The Fabulous Eastern Lanna Phrae and Nan

| March 4, 2016

Eastern Lanna – another part of the ancient Lanna Kingdom. is a land frozen in time. concealed in pristine nature and rich in cultural heritage. You will be dazzled by temples and mansions and charmed by the simple lifestyle of residents who adhere strictly to customs and traditions handed down through generations. Such a living museum of lost civilization exists in the eastern part of Lanna. especially in Phrae and Nan. the twin cities on the tour route that will remain vivid in your mind forever.
Lying just 551 kilometers from Bangkok, Phrae can be reached in 7-8 hours. Use highway 32 to Nakhon Sawan and turn into Highway 117 to Phitsanulok. From there take Highway 11 to Den Chai District, the gateway into Phrae, with Highway 101 leading to the city, just 24 kilometers ahead. The route is convenient for all types of vehicles, family cars, 2 – wheel or 4 – wheel drive cars. Phrae was a major teakwood station, with a specialized woodworking.the school was known as Phrae Forestry School. Fine teak mansions and temples are found all over the city, a feast to the eyes of architecture buffs.
Khum Chao Luang, on Khum Doem Road, was the residence of the former ruler of Phrae, Chao Luang Piriyachaithepwong, built 113 years ago. It is presently the residence of the Governor of Phrae. The mansion won the Distinguished Architecture Award of 1997. The mansion not only features fine woodworking but also elaborates carvings on windbreakers and finals of the gables. It can be admired from outside. For a group visit inside the house, permission has to be obtained in advance.

Wong Buri House on Kham Lue Road, next to Wat Pongsunan not far from Khum Chao Luang was the residence of Chao Phraom and Chao Sunanta, built in 1907, 98 years ago. It is a teak house in modified European style, with elaborate carvings at the gables, the finals, the verandah, and the apertures, including the windows and doors. Old furniture and household items are displayed inside. The mansion won the Distinguished Conservation Award of the year 1993 from the Association of Siamese Architects.
Besides, there is another impressive teak house with 130 posts, all elaborately carved It houses antiques, and a souvenir shop, and open to visitors with the admission charge. There are also fine teak houses in residential areas all over the city.
Phrae also boasts numerous beautiful temples. Foremost among them is Wat Phra That Cho Hae in Cho Hae Sub-District, about 9 kilometers from the city, on Highway 1022. The pagoda of the holy relics of Cho Hae is highly venerated by the people of Lanna, with the holy relics deemed as the object of worship for people born in the year of the tiger. The pagoda glitters against the horizon in the evening. Other temples worth a visit in the city include Wat Luang, where the significant Buddha images, Phra Chao Saen Luang and Phra Chao Saen Dong are enshrined, Wat Phra Non, with the huge reclining Buddha, and Wat Phra Bat Ming Muang, featuring a teak temple hall in Burmese architectural style, with tiered roof, and elaborate patterns on the ceiling.

Once in Phrae, the next destination for the tour of Eastern Lanna has to be Nan, the City of Black Elephant Tusks, with a lot to discover. Phrae and Nan are only 118 kilometers apart. However, the road linking the two cities is winding and takes no less than 2 hours to traveL
In Nan, the foremost site to visit is Wat Phumin, with exquisite murals in the prayer hall and the four-sided temple hall, depicting Jataka stories and folk life of the Tai Lue, the original inhabitants of Nan. Such fine murals can also be found at Wat Nang Bua in Tha Wang Pha District. At the back of the temple is a Tai Lue community with their treasured heritage of hand-woven textile in flowing water pattern, famous and sought after as a souvenir from Nan.
Another significant temple is Wat Phra Borommathat Chae Haeng, with the name corresponding with Phra That Cho Hae in Phrae. The holy relics is highly venerated and regarded as the object of worship for those born in the year of the hare. To reach the temple, cross the bridge over the Nan River and follow Highway 1168 (Nan-Mae Charim) for about 3 kilometers.

Other temples in Nan worth visiting are Wat Phra That Chang Kham Worawihan, with the lotus-bud pagoda surrounded by 24 elephant figures in brick and stucco, Wat Phaya Wat, where Phra Chao Fen Saen Ha is enshrined, with a laterite stupa of the time of Queen Chama Devi and Wat Suan Tan, the site of Phra Chao Thong Thip, a bronze Buddha image in the posture of subduing the Mara, aged 556 years.
After visiting temples, it is advisable to tour the museum, or at least to view the Black Elephant Tusks, the true curiosity of Nan. If your visit coincides with the high tide in October, the grand annual festival of Nan is the Long Boat Race over the Nan River, distinctive with the boats decorated with animal figureheads such as the Great Serpent, or the Naga.

Phrae - Nan Map Thailand

Phrae – Nan Map Thailand

Category: Nan, Phrae