Phrae has been described as a town built with teak. A century ago, logging was the economic mainstay. These days that legacy still has a strong presence in the town’s culture and architecture.
That teak heritage is something that Cha-Am resident and Swedish national Mats Nilsson discovered on a trip to the Province last year which proved to be a happy accident. He is now the proud owner of an amazing teak residence back home with teak furnishings and sculptures to complement the very traditional Thai architecture and design.
Phrae is about 650 km north of Bangkok in the north-west of Thailand. That’s where Mats discovered a complete teak house for sale and in February last year. After establishing a friendship with a local headman, negotiating a price and securing the necessary permits to transport and reconstruct his ‘Phrae-built’ teak homestead’ in Cha-Am is almost complete.
Teak is a very valued and protected timber in Thailand with a complete logging ban over the whole country introduced in January 1989 to protect the remaining forest resources and environment. That means the origins of the timber needed to be demonstrated. Apart from the architectural and re-construction issues, solving the complex legal permit requirements was also a necessity.
This is a large house on a full rai of land with various out-houses with plans for the property to be much more than his family home. There are plans for the property to become a function centre with on-site guest rooms. Apart from the architectural appeal, the location has extensive views over green fields towards a backdrop of the inland hills. Mats’ wife Kea is having a big birthday party there next week as the fore-runner of many events to come; stay tuned!
Mats’ ongoing Phrae friendships has led to his ongoing access to some spectacular teak sculptures, often massive pieces carved from a single pierce of teak. That means he can also offer genuine teak artifacts and furnishings for sale.
Opening for the new business at ‘Baan Madee’ or ‘Home of Happiness’, is planned for January next year. The serendipity of Mats’ Phrae discovery will then be complete.