding to its historical and artistic significance. For those interested in delving deeper into the temple’s history and cultural treasures, a museum within the temple complex houses a collection of fascinating antiques. Notably, the museum features a striking statue depicting a replica of heaven and hell, serving as a powerful reminder of the importance of virtuous deeds and the avoidance of evil. Visiting Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng is an enriching experience, offering a glimpse into Phrae Province’s rich cultural heritage and the enduring devotion of its people. The temple’s serene setting and captivating artistry create an ambiance of tranquility and reverence, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the spiritual and cultural essence of this sacred site.
Wat Phra That Doi Leng:
Wat Phra That Doi Leng, situated in Cho Hae Subdistrict, Mueang Phrae District, Phrae Province, holds significant importance as another holy and revered site in the region. Perched atop a high hill, this temple offers both holy sanctity and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. At the heart of Wat Phra That Doi Leng lies a revered relic enshrined within an eleven-meter-high and five-meter-wide white pagoda. These ancient pagodas have withstood the test of time for over a hundred years, carrying the essence of the temple’s historical and holy significance. The exact date of Wat Phra That Doi Leng’s construction remains shrouded in mystery, but legend has it that it was established in conjunction with Phra That Cho Hae and Phra That Jom Chaeng long ago. These temples collectively form an essential holy trio in Phrae Province, reflecting the enduring devotion and holiness of the local community. Inside the temple’s ubosot (ordination hall), travelers have the opportunity to admire intricate murals, showcasing both artistic brilliance and holy narratives. These murals add to the temple’s cultural richness, inviting visitors to appreciate the beauty and symbolism woven into the temple’s interior.
Aside from its holy significance and cultural treasures, Wat Phra That Doi Leng’s elevated location atop a high hill grants visitors a remarkable advantage. The panoramic views from the temple offer breathtaking vistas of the picturesque landscapes surrounding Phrae Province. This captivating sight adds to the temple’s allure, creating an atmosphere of serenity and wonder that resonates with all who visit. For travelers seeking both holy connection and scenic beauty, Wat Phra That Doi Leng is an essential destination. The temple’s tranquil ambiance, the veneration of ancient relics, the captivating murals, and the awe-inspiring views all combine to create a truly memorable and enriching experience. As visitors ascend the hill to this holy site, they embark on a journey of holy contemplation and a deep appreciation for the natural wonders that grace the heart of Phrae Province.
Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkol Khiri Samakkhitham:
Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri, also known as Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkol Khiri Samakkhitham, is a remarkable temple located in Sai Yoi Subdistrict, Den Chai District, Phrae Province. Established in 1977, this temple is renowned for its exquisite collection of Lanna art, making it a prominent cultural gem in Thailand. As visitors approach the temple, they are greeted by a grand entrance adorned with a majestic lion statue, symbolizing strength and guardianship. This impressive statue sets the tone for the temple’s regal and artistic ambiance. Inside the temple complex, travelers are treated to the sight of more than 30 Lanna art pagodas, each showcasing intricate craftsmanship and design. Among these treasures stands a strikingly beautiful and large reclining Buddha image, reflecting the influences of Burmese Buddhist art. This impressive image stretches an impressive 85 meters in length, captivating all who behold its magnificence.
The temple’s interior is adorned with captivating murals that narrate the folk Jataka stories and depict the history of the Buddha. These murals serve as visual storytellers, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich religious heritage of the region. A true testament to the temple’s dedication to preserving Lanna culture can be found in its museum building. Entirely constructed of teak wood and featuring more than a hundred large pillars in the Lanna art style, this museum houses a collection of stories from Lanna’s past. Alongside this, the museum exhibits ancient utensils, providing a glimpse into the daily lives of Lanna’s ancestors. Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri presents a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the artistry and cultural richness of the Lanna region. The temple’s commitment to preserving and showcasing Lanna art and heritage makes it a must-visit destination for those seeking to connect with Thailand’s cultural tapestry. From its majestic lion statue to its stunning pagodas and magnificent reclining Buddha image, the temple offers a profound and enchanting experience for travelers seeking to explore the artistic and religious legacy of Phrae Province.
Wat Phong Sunan:
Wat Phong Sunan, nestled in Nai Wiang Sub District, Mueang Phrae District, is a captivating temple that houses several noteworthy religious and artistic treasures. As visitors approach the temple grounds, they are greeted by a magnificent and grand golden reclining Buddha, creating a majestic sight near the auspicious archway. Inside the temple’s ubosot, travelers can marvel at the revered and ancient Buddha image called “Phra Chao Saen Suk,” which boasts a history of over 500 years. The pagoda within the temple also contains sacred relics of Lord Buddha, adding to the temple’s sacred significance. One of the most intriguing attractions at Wat Phong Sunan is the “108 Phra That Chedi Wiharn Kaew.” This unique feature comprises a collection of 108 pagodas, beautifully encased within plexiglas balls, all positioned upside down. This artistic representation adds a touch of mystique to the temple and captivates visitors with its symbolic meaning.
Within the viharn, visitors will encounter the grand Buddha image named “Phra Saraswadee Prathanpon,” an enshrined figure that exudes serenity and grace. The viharn’s interior also features intricate murals depicting various Buddha images from Phrae province, as well as representations of different zodiac years, offering a glimpse into the rich sacred heritage of the region. Wat Phong Sunan’s blend of historical significance and artistic allure makes it a cherished destination for both locals and travelers seeking a deeper connection with Thailand’s cultural and religious heritage. The temple’s majestic golden reclining Buddha, the revered ancient Buddha image, and the enchanting “108 Phra That Chedi Wiharn Kaew” create an ambiance of reverence and wonder. As visitors explore this sacred haven in Phrae Province, they are sure to be inspired and moved by the timeless beauty and sacredness that permeates every corner of Wat Phong Sunan.
Khum Wong Buri:
Khum Wong Buri, also known as Ban Wong Buri, is a captivating pink ancient Thai house situated on Kham Lue Rd., Nai Wiang Subdistrict, Mueang Phrae District, Phrae Province. This unique house boasts a history of over 100 years, dating back to its construction in 1897 by Mae Chao Bua Tha, the first consort of Chao Luang Piriyathepwong, the last ruler of Phrae. Khum Wong Buri stands as a splendid example of Thai-Lanna architecture infused with European influences, showcasing a remarkable blend of styles. The impressive 2-story golden teak wood structure is a testament to traditional Thai craftsmanship. One striking feature that sets Khum Wong Buri apart is the construction technique, where wood engravings are inserted using tongue-and-groove joinery instead of using nails. Wooden wedges are employed to secure the structure, adding to the authenticity and uniqueness of the house. Originally, the roof was thatched with wooden pads, giving it an appearance of small stacked pieces of wood. Over time, the roof underwent changes, and it now features galvanized and tiled roofing. The exterior of the house is adorned with intricate stenciled wood patterns, reminiscent of the artistry popular during the reign of King Rama V. These patterns can be observed on gables, roof ridges, eaves, air vents above doors, windows, and balcony windows. The interior of the building boasts patterns of plants and vines, adding to the overall aesthetic charm.
The foundation of Khum Wong Buri is built with large, solid logs placed side by side before masonry, reinforced with mortar to enhance the building’s stability and strength. The house comprises three fascinating rooms: Chao Mae Bua Tha’s room, the living room, and the bedroom. Each room is adorned with various appliances, such as cabinets, beds, tables, chairs, dressing tables, cups, bowls, and silverware. Visitors can also marvel at the display of ancient weapons and ancient Buddha images dating back to the Chiang Saen and U-Thong periods. The walls are adorned with various old pictures, each telling a unique story about the rich history of this extraordinary house. Khum Wong Buri stands as a living testament to the cultural heritage and historical significance of Phrae Province. As travelers step into this splendid ancient Thai house, they are transported back in time to an era of grace, elegance, and intricate craftsmanship. The preservation of Khum Wong Buri serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of traditional Thai architecture and the cherished history of Phrae.
Khum Chao Luang:
Khum Chao Luang, an ancient house located on Khum Doem Alley, Nai Wiang Subdistrict, Mueang Phrae District, Phrae Province, stands as a cherished cultural gem with a history spanning over a century. This remarkable building is a testament to the exquisite architectural fusion of Thai Lanna and European styles. Built in 1892 by Chao Luang Piriyathepwong, the last ruler of Phrae, Khum Chao Luang exudes a timeless charm that has captivated the city of Phrae for generations. The two-story structure is constructed with bricks and mortar, eschewing piles and instead relying on solid wood logs to support the entire pillar base. The ingenious design features three rooms beneath the building, providing storage for belongings, money, and treasured possessions. The grandeur of Khum Chao Luang is evident in its graceful appearance, adorned with intricately carved fretwork and patterns. Stepping inside the building, one is instantly greeted by its spaciousness and luxurious ambiance. The house boasts an impressive 72 windows and doors, contributing to its airy and light-filled interior.
The shingle roofs, locally known as “Mai Pan Kled,” forego traditional gables in favor of a Pan-Yah style roof with a rectangular porch extending from the front of the building. This triangular porch roof adds a distinctive touch to the overall architectural splendor of Khum Chao Luang. An element of great artistic significance lies in the meticulously carved fretwork patterns adorning both the gables and eaves around the building. These masterful works of art were crafted by renowned Chinese craftsmen of the time, infusing the house with an intricate and captivating charm. Khum Chao Luang is more than just an architectural wonder; it stands as a symbol of Phrae’s rich cultural heritage and a testament to the skilled craftsmanship of the past. As visitors explore this venerable house, they are transported to a bygone era of elegance and grace, marveling at the harmonious blend of traditional Thai Lanna and European influences. The preservation of Khum Chao Luang serves as a living testament to the enduring legacy of Phrae’s architectural and cultural treasures, inviting all who visit to immerse themselves in its storied history and timeless beauty.
Ban Na Khu Ha Village:
Ban Na Khu Ha, nestled in the picturesque Suan Khuean Sub-district, Mueang Phrae District, Phrae Province, is a charming small village embraced by the beauty of a lush valley. The village offers a serene escape with an abundance of natural resources, providing visitors with fresh air and a pollution-free environment throughout the year. Its unique offerings of community-based tourism activities have earned it a reputation as one of Phrae Province’s renowned community tourist attractions. A noteworthy highlight of Ban Na Khu Ha Village is the enchanting Na Khu Ha Temple. This peaceful and quaint temple houses a principal Buddha image crafted in local Buddhist art, radiating a sense of beauty and distinctiveness. Surrounding the temple, visitors can behold the majestic sight of a large golden Buddha statue standing proudly amidst the verdant rice fields. An inviting bamboo bridge graces the middle of the rice fields, inviting visitors to take a leisurely stroll and savor the scenic vistas.
Beyond enjoying leisurely walks and admiring the village’s enchanting landscapes, tourists can immerse themselves in the art of tie-dye fabric making, using the locally produced Hom plant, which Ban Na Khu Ha Village is famous for in Phrae Province. Engaging in this craft offers visitors a chance to delve into the community’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. Ban Na Khu Ha’s community tourism activities and the scenic beauty it offers create an irresistible allure, drawing travelers seeking an authentic and tranquil experience. The village’s dedication to preserving its unique cultural practices and natural surroundings contributes to its charm and popularity as a sought-after destination in Phrae Province. A visit to Ban Na Khu Ha promises a journey of exploration, appreciation, and immersion into the rich tapestry of local traditions and the pristine allure of rural life.
Phae Mueang Phi:
Phae Mueang Phi, also known as Phae Mueang Phi Forest Park or Ghost Canyon, is a captivating natural wonder located in Nam Cham Subdistrict, Mueang Phrae District, Phrae Province, Thailand. This unique tourist attraction is formed by the natural erosion of soil and sandstone, resulting in an array of stunning and beautifully lined-up shapes. Designated as a forest park on March 4, 1981, Phae Mueang Phi covers an expansive area of over 100 rai. The park’s geological beauty is showcased through its magnificent cliffs and the peculiarly shaped clay pillars that grace its landscape. The fascinating geological formations in Phae Mueang Phi hold a captivating allure for visitors. The naturally eroded pillars and columns create a surreal and enchanting sight, leaving travelers in awe of nature’s artistic prowess. Each shape seems to tell its own unique story, adding to the mystique of this geological marvel.
For those seeking to explore the forest and immerse themselves in nature, Phae Mueang Phi Forest Park offers a well-designed nature trail. This trail provides an opportunity for general tourists to study and appreciate the geological features of the forest, further promoting knowledge and understanding about the unique condition of Phae Mueang Phi. Visiting Phae Mueang Phi provides an unforgettable experience, as travelers get to witness the extraordinary beauty that Mother Nature has sculpted over time. The park’s serene ambiance and the mesmerizing landscape of elegantly lined clay pillars offer a peaceful retreat for nature enthusiasts and explorers alike. Phae Mueang Phi Forest Park stands as a testament to the wondrous and awe-inspiring natural wonders that grace the landscapes of Thailand.
Tham Pha Nang Khoi Cave:
Pha Nang Khoi Cave, situated in Rong Kwang District, Phrae Province, is a captivating limestone cave that offers a unique and enchanting experience for visitors. The cave’s interior is adorned with colorful lights that beautifully reflect on the limestone walls and the water present on the cave floor. This interplay of lights creates a psychedelic and magical atmosphere, enhancing the overall beauty and mystery of the cave. Inside Pha Nang Khoi Cave, you’ll encounter various types of stalagmites and stalactites, each with its own unique shape and formation. The cave features shimmering rock flakes and long ridges that extend from the ceiling to the cave floor, contributing to its mesmerizing allure. At the cave’s conclusion, you’ll encounter a rock formation resembling a young woman holding a baby, locally known as Hin Nang Khoi. Beyond its geological wonders, Pha Nang Khoi Cave holds cultural significance with numerous stories passed down through generations. The cave serves as a repository of local legends and folklore, adding a layer of cultural heritage to its natural splendor. Exploring Pha Nang Khoi Cave provides a fascinating journey through northern Thailand’s rich cultural and geological tapestry. For enthusiasts of caves, legends, and natural wonders, Pha Nang Khoi Cave stands as a must-see attraction, inviting visitors to delve into its mysteries and appreciate the beauty it holds.