However, this laidback, provincial capital on the banks of the Yom River has an attractive old town and a reputation for being one of the friendliest cities in Thailand. The old town is surrounded by a wall, leading to an obvious comparison with Chiang Mai, and has some interesting architecture to explore.
Phrae was at the centre of Thailand’s teak industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, and its sleepy alleyways are lined with traditional teak mansions and a number of attractive temples.
In the surrounding province, there are picturesque paddy-filled valleys and lush, forested mountains with abundant natural attractions for visitors to explore. These protected forests are ideal for trekking and spotting rare Thai wildlife, and the hill tribes and nearby villages contribute to the region’s rich tradition of handicrafts and textiles.