General Information Famous for its horse-drawn carriages and with a rooster as its provincial emblem, Lampang boasts a long history of human settlements on the Wang River basin, some of which dating back to more than 1,000 years. It is rich in archaeological evidence reflecting ancient civilisations of Hariphunchai, Lanna and Burma.
Lampang is administratively divided into the following districts: Muang, Thoen, Mae Phrik, Ngao, Ko Kha, Wang Nuea, Mae Tha, Chae Hom, Sop Prap, Seom Ngam, Hang Chat, Mae Mo and Mueang Pan
How To Get There
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 32 to Nakhon Sawan via Sing Buri, Chai Nat, then turn into Highway No. 1 again to go to Lampang via Kamphaeng Phet and Tak, a total distance of 599 kilometres.
Transport Co. Ltd. operates both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned bus to Lampang. Buses leave Bangkok's Mochit s Bus Terminal daily. Other private bus companies are such as Wiriya Tour, Tel: 0 2936 2827 and New Wiriya Tour Tel: 0 2936 2205-6.
Regular trains depart from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Railway Station to Lampang daily. Call 1690 or visit www.railway.co.th for more information.
Khantok Chang Fair
The Khantok Chang Fair is organised on the first Friday-Saturday period of February each year at the Thai Elephant conservation Centre. There is an elephant show and the pachyderms are feasted with their popular fruits and vegetables which are placed on the Tok, a traditional food tray of the Lanna people.
Luang Wiang Lakhon Fair
The Luang Wiang Lakhon Fair is held just prior to the annual Loi Krathong event around Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao and Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, featuring Lampang's own historical backgrounds and long-established customs and traditions. A Khrua Than procession is organized with local people dressed in native attires carrying various traditional household appliances, some of which are of ancient vintage.
Hand-made Cotton comes in different patterns designed by different villages. Within Mueang district are several weaving mills and shops specialising in cotton materials.
The Sa paper is fine product made from a type of soft wood. The process is purely traditional and the major producing center is the village of Ban Nam Thong. The Sa is mainly made into parasols, lampshades, decorative flowers and other souvenir items.
Terra-cotta or ceramics produced in Lampang are of the best quality in Thailand. The indigenous with clay, added by the local craftsmanship, has helped to make Lampang the centre of such products, with scores of factories and shops dealing in this beautiful craft.
Wood-carving is a major industry at Tambon Na Khrua of Mae Tha district which is about 25 kilometres from the provincial town. Most of the local people make their living by producing wooden figures of animals in various sizes. It is a cottage industry of the locality for generations.
Doi Khun Than National Park
The Khun Than mountain range of the Doi Khun Than National Park forms a natural boundary between Lamphun and Lampang provinces. The northern rail line to Chiang Mai runs through the longest rail tunnel in the country, which is 1,352 metres long and takes five minutes to traverse. The mountain has both virgin jungle and pinery.
Many tourists choose to walk from the Khun Than Station up the mountain, a distance of about 7 kilometres. There are four rest areas on the way. Visitors may also camp overnight but must provide for their own food. The best time to take the trip is between November and February when the weather is fine and cool.
Thai Elephants Conservation Centre
Thai Elephants Conservation Centre is located in the Thung Kwian forest park in Hang Chat district, about 32 kilometres from town on the route to Chiang Mai. It is the only facility in the world devoted to the raining of elephants for timber work using these pachyderms as labor. There are performances and training demonstrations. The art of making wooden elephants is also demonstrated. There are 2-3 shows daily. Visitors can enjoy feeding these intelligent giants or ride them to see the natural surroundings. The centre provides health care for the elephants. For more information, call 0 5422 7051. Wat Phra That Chom Ping
Using the same route as Wat Phra That Lampang Luang but taking a left turn at the district office and continue on for 14 kilometres is Wat Phra That Chom Ping. Another age-old temple of Lampang, its unique feature is the reflections in natural colors of Chedi which appear on the floor within the dark interior of the Ubosot.
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
Some 20 kilometres to the southwest of town in Ko Kha district is Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, a paradigm of temple building of Lanna. The temple itself is prominently sited on a hillock surrounded by wall. The entrance arches, called Pratu Khong, is adorned with fine plaster designs. The wall-less main Vihan houses a bronze Buddha statue called the Phra Chao Lan Thong. To the back is a golden Chedi in Lanna architectural style containing a Holy Relic. Also in the back is another Vihan with beautiful murals on wooden walls, said to be the oldest in the North. The temple also has a large collection of ancient wooden utensils.
Lampang is the only province in Thailand still retaining horse-drawn carriages as a means of transport within city limit. Visitors can hire such vehicles to tour places such as markets, traditional houses along the river bank and the numerous temples in town.
Kiu Lom Dam
To reach the Kiu Lom Dam, take the Lampang-Ngao road and turn left at Kms. 623-624 marker, which is about 38 kilometres from town. Then continue for a further 14 kilometres. Constructed for irrigation purpose, it has a scenic reservoir suitable for boating or rafting. At least a half-day tour is suggested. Visitors may opt for staying overnight on raft. Places to see include cliffs, isles and fishing village.
Wat Chai Mongkhon
Almost across Wat Pa Fang is Wat Chai Mongkhon. The outstanding structure is the Kuti, monk's living quarters, which is a white cement building with Burmese-style wooden roof. Its columns are adorned with coils of golden wires in elaborate designs and colored glasses. The blinds and corridors are made of elaborately-fashioned perforated wooden sheet. Inside is housed a bronze Buddha statue of fine workmanship cast in Mandalay, Myanmar.
Wat Chedi Sao Lang
About 5 kilometres from town on the Lampang-Chae Hom road is Wat Chedi Sao Lang. Cooled and shaded by large trees, the temple has twenty Chedis is its compound, each made in the combined Lanna-Burmese style. A Chiang Saen-style bronze Buddha statue is also enshrined here, commonly referred to as "Phra Chao Than Chai" by the local people. The door panels of the Ubosot are of ancient vintage with elaborate design.
Wat Pa Fang
Built during the reign of King Rama IV by Burmese, Wat Pa Fang is located on Sanam Bin Road. It has a large, glittering gold Chedi containing a Holy Relic brought over from Myanmar around 1906. The extensive Sala Kan Parian (preaching hall) is made entirely of wood with Burmese-style overlapping roofs. A small Ubosot has a Burmese-style woodwork over its roof with beautiful plaster designs over its doors. Usually there are a considerable number of Burmese monks in residence.
Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao
This centuries-old temple on Phra Kaeo Road used to be the place where the Emerald Buddha was once enshrined (the same statue now installed in Bangkok). Interesting structures include the large Chedi containing the hair of the Lord Buddha, a Burmese-style Mondop, an ancient Vihan housing a reclining Buddha and a museum exhibiting ancient relics of the Lanna era.
Wat Phra That Mon Phaya Chae
Located on the Lampang-Ngao Road about five kilometres from town with a right turn at Km. 605 marker is Wat Phra That Mon Phaya Chae. As it is situated on a hillside, it affords a clear view of Lampang. Its most outstanding feature is the long stair leading to the Chedi enshrining a Holy Relic.
Wat Phra That Sadet
Wat Phra That Sadet can be reached by taking the Lampang-Ngao Road. After 17 kilometres, take a left turn and continue on for another 2 kilometres. One of Lampang's major sites, it is believed to have been built by Queen Chamthevi some 500 years ago.
Wat Si Rong Mueang
To the west of town is Wat Si Rong Mueang , a Burmese temple built in 1905 during the time when Lampang was the commercial and forestry centre. Major architectural works include the Vihan made of wood with several overlapping gables in the Burmese style. It is a temple with elaborate carving decorations and plaster designs adorned with colored glass fashioned with delicate craftsmanship.
Chae Son National Park
A major place for relaxation in Lampang is the Chae Son National Park, which is located in Mueang Pan district area. It can be reached by taking Highway No.1035 taking a left turn at Km. 59. A further 17 kilometre is a lush forested and mountainous region with a 73-Celsius hot spring over rocky terrain, providing a misty and picturesque scene particularly in the morning. There are bathing facilities for health purpose.
One kilometre away is a clear, cool brook where tourists can take a dip in water fed by the 6-level Chae Son waterfall originating from winding brooks and streams flowing through high mountains. There are accommodations and camping areas for visitors.
Ban Chang Luang
Ban Chang Luang, at 33 Mu 9, Ban Khoi in Tambon Ban Rong near the Phao Yao-Lampang road, is a facility established by Khru Kam-aye Dejduangta. It has an extensive collection of wood-carvings made by Kru Kam-aye himself and serves as a school to train those intending to become artisans and to provide occupations for the local people.
Chao Pho Pratu Pha Shrine
The Chao Pho Pratu Pha Shrine is about 50 kilometres from town on the Lampang-Ngao road near Km. 650 marker. Stacks of offering can be seen around the site and the shrine is considered sacred. Road-users passing by usually honk their car horns or set off firecrackers as a sigh of respect. Legend has it that Chao Pho Pratu Pha was a great warrior of the Lampang ruler. He once fought Burmese invaders to block their advance at Pratu Pha and died fighting with his two swords still in his hands and his body still leaning against the hillside. The attackers were so frightened that they withdrew. To honour the brave warrior, the people build the shrine which has since become a sacred and revered place of worship.
Tham Pha Thai National Park
The Tham Pha Thai National Park is located between Mueang and Ngao districts just off the main highway at Kms.665-666, some 60 kilometres from the provincial town. Cars can access right to the mouth of a cave within which are picturesque stalactite and stalagmites. There are also several smaller caverns, each with their own attractions.
Namtok Wang Kaeo
This is Lampang's largest waterfall. It can be reached by taking the Lampang - Chae Hom - Wang Nuea route for a distance of 110 kilometres.