Lampang Highlights Tour
Lampang: an under-visited destination
Your guide will meet you at your hotel at 0730. Start your Lampang highlights tour. Drive to Lampang, one of the most wonderful 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 carriage city” because horse carriages are still used as a means of transportation, albeit for tourists only.
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 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“.
We continue to Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, without a doubt Lampang’s most revered temples and one of the most famous in North Thailand. This fortified temple is located on a man-made mound. Within the walled complex, there are several ancient assembly and ordination halls and Buddha images. We spend some time in the temple and learn about the legends surrounding Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. After this visit, we will drive to Lampang City.
Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum
The first place we visit in Lampang 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 highlight Tour. 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. Then it is time for lunch, which we will enjoy at the lovely Riverside Restaurant on the Wang River. Along the way, we will stop briefly at the lovely Wat Sri Chum, a lovely Burmese-style temple.
Highlights of Lampang by horse carriage
Then it is time for lunch. After lunch, our horse carriages are waiting for us. A horse carriage ride is a must-do activity as the horse carriage 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.” This is the neighborhood where the teak logging firms, such as the Borneo Company, used to have their office.
Our first stop is the quaint Horse Carriage Society of Lampang. Here they repair the famous horse carriages 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 Leonowens House
We continue to the “Louis House” (Baan Louis). It is the former office of the Louis T.Leonowens Company, which was involved in teak logging a hundred years ago. The house has undergone a restoration recently. It had been neglected for many years, but it now has gained recognition as a heritage building. In the future, it will be a museum about the teak industry. Our last stop is the Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao, the most revered temple in the city of Lampang. The temple has Lanna and Burmese influences. Right next to this impressive temple is the much smaller but exquisite Wat Suchadaram. Your guide will tell you the story of Nang Mae Suchada, a famous Lampang legend.
Wat Rong Si Muang, the Burmese/Shan-style temple
The Wat Sri Rong Muang is our next destination. This is another beautiful temple that wealthy Burmese immigrants financed. The roof is Shan-style. The interior of this temple is beautifully decorated and distinctly Shan/Burmese. 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 highlights day tour.