Few tourists visit Phrae in Northern Thailand but those who do are well rewarded with exquisite old temples in the northern Lanna Thai style as well as beautiful teak houses dating from the nineteenth century. Phrae is a small quiet town where life moves slowly, a world away from Bangkok or even Chiang Mai which is just 140km away. So it is hard to imagine that this was once the location of one of the most serious insurrections that has ever occurred in Northern Thailand. This insurrection is today remembered as the Shan Rebellion and it began on 25th July 1902.
Located just 15km from the northern city of Lampang is one of Thailand's oldest living temple complexes with some of the best preserved examples of early Lanna architecture in the country and many fascinating cultural artifacts.
In the mid-nineteenth century growing European influence in Siam resulted in a new style of architecture for wealthy families called "gingerbread". One hundred years later many of these old homes are being restored to their former glory.
As any visitor to Thailand quickly discovers, this country has a deep culture and history replete with miraculous tales of heroic deeds. Quite a few of these tales involve strong women who through bravery and sometimes a bit of powerful magic overcome adversaries and save the people from certain destruction.