Phrae is the town of the famous Cho Hae Buddha’s relics and Phae Muang Phi, the site of Muang Song, as mentioned in the literature ‘Lilit Phra Lo’. It has an overall area of 6,538.6 square kilometers and is located 551 kms. from Bangkok. It is administratively divided into 8 Amphoes: Muang, Rong Kwang, Long, Wang Chin, Song, Sung Men, Den Chai and Nong Muang Kai.
What to see and what to do in Phrae?
Wat Phra That Chom Chaeng is 3 kms beyond Phra That Cho Hae in Tambon Pa Daeng about 10 kms. from the city. The Wat is believed to be a shrine where Buddha’s hair is kept. There is also a museum where various kinds of rare artifacts are displayed.
Wat Luang, Wat Phra Non and Wat Phra Non are located in Soi 1 on Kam Lu Road. Wat Luang is one of the oldest Wats believed to be the same age as the city of Phrae. The significant properties in this Wat include Phra That Luang Chai Chang Kham, a chedi of Chiang Saen style, Phra Chao Saen Luang , a Buddha image, and a museum where Phrae’s antiques are collected. On Phra Non Nua Road near Wat Luang is Wat Phra Non where there is a Vihan (an image hall) with a beautifully carved pediment in Lanna Thai designs.
Wat Chom Sawan is located about one kilometer from the provincial hall on Yantrakitkoson Road in Tambon Thung Kwao. This monastery in Thai Yai style of the Burmese is constructed of wood. The building was used as the bat, vihara and monk residence at the same time. Inner decorations are elaborate carved wood inlaid with colorful glass. Art objects of the monastery include Luang Pho San, a bamboo-woven figure primed with black lacquer, an ivory image of Buddha covered with gold leaves in the Burmese artistic style, an ivory scripture in Burmese letters and a spire housing a marble image of Buddha .
Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang Worawihan is located on Charoen Muang Road near the provincial hall. This monastery was built at the beginning of Rattanakosin Period and has housed Phra Phutthakosai Sirichai Mahasakayamuni (a Buddha image of Phrae), a replica of the Buddha’s footprint and Phra Chedi Ming Muang (an old pagoda).
Tin Chok Cloth Weaving Villages The Tin Chok cloth of Amphoe Long is woven elaborately and beautifully with cotton and silk. Ban Na Tum, Ban Hua Thung and Ban Na Mon are the three villages producing this special kind of cloth.
Phrathat Phra Lo pagoda is believed to be the place where ashes and bones left over after the cremation of Phra Lo and Ladies Phuan and Phaeng (as mentioned in “Lilit Phra Lo”) are housed . It is located in Amphoe Song on the road linking Rong Kwang and Ngao.
Mae Yom National Park 70 Kms. from town, occupies the areas in Phrae’s Amphoe Song and Lampang’s Amphoe Ngao. From Amphoe Song, travel along the (old) route Song -Ngao for about 20 kms. Located in front of the park office is Kaeng Sua Ten Rapids . Further from the park office, there are Dong Sak Ngam , a teak forest (6 kms.) and Lom Dong, a large pool (10 km.) Since accommodation is not provided, tourists should bring tents for an overnight stay.
Phae Muang Phi Forest Park is located approximately 18 kms. from town, branching off at Km. 12 of Phrae-Rong Kwang Road for another 6 kms. on an access road to reach it. Within the area, there are strange looking earthen pillars derived by soil erosion. This area was originally a large shrubbed area (which in Thai means Phae or Pa Phae or the shrub) where villagers oftenly lost their way thus inspiring them to call the area Phae Muang Phi (the shrub or ghost community).
Tat Mok Waterfall, also called Mae Khoi Waterfall, is located in Tambon Suan Khuan, Amphoe Muang approximately 22 kms. from the provincial township area. It is a large three-leveled waterfall.
Tham Pha Nang Khoi is located in Amphoe Rong Kwang with a length of 200 meters naturally decorated with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.
Huai Rong Waterfall, a large three-leveled waterfall, like Tat Mok Waterfall, is located in Amphoe Rong Kwang on Phrae – Nan Highway, 80 kms. from the town.
Phrathat Cho Hae is located at Tambon Pa Daeng, 9 kms. from Phrae town. It is coated with thin Dok Buab gold sheet, having the height of 33 meters, width of each side of the base of 10 meters. The name Cho Hae is derived from a grade of satin, woven from Sib Song Panna Kingdom, wrapped around the pagoda by the villagers as an offering. An annual fair worshipping the pagoda takes place on the middle of the fourth lunar month of every year.
Wiang Ko Sai National Park in Amphoe Long and Wang Chin is 79 kms. from town. Travel along Highway No.101, turn right at Km.10 after passing through Amphoe Den Chai, turn right on Highway No. 11 for 40 kms. and turn left for another 13 kms. on the route to Amphoe Wang Chin to reach the park. There are several waterfalls and a hot water well with a temperature of 80 C. Accommodations are available, contact the National Parks Division, Royal Forestry Department, Tel. 579-0529, 579-4842.