Moung Ngwe Zin Building on Kad Kong Ta
The Moung Ngwe Zin building is on Kad Kong Ta. Kad Kong Ta is a historical quarter of Lampang parallel to the bank of the Wang River. A Burmese teak merchant built the house in 1908. It is one of the most beautiful Burmese inspired residences in Thailand.
According to some, this building was a store selling western consumer goods to resident British employees working for one of the teak logging companies. It has also served as a bar and hotel for employees of the Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation. The BBTC was the most prominent British teak logging company.
Lakon, centre of the teak industry
About 100 years ago, Lampang was a significant centre of the teak industry in North Thailand. The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation, the Borneo Company, the Anglo-Thai Company and the Louis Leonowens Company had offices in Lampang. Lampang was known as Lakon in those days. There was a British Consulate as well as a sports club. The Lakon sports club offered leisure and sports activities for the employees of the teak companies and the missionaries of the Presbyterian Church.
Some of the British teak companies had been operative in Burma for many years. They brought with them Burmese and Shan workers and staff. They established temples and built houses in typical Burmese and Shan architectural style. The building has been beautifully restored and now houses an art gallery and cafe on the ground floor. On our last visit to Lampang in September 2019 the house was still open as a coffee shop.