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Laplae

By Athena

 

Laplae District
A Tranquil Hidden City

Laplae is a tranquil district in Uttaradit province (491 km. to the north of Bangkok), situated about 9 km. from the provincial town. The word "Laplae" means a hidden place. According to Somdej Krom Phraya Damrong Rachanuphap, a famous historian in the reign of King Rama V, the name of the district came fromthe fact that formerly the citizens of Phrae and Nan cities had escaped enemies and hid themselves in this town. It was a perfect hiding place as it was situated amid the green valleys and covered with dense forest. Local people said that in the past there were some men going into the forest in Laplae and then disappeared without a trace. This might be the origin of its mysterious legend that this town was a town of widows. (Read about the legend on p. 64.)


Laplae has long been famous for its fertile land for farming. It is a source of delicious fruits such as langsat and durian. The langsat of Laplae is the best known for its soft flesh and delicate sweet flavour. As for the durian, "long laplae" is reputable for its special features of having thick, smooth and sweet flesh with smaller seeds and a fainter smell than other kinds of durian, making them the most expensive amongst durians in Thailand.


Edible Mountain in Laplae


There is a mountain in this district located in Mae Phun Sub-district which is called by the local, "Phukhao Kin Dai (ҡԹ)" or the "Edible Mountain". It is deemed a magical mountain by locals, as fruit trees there can grow well naturally without fertilizer or being watered by man. Nature looks after all the plants there and when the harvest season arrives, locals just go there and collect the crops. Major types of fruits grown on this mountain are durian, longkong, langsat and mangosteen. Besides there are also various kinds of vegetables and herbs which provide abundant food sources for the locals.


As the "Edible Mountain" is comprised of mixedorchards, local people also use the site for an agro-tourism attraction. Trips are organized for visitors to closely explore the various types of orchards. The villagers also have a particular technique for transporting fruits across the hill by sliding baskets of fruit along a sling of steel rope down the mountain to save time and labour.


The Laplae Durian and Fruit Festival


This festival is held annually around early June in the sub-district of Hua Dong. The event provides visitors, especially durian lovers, with an opportunity to taste and shop a great variety of fresh durian and other local fruits, and processed fruits.



The locals wear clothes made of
tinchok fabric in ceremonies

Highlights include the durian contest, fruit procession contest and Miss Durian beauty pageant. The visitors will also have a good chance to taste various kinds of food made of durian, such as durian in syrup, durian cake and durian somtam.
Attractions in Laplae

Wat Phrataen Sila-at Located in Thungyang sub-district about 14 km. away from the provincial town. The outstanding feature of the temple is an ancient altar (phrataen) which is a rectangular laterite stone with a width of 8 feet, a length of 10 feet and a height of 3 feet. Its base is decorated with a lotus petal pattern. It is assumed to have been built in the Sukhothai period. Inside the vihara there are many Sukhothai period Buddha Images. The door of the vihara is made of wood very beautifully carved.

Wat Phra Borommathat Thungyang is located in Thungyang sub-district. The temple features an old round Chedi built in Ceylon style.Mural paintings in the vihara are believed to have been painted in the Ayutthaya period. And every year on the 8th day of the 6th waning moon, a simulated cremation ceremony for the Lord Buddha's Dead Body will be held magnificently to the accompaniment of many traditional performances and music.


Wat Donsak This temple was built around the end of Ayutthaya period. It was delicately built in Chiangsaen and Sukhothai style architecture. The old vihara features three-level roofs made of baked clay tiles, while the door is intricate wood fretwork in Kanok, Theppanom and other Thai-style patterns. The eaves are also woodcarvings with a naga motif.

Phra
Sriphanommas Monument The statue of Phra Sriphanommas stands elegantly at Laplae market intersection. It was built by local people of Uttaradit province as a sign of gratitude and respect to Phra Sriphanommas, a liquor tax collector in the reign of King Rama V who brought prosperity and development to the city in many ways. Due to his tremendous virtues, in B.E. 2451, the king appointed him as the first District Officer of Laplae district with the title of "Phra Sriphanommas".

Mae Phun Waterfall is located at Ban Tonkluea, Mae Phun Sub-district. It is a multi leveled high waterfall which was built from concrete at the former creek. It is surrounded by lush forest. It is a tourist spot with easy access to the town.

Souvenirs and Local Products

Laplae offers a variety of souvenirs and local products for visitors. Major products are such as handicrafts, wickerwork, brooms, handwoven fabrics, tinchok fabric which features a unique design, etc. There are also a variety of processed fruit products, for example, crispy durian, durian paste, langsat wine, langsat jam, etc.


The locals wear clothes made of
tinchok fabric in ceremonies

Laplae Delicacies

There is a unique food of this district that all visitors should have a try. It is called Khao Khaep (᤺) and is made from rice flour mixed with water and made into thin sheets and dried. It can be made into a variety of delicious food such as Khao Khaep Mi Phan (᤺ѹ) (cooked rice noodles stuffed in Khao Khaep), Khao Khaep in sushi style and Khao Phan Phak (Ǿѹѡ) (cooked Khao Khaep flour stuffed with mixed vegetables, minced pork and jelly noodles).


Khao Phan Phak, a popular local food

If you are one of those who prefer the quiet peaceful countryside and slow rhythm of rural life, Laplae is definitely an ideal place for you. The simple rural charm of Laplae will make your holiday truly a relaxing and memorable one in your life.

How to get there

To Uttaradit: From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1, then go to Highway 32, passing Ayutthaya, Ang Thong, Sing Buri, Chainat and Nakhon Sawan. Then take Highway 11 to Phitsanulok and Uttaradit. The total distance is 491 km.
To Laplae district: From Uttaradit provincial town, take Highway No. 102, then turn right to Highway 1041. The distance is 8 km.

• For more information, please contact TAT Phrae Office,
tel. 0 5452 1118-9, 0 5452 1127
• Special thanks to TAT Phrae Office for arranging a trip to Laplae District.

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