Lampang, the horse cart city
Embark on a great Lampang day tour
Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 0730. Start your Lampang day tour. Drive to Lampang, one of the most exciting and under-visited cities of North Thailand. We love Lampang! Lampang was part of the ancient Hariphunchai kingdom and a major center of the teak industry last century. The city boasts many temples of great beauty and interest and many heritage houses from the teak industry era. Lampang is known as the horse cart city because the horse cart is still used as a means of transportation.
Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation
Our first stop today will be at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital, the home of elephants Motala and Mosha. These elephants each have a prosthetic leg after having stepped on a landmine in Myanmar. You will see a short and very moving video about Motala and Soraida Salwala, the foundation’s founder. The hospital features in the BBC documentary series “Great Asian Railway Journeys” to go 2.40.
We continue to Lampang. Here the first place we visit is the excellent Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum, the home of the chicken bowl. This is a must-visit place in Lampang and should feature in every Lampang Tour.
Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum and Wat Mon Chamsin
A Chinese immigrant founded the Dhanabadee Ceramic factory in 1957. You will hear the story and see the original “dragon kiln,” which is very impressive. The museum also has a factory section where you will see people producing the chicken bowl. Dhanabadee produces beautiful ceramics unique in Thailand.
Very close to the Dhanabadee Museum is Wat Mon Chamsin, one of the hidden and seldom visited gems of Lampang. Of particular interest is the old wooden Shan-style viharn that is currently under renovation. The temple also has two imposing chedis.
Wat Sri Chum
Wat Sri Chum is the finest example of Burmese temple architecture in Lampang. This temple is simply stunning and should be in every Lampang Tour. Wealthy Burmese immigrants who worked in the teak trade built this magnificent temple more than 100 years ago. Fire destroyed the original wooden viharn, which was reconstructed in brick and wood. After our visit to Wat Sri Chum, we continue our Lampang day tour to the old commercial center of Lampang: Kad Kong Ta.
Heritage Houses on Kad Kong Ta
Kad Kong Ta (Kong Ta market) is the street where many heritage houses are located. The Moung Ngwe Zin House is one of the most striking “gingerbread” houses on Kad Kong Ta. This street is the location of the famous Walking Street that takes place every Saturday and Sunday from around 1700 until 2200.
From Kad Kong Ta, we will walk to Wat Koh Walukaram, which is located right on the Wang River. The wooden viharn, more than 100 years old, has been made famous by the BBC documentary series “Great Asian Railway Journeys.” You have to go to minute 23.25 to see presenter Michael Portillo walking up the steps of this beautiful viharn.
Explore old Lampang by horse cart
Then it is time for lunch. After lunch, our horse carts are waiting for us. A horse cart ride is a must-do activity as the horse cart is the symbol of Lampang. Besides that, it is a fun thing to do. We will cross the Wang River via the historic Rachadapisek Bridge on our way to the “Forestry Quarter.” Our first stop is the quaint Horse Cart Society of Lampang. Here they repair the famous horse carts of Lampang. It is a fascinating, rather unorganized little place with a couple of other old public vehicles. The “pulled rickshaw” is one of them. You can give it a try…
The famous Louis House
We continue to the “Louis House” (Baan Louis). It is the former office of the Louis T.Leonowens Company involved in teak logging a hundred years ago. This house is currently under renovation. It was neglected for many years, but it now has gained recognition as a heritage building that has to be preserved.
The next stop is Ban Sao Nak, a unique historic teak wooden residence that once belonged to Burmese teak traders. The house is now a museum and very much worth visiting. Here we say goodbye to our horse cart drivers. The Wat Si Rong Muang is our next destination. This is another beautiful temple that wealthy Burmese immigrants financed. Our final stop in Lampang is the iconic railway station that opened in 1916. It is one of the most beautiful stations in Thailand.
Our minivan will bring us back to Chiang Mai, where we will drop you off at your hotel. Along the way, we will stop briefly at the Khuntan “Jungle Market.” There are some unusual and interesting products for sale here that you will not see anywhere else. In season you will see mushrooms of different shapes and colors. We hope you enjoyed our Lampang day tour.