If you’ve ever been to Thailand, it was probably Bangkok and then an island beach, right? Or maybe you got up to Chiang Mai, but we bet you never made it as far as Phrae! The province of Phrae (pronounced Preh), up in northern Thailand, is one of its least explored and most beautiful areas. The provincial capital – confusingly also called Phrae – was historically called “Wiang Kosai”, roughly translating as “high quality silk cloth”. It’s the inspiration for our name – Thai Kosai.
There isn’t much in Phrae by way of tourist attractions, aside from the large temple at Phra Tat Cho Hae and, if you can find them, some remote hill tribes. The province is known for its teak wood, found everywhere in northern temples, houses and mansions (many built by European teak traders). We wanted to replicate some of that ‘teak wood’ feel in Thai Kosai but teak is endangered – Thailand has a nationwide logging ban – so we limited ourselves to second hand pieces!
Happily the Wiang Kosai title survives today as the name of a beautiful, mountainous national park straddling Phrae and Lampang provinces and covering 410 square kilometres. Two huge waterfalls – Mae Koeng Luang and Mae Koeng Noi, pictured above – cascade through the park.
We hope a massage in London at Thai Kosai will leave you as relaxed as a visit to Wiang Kosai!