Phrae & Phayao highlights with son.

DavidFL

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Phrae - Phayao Attractions

The new outstanding gingerbread pizza company house had opened in Phrae & as my son Jason had never spent a night in Phrae I thought why not hook up in Phrae for the night.
Jason rode his Aerox 155 down R 11 from Chiang Mai, & the old GTR fellah basically rode down R1 / R103 to Phrae.
The Amornrak 2 hotel was our rendezvous spot & Jason got thee 30 minutes before me.
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The Amornrak is the current top value GTR accommodation in Phrae.

The Gingerbread Pizza company house was our destination for the night,
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Owned by a Phrae businessman wanting to promote Phrae city & its old gingerbread style colonial houses.
They've done a fantastic job & will make money with the building as a tourist attraction.

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The building used to look like this.

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The building has been beautifully reconstructed & is a gem inside.
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Sadly the food does not live up to the high standard of the beautiful building.
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Fortunately too, Jason erred ordering a pizza & we only got a small one, so were able to escape early & headed to an old GTR favourite, the T-Bone Steak House.
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The T-Bone steak house was not busy.
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So we enjoyed a quiet meal, chatting as father & son.
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Phrae is undergoing a mini boom with the recognition of their gingerbread houses.

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The Gingerbread Cafe / Art Gallery & Hotel is a popular place with a damn nice breakfast. Dont miss it when you're in Phrae.
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They have some interesting enjoyable brekky dishes too.
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The gingerbread houses in Phrae stem from colonial times when Phrae was the centre of the teak logging industry in North Thailand.
The houses were built for the foreign bosses of the teak companies and the Phrae noblemen.

See also

The number one gingerbread house in Phrae at the moment is the old office of the old Bombay Burmah Trading Company.
The original house built on the banks of the Yom river 120 years ago was demolished by the Phrae Foresty Department in a "misunderstanding" in June 2020.

The original house
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The demolished version in June 2020.
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Needless to say there was outrage & a replica of the house is being built.
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It should be finished very soon, a month or two.

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See also

Phrae people are often considered rebellious, In the early days, Phrae has often caught in the middle of territorial disputes between powerful Sukhothai, Phayao and Chiang Mai or the Siam and European rulers, and then even between the Allies and Japanese during World War II.
Some of the buildings in Phrae reflect this history.

An incredible story of gems & the Shan rebellion

More to come.
 
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DavidFL

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Únlike the old GTR fellah, temples & historical stuff don''t feature much on Jason's favourites, so it was a quick whizz around Phrae city for a few cameo pics.

Wat Sa Bo Kaeo
Undergoing some renovations.
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Wat Chom Sawan
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Wat Sawan Niwet
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Khum Chao Luang
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The ex Phrae goverenor's residence. Built in 1893 by Chao Luang Piriyathepawong.
The building is now a museum. The basement used to serve as a prison for serious offenders & has an interesting display of detention & punishment, that included decapitation. Check it out sometime. It is well worthy of a look.

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Wat Phong Sunan
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Slope Coffee
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A ramshackle old building popular as a coffeshop & an instagram destination.
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Well recommended for a cuppa & stop in Phrae. The place is a gem of an old building.

For more Phrae attractions & history info see
 
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DavidFL

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Finished with Phrae, Jason changed his mind about returning to Chiang Mai the direct way via R11, but to accompany the old man to Phayao first then Cnx. The reason being he loved R120 too much - a biker's logic, there's always a better road to ride.

R103 was it then & IMHO it is one of the most dangerous roads in the North, simply because of the 10 kms narrow winding mountain crossing, that is still "the old road" & not widend into a regular fast 4-lane dual carriageway yet.

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I reckon I see an accident in that amazing 10 kms section every time I take 103.
And today was no exception again - another container trailer truck has lost it.

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It would just be the luck of the game to get involved with one of these accidents as your riding through, and my policy riding 103 through the twisties over the mountain is to pass everyone as soon as possible. Don't ride in that traffic.
I'd warned Jason about the dangers of riding 103 before e left Phrae, & I'm sure witnessing this accident, which had just happened got his attention & gave him a jolt!

1.30PM we hit Phayao, both as hungry as a horse, or two.
Looking for a favourite khao soi spot, and relying on my fading memory, ended up at the wrong one.
Enter the Suk Tae & what a fabulous little restaurant this one is. Huge servings - a massive khao soi for me & a fried rice for Jason. Neither of us could stop smiling.

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And the verdict for me was this was the best khao soi in Phayao, surpassing my previous favourite, that was at Pa Jit Khao Soi, 1 block & 20 metres away. We were well pleased with the error of my navigation.


Lunch done & Jason heads off home to Chiang Mai on his favourite road R120. On R120, riding down hill on his Aerox 15 he always gets away from me & I must admit have trouble closing the gap riding the heavier Vsrom 650. 55

In Phayao, the old GTR fellah checks into his fave place of stay in Phayao, Rachawong place.
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I don't always get to stay at the Rachawong, as it is an apartment block with rooms for rent on a weekly or monthly basis.
I'm also sure they have rooms for ret on a nightly basis, but the elderly caretakers can't be too bothered in cleaning too many rooms on a daily basis. This time however I expected to stay a few days, whilst waiting for the new paint job on the Vstrom.

5 days minimum was the agreed period of stay & I was in. The room rate was 550 baht a night.

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The beauty of the Rachwaong for me is the location, the quietness - I seldom saw or heard any other guests in the time I was there; the aircon is whisper quiet, the bathroom is spacious enough, plus get a ground floor room & it is simple access straight into your room.

The 5-night stay in Phayao ended up being 10-nights for the paint job, after the original 5-7 day quote.
Had I known I would have gone home to Chiang Khong for a week & returned, but as it was I kept getting quote only 2 more days, so not worth going home for I thought.
The lengthy stay in Phayao enabled me the time to trundle around on two feet & confirm the charm that the city really has, especially as a provincial capital.
Now when I first move from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong, Phayao was one of the towns I considered moving to, & after an extended stay there I can confirm it is right up as number 3 now, after Chiang Khong # 1 & Chiang Saen # 2. After 6 years in Chiang Khong I am still intoxicated by the charm of the Mekong river, with Chiang Saen #2 as a place to retire to & Phayao is number 3. The deciding factor, being the moderating affect & calmness of the water in both places - the Mekong River & the Phayao lake.

Staying at the Rachawong I discovered some fabulous dining highlights in the immediate area close to the apartment.
Some real little cheap gems & wonderful friendly people.

# 1 the harmony cafe on the corner right by Rachawong.
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50 metres from the Rachawong: Harmony in Town · à¹à¸§à¸µà¸¢à¸ 5V9X+7FV à¸à¸à¸à¸£à¸²à¸à¸§à¸à¸¨à¹ à¸à¸³à¸à¸¥ à¹à¸§à¸µà¸¢à¸ à¸à¸³à¹à¸ à¸à¹à¸¡à¸·à¸à¸à¸à¸°à¹à¸¢à¸² à¹à¸¡à¸·à¸à¸ Phayao 56000, Thailand


The delightful Nithan Baan Tonmai in the front garden of a magnificent 100 year old house.
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Serving home made ice cream & other cheap value for money dishes.
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200 metres from the Rachawong: Nithanbaantonmai · 5V8X+P9W, Wiang, Mueang Phayao District, Phayao 56000, Thailand


The fantastic Suk Tae with huge servings of food
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300 metres from the Rachawong: สุà¸à¹à¸à¹ à¸à¹à¸²à¸§à¸à¸à¸¢à¸ªà¸¸à¸à¹à¸à¹ à¸à¸¸à¹à¸à¹à¸¡à¹à¸à¹à¸³à¸¢à¸±à¸à¸©à¹à¹à¸à¸² à¸à¸²à¸«à¸²à¸£à¸à¸°à¹à¸¥à¸à¸°à¹à¸¢à¸² · 62 1 Thakwan Rd, Wiang, Mueang Phayao District, Phayao 56000, Thailand

The excellent aircon Punthai Coffee was a favourite for brekky & a chilled view of the Phayao lake.
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If you're ever going to Phayao it is a perfect rendezvous spot on the lake.
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For happy hour at dusk, you can;t beat the new Phuen Rooftop bar
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Cheap, cheerful & breezy.
800 metres from the Rachawong: Pheun Rooftop View · 12 4 Chaykwan Rd, Wiang, Mueang Phayao District, Phayao 56000, Thailand

Three live music spots lakeside & within walking of the Ratchawong were

Saeng Chan
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A large open air restaurant with live music.
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You can see the sunset from here.
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500 metres from the Rachawong: Saengchan Restaurant Phayao · 17/4 à¸.ริมà¸à¸§à¹à¸²à¸, Wiang, Mueang Phayao District, Phayao 56000, Thailand

# 2 Ai Wa Guan Phayao.
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A large open air restaurant with live music.
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700 metres from Rachawong Place: Ai Wa Guan Phayao · 43 Chaykwan Rd, Wiang, Mueang Phayao District, Phayao 56000, Thailand


#3 O-Bar & my favourite pub in Phayao.
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A good selection of liquor & nice cocktails.
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Super friendly owner & musician.
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500 metres from Rachawong Place: à¹à¸à¸à¸²à¸£à¹ X ฤà¸à¸©à¹à¸à¸µà¹à¸®à¸¡à¸ªà¹à¸à¸¢à¹ · 53/5 à¹à¸§à¸µà¸¢à¸ à¹à¸¡à¸·à¸à¸ Phayao 56000, Thailand
 
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