The Khum Chao Luang in Phrae is a teak mansion built in 1892 as the residence of the Chao Luang, who was the last ancestral ruler of Phrae.
The Khum Chao Luang has been turned into a museum which is open every day from 08:30 to 17:00 and entrance is free.
About Khum Chao Luang
Phrae, like neighbouring Chiang Mai, has had its own ruler for long periods in its history. Phrae Province is a small province in the North of Thailand which struggled to remain independent from neighbouring powers such as the Lanna Kingdom, the Burmese, the Lane Xan Kingdom of Laos and the Thai Kingdoms of the Central Province. The era when Phrae had its own royal family came to an end in 1902 when the Chao Luang (Lord of Phrae) fled the province and went into exile in Luang Prabang to avoid capture by Burmese invaders. The Khum Chao Luang Museum is the best reminder of this past era of independence for the province of Phrae and a fascinating insight into life in Phrae more than 100 years ago.
The Khum Chao Luang is an impressive large house made out of teak, with a design blending European architecture with Asian architecture. At the time of construction Phrae was one of the main centres of the international teak trade with the hills around the town covered in these valuable trees. The Lord of Phrae was clearly a very wealthy man who lived literally like royalty with servants and his own personal army.
The first floor of the Khum Chao Luang is taken up with the dining and receptions areas. The rooms contain a wide range of original period artefacts including the crockery set used for formal dinners.
The pantry and some other smaller rooms in the downstairs of the Khum Chao Luang are now used to house display cabinets and lots of photographs from the time. Clothes, guns and the tools used in the teak industry at the end of the 19th Century are on display, as well pictures of the family and their servants and soldiers at the house.
The upstairs of the Khum Chao Luang is the family living space. As you ascend the stairs you come to an airy seating area, off which are the bedrooms.
The Chao Luang has the grandest bedroom with a four poster bed and wardrobes for his clothes.
The wife of the Chao Luang, and her children, has a separate sleeping area displaying some of the clothes the Lord’s wife wore, which were famous at the time for their quality and elegance.
Location Khum Chao Luang
- Khum Chao Luang is located 1.7 km walking distance from Phrae Bus Station.