PHRAE ATTRACTIONS Phrae town, situated on the Yom River, is an old community, founded slightly after Chiang Mai, and retains much of its traditional charac- ter, with quiet streets and a number of old teak houses. after Chiang Mai, and retains much of its traditional character, with quiet streets and a number of old teak houses. Cultural influences blend Lanna, Burmese and Lao styles. Principal interests are both cultural and scenic.
Most likely dating from the founding of Phrae, Wat Luang is a venerable temple of considerable interest, especially in its large Chiang Saen-style chedi, its image hall and a museum housing several antique Buddha images
WAT PHRA NON
Located west of Wat Luang, near the site of the old city walls,Wat Phra Non dates back some 300 years and enshrines a 9-metre-long image of the reclining Buddha. The temple buildings are excellent examples of Lanna architecture, with impressive roofs and fretted eaves.
WAT PHRA BAT MING MUEANG
Located on Charoen Nakhon Road, near the townhall, Wat
Phra Bat Ming Mueang was built in 1955 by combining two ancient temples. There is an old chedi containing a replica of the Buddha’s footprint.
THE CITY PILLA SHRINE
Situated on Khun Doem Road in the town centre, the city pillar shrine features an inscription from the Sukhothai period describ- ing the building of a temple in the town.
WAT CHON SAWAN
One kilometre from the town hall, on Yantrakit Koson Road, Wat Chom Sawan is an even more impressive Burmese-styletemple, characterised by multi-tiered roofs, fine fretwork
and elaborately decorated interiors. Antique Buddha images enshrined here include a marble statue and another made from woven bamboo covered in lacquer.
WAT SA BO KAEO
Located on Nam Khu Road, next to the city moat, this temple is distinguished by its Burmese-style architectural features.
WAT PHRATHAT CHO HAE
This major religious site is located about kilometres east of town along Highway 1022. The Sukhothai-period temple isfamous for its 33-metre-high Chiang Saen-style chedi, built ofbricks and covered with bright brass sheets. The name refers toa fine silk cloth woven in Xishuangbanna (in China’s Yunnanprovince), which was used to wrap around the chedi when thetemple was first constructed. Enshrined in the temple is therevered Buddha image of Phra Chao Than Chai.
WAT PHRATHAT CHON CHAENG
Standing 3 kilometres from Wat Phrathat Cho Hae, this temple,built in , has a 29-metre-tall golden chedi, which enshrines a holy relic. There is also a museum of rare ancient relics.
BAN THUNG HONG
About 4 kilometres from town along Highway 101 is BanThung Hong, a village noted for the making of products, espe- cially farmers’ shirts, from mo hom, a local cotton fabric dyed a distinctive blue colour.
PHAE MUEANG PHI FOREST PARK
Located 12 kilometres out of town along Highway 101 and a further kilometres after a right turn, Phae Mueang Phi literally means “Ghost Land”, the name derived from the weird geologi- cal phenomenon found here. The area is treeless, and subsid- ence and erosion have created a landscape of strange rock and soil formations in the shape of pillars and what look like exotic mushrooms.
BAN FAI FOLKLORE MUSEUM
Situated in the same compound as Ban Fai garden restaurant,
3 kilometres from town on the Phrae-Sung Men Road, themuseum comprises several wooden buildings with exhibits ex- emplifying local lifestyles, shophouses and a traditional market.
HUA DONG MARKET
About 9 kilometres south of town on Highway 101, Hua Dong Market is a centre for furniture and home decorative items made from wood and rattan.
WAT PHRA LUANG
About 700 metres off Highway 101 at Ban Hua Dong is Wat Phra Luang, featuring a Sukhothai-period chedi, known locally as “ That Noeng” or “ leaning chedi”.
FABRIC WEAVING VILLAGE
Long district, some 45 kilometres from the provincial town on Highway No. 1023, is the site of a centuries-old com- munity. The local people are skilled in the craft of weaving, both silk and cotton. The art of making the tin chok fabric, in particular, has been handed down from generation to genera- tion. Its design has been developed to appeal to modern tastes, although the original method has been retained. A fair celebrating the fabric is held annually in the Long district around November.
WIANG KOSAI NATIONAL PARK
The Wiang Kosai National Park is about 70 kilometres from the provincial town in Wang Chin district. It can be reached by taking Highway No. 11 (Phrae-Lampang). Then take a left turn toward Wang Chin district and continue for a further 13 kilometres to reach the turn to the park headquarters. Afurther 1.5 kilometres on are two waterfalls, the Mae Koeng Luang, one kilometre from the headquarters, while the Mae Koeng Noi is 2 kilometres further. Streams from the fallsflow into the Yom River.
MAE YOM NATIONAL PARK
Located in Song district, 48 kilometres from town, Mae YomNational Park covers mountainous terrain, where teak forests are probably the densest in the country. Along the Yom River, in front of the camping site, is a 2-kilometre stretch of rapids, best visited during November-February when the weather is cool and the scenery at its loveliest.
PHRAE SPECIAL EVENTS
PHRATHAT CHO HAE FAIR
This temple fair features a Lanna-style procession in which the people, dressed in traditional costume, carry robes with which to cover the temple’s chedi.
KIM SALAK FAIR
Held in September, this is an old Buddhist merit-making cel- ebration in which villagers prepare offerings and carry them in a procession to present to monks.