Day 1: Chiang Mai – Lampang
The historical train ride through Khuntan Tunnel
Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel in Chiang Mai at 0830 for your Classic Lampang Railway Journey. They will transfer you to the Chiang Mai railway station. Get on the train for a scenic ride to Hang Chat, nearby Lampang. The railway line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai opened in January 1922. You will pass the old stations of Saraphi and Lamphun as well as the famous White Bridge.
Then will slowly continue into Khuntan National Park. It is the most beautiful part of the journey. You will pass through the Khuntan tunnel, the longest railway tunnel in Thailand. At Hang Chat station we will disembark at around noon.
Our driver will be waiting and take us to Wat Prathat Lampang Luang, which is by many considered the most beautiful temple of Northern Thailand. We will have lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, we will drive to Lampang. Lampang is much older than Chiang Mai and has some of the most beautiful temples of Northern Thailand. It also has a fascinating recent history.
Gingerbread houses of Lampang
In the late 19th century Lampang was the centre of teak logging in North Thailand. At least 4,000 elephants were working in forestry in the area. The British logging firms brought with them many Burmese and Shan workers which resulted in influences in the architecture of temples and houses. Some of the magnificent historic homes are dating back from that period. After arrival, we will check into our hotel. We will take a walking tour of Talat Gao street with its many historic houses. We will visit the Moung Ngwe Zin House. Walk to the hotel via the Rachadapisek Bridge. This historical bridge survived World War Two thanks to an American Missionary teacher by the name of Lucy Starling. Overnight will be at Villa Rassada
Day 2: Lampang – Chiang Mai
Lampang, the Horse Cart City
After breakfast, we will take a horse cart ride through a neighbourhood known as the Forestry Quarter. The horse cart is the symbol of Lampang. Our first stop will be Wat Pong Sanuk, which received a UNESCO award for its restoration work. After this, we will visit the quaint Horse Cart Society of Lampang, where they repair the famous horse carts of Lampang. It is a fascinating little place. We continue to the “Louis House”.
The House of Louis T.Leonowens
It is the former office of the Louis T.Leonowens Company that was involved in teak logging a hundred years ago. Next stop is Ban Sao Nak, a unique historic teak wooden residence that once belonged to Burmese teak trader. The house is now a museum. The final stop is Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao, another fantastic temple. Say goodbye to the horse cart. Our next destination will be the fascinating Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum and Factory. You will learn about the history of the famous chicken bowl. Not far from Dhanabee is the Wat Prathat Mon Chamsin, a temple not often visited. After we visit the temple, we will have lunch at the Riverside Restaurant on the Wang River.
Iconic Lampang railway station
After lunch, we slowly start our drive back to Chiang Mai. Along the way, we stop at Wat Si Rong Muang, another example of typical Burmese temple architecture. The railway line from Bangkok reached Lampang a bit earlier than Chiang Mai. The iconic railway station of Lampang opened in 1916. We stop there briefly before we drive back. The last stop we will make at the hospital of the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation. Watch a short but very moving video about Motala, the elephant that lost a leg when it stepped on a landmine. The foundation welcomes donations. We continue to Chiang Mai and will stop briefly at the Mae Tha “jungle market”…We will drop you off at your hotel in Chiang Mai and hope you have enjoyed your Classic Lampang Railway Journey.