Lamphun, the ancient capital of Hariphunchai
Giant trees on the road to Lamphun
Our guide and driver will meet you at your Chiang Mai hotel for your Lamphun tour, the former capital of the Hariphunchai kingdom. It is a private tour, so we are very flexible today. We will drive to Lamphun along the old Chiang Mai-Lamphun road, lined with giant trees. You will hear the story of why they planted these giant yang trees only halfway to Lamphun. The trees along the old Chiang Mai-Lamphun road have protected status.
Our first stop will be at Baan Umong. Here we will stop at a shop for a taste of the famous Umong Longan wine*. Lamyai, aka Longan, is the dominant fruit of this area. We will visit a lamyai processing factory and plantation. The annual Lamphun Lamyai Festival takes place during or just after the harvest in July/August. For those interested, we organize a customized Lamphun tour to watch the parade in Lamphun. After this, we will drive to Lamphun.
The elephants of Queen Chamathewi
First, we will visit Ku Chang, a chedi that contains the relic of the war elephant of Chamathewi, aka Camadevi, the first queen of the Hariphunchai Kingdom. The next stop will be Wat Phra Yuen, a quiet temple amidst exotic, towering palm trees. Next, we will visit the tiny but delicate Tai Yong textile museum. Many of Lamphun’s inhabitants are Tai Yong. These are, in fact, Tai Lue from Muang Yong in Myanmar. These people migrated about 200 years ago from Northern Shan State (now Myanmar) to Lamphun. It is a fascinating story. We walk through the “OTOP” (one district, one product) market to Wat Hariphunchai, one of the most revered temples of North Thailand. This magnificent temple is the main attraction of Lamphun and draws many visitors, mainly Thai people.
Wat Kukut and Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum
Lunch will be in a local restaurant that serves dishes with, yes, you guessed it right, lamyai! This small restaurant is very popular with locals. The lamyai juice is delicious as well. After lunch, we will continue to the local fresh food market of Lamphun, where your guide will take you along and let you taste some delicacies and chat with the vendors. We will leave the market to burn some incense and candles at the statue of Queen Chamathewi before we continue our Lamphun Tour to Wat Ku Kut, one of the oldest religious structures in Lamphun. The ancient Mahabol Chedi, aka the Suwan Chang Kot Chedi, is of particular interest, with its Buddha images.
Wiang Kum Kam, the “Atlantis” of Chiang Mai
After this, we will drive the short distance to Sanpatong, visiting the Chiang Mai Doll Making Centre and Museum. This museum and factory is a hidden gem of North Thailand. Not only can you witness the most exquisite dolls being handmade, but there is also a stunning exhibition of dolls from all over the world. We will then drive back to Chiang Mai along the Ping River. Our last stop today will be the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam. This was the first settlement on the Ping River, dating back to 1282.
The Fine Arts Department has excavated and restored many of the temple ruins of Wiang Kum Kam. We will stop at the most interesting ruins of Wat E-Kang, Wat Pu Pia, and Wat Chedi Liam. The chedi of Wat Chedi Liam also has Buddha images, similar to Wat Kukut in Lamphun. After this, we drop you off at your hotel in Chiang Mai. We hope you enjoyed your Lamphun Tour.
*Please note that this shop is closed on Sunday