Holiday happenings

Khum Chao Luang.

If you haven't decided where to go for the upcoming holidays, maybe you should consider Phrae.

The northern province, a little more than an hour's flight from Bangkok, will be hosting some big events next month; here are two that might interest you.

Phrae Craft 2019

Taking place at Phrae Community College from Dec 6 until 8, the event is designed to showcase local wisdom and culture through a variety of creative handicrafts and other products. Every evening, from 4-9pm, apart from sales of local delicacies and numerous handmade goods, there will be discussions on related topics, live musical performances and fashion shows featuring works by local designers using traditional materials.

Since there will be some cool spots prepared for photo shoots, it is recommended that fair-goers come dressed in folk costume ready for the cameras. Also, bring cups, baskets or reusable bags to help minimise the need for plastics.

Phrae Muang Kao 1,191 Pi

Scheduled from Dec 28 until Jan 1 at various locations in Phrae's old town, the grand event will mark the 1,191st anniversary of the city's establishment. At Khum Chao Luang, the residence of Phrae's former ruler over a century ago and one of the four major venues, there will be light-and-sound performances recounting Phrae's history, a singing contest and fashion shows.

At Kad Sam Wai, activities include painting the city's old days, cultural shows by students from local schools, live performances of traditional northern music, and demonstrations of cloth weaving and writing in the Lanna alphabet.

The Pracharat Pithak Pa institute (formerly Phrae Forestry School) will feature exhibitions on the province's logging history, sale of wood furniture and other products, and elephant shows, among much else. And at Khuang Pratu Chai (Victory Gate Square), there will be cultural performances by ethnic groups and other activities. But the highlights, of course, will be the New Year countdown and merit-making the following morning, the first day of 2020.

Every evening throughout the five-day celebration, roads linking these main venues will be teeming with street food and local products, from traditional fabrics to farm produce.

For more information about these and other events taking place in Phrae during the next few weeks, call the local office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand at 054-521-127 or visit the TAT Phrae page on Facebook.

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