Discover Lampang, Thailand, with Timothy Tye
(23 December, 2002)
is the third largest city in northern Thailand after Chiang Mai
and Chiang Rai
. The city is located in the valley of the Wang River and is the provincial capital of Lampang Province
Lampang was originally a settlement of Mon people from southern Burma. It was settled as early as the 7th century. In the early part of its history, Lampang was known as Khelang Nakhon and Lakhon. During the rise of the Haripunchai kingdom (circa AD 750-1292), Lampang was part of the kingdom centred around the city of Lamphun
During medieval times, the city of Lampang was protected by a city wall as well as four defence fortresses, or wiang
, placed at strategic locations. Nonetheless in 1296 it fell to the troops of King Mangrai, founder of Chiang Mai.
In the 19th century, British traders arriving from Burma
turned it into a center for producing teakwood. Laborers from Myanmar were brought in, which result in many Burmese-style houses and temples now found in Lampang.
Visitors to Lampang will get to view many well-preserved wats which, unlike those in Chiang Mai, has not been marred by modern development. Many of the beautiful wats of Lampang are described in this guide.
Travel to Lampang
You can reach Lampang by train either from Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The journey from Bangkok will consume 10 to 12 hours. An air-conditioned sleeper ticket fare is around ฿800. From Chiang Mai, it takes about 2 hours and costs ฿100.
You can also take a bus from Bangkok's Mo Chit bus terminal. A first-class air condition bus fare is around ฿450 and takes 8-9 hours to reach Lampang. From Chiang Mai, the bus journey takes about 1.5 hours and costs ฿80.
Travel within Lampang
As with most towns in Thailand, you can hail down a tuk tuk to take you places. If you find a good one, then negotiate for the whole day.
Map of Lampang
Sights in Lampang on the map
- Big C Supercenter (GPS: 18.2755, 99.48119)
- CentralPlaza Lampang (GPS: 18.28203, 99.49462)
- Chokchai Market (GPS: 18.28127, 99.47367)
- Dhababadee Ceramic Museum (GPS: 18.28026, 99.51262)
- Hang Chat Arboretum (GPS: 18.32297, 99.29437)
- Lampang Airport (GPS: 18.27799, 99.50629)
- Lampang Provincial Court (GPS: 18.2572, 99.54646)
- Lampang Provincial Government Center (GPS: 18.25773, 99.54456)
- Makro Lampang (GPS: 18.27491, 99.48447)
- Nakhon Lampang Railway Station (GPS: 18.27978, 99.47294)
- Pho Chao Thip Chang Monument (GPS: 18.28762, 99.51491)
- Sop Tui Post Office (GPS: 18.28118, 99.47401)
- Tesco Lotus Lampang (GPS: 18.28016, 99.4931)
- Thailand Elephant Conservation Center (GPS: 18.35477, 99.24314)
- Wat Chai Mongkol (GPS: 18.28282, 99.50558)
- Wat Chong Kham (GPS: 18.28094, 99.51274)
- Wat Mon Chamsin (GPS: 18.28053, 99.51603)
- Wat Sop Tui (GPS: 18.2806, 99.46005)
- Wat Sri Chum (GPS: 18.28443, 99.49974)
- Wat Thab Mak (GPS: 18.29267, 99.46107)
- Wat Thung Ku Dai (GPS: 18.29464, 99.4304)
Places of Interest in Lampang
- Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao
The main temple in Lampang. It housed the Emerald Buddha (now at the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok) between 1436 to 1468.
- Wat Suchadaram
Temple located within the same outer enclosure as Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao.
- Wat Hua Khuang
Monastery that was located on the right side of the Wang River, to the north of the original town square.
- Wat Saeng Muang Ma
The most important wat in Lampang for ritual practice.
- Wat Si Lom
Temple with a tree shrine guarded by a pair of fierce-looking monster guardians.
- Ku Ya Sudha
Ruins of what could have been a huge temple. Its name means "Grandmother Sudha's Grotto".
- Ban Sao Nak
The name means "House of Many Pillars". This structure from the 19th century was built for a Burmese family.
- Wat Pratu Pong
The name of this temple means "Marsh Gate Monastery". It is located a short distance from ban Sao Nak.
- Wat Pong Sanuk Tai
The name of this temple literally translates as "Monastery of the Southern Fun Marsh". Built in the late 18th century, it reflects elements of Lanna and Burmese styles.
- Wat Ka Teuk
Another Buddhist temple, its smaller viharn has a traditional Lanna-style roof.
Sights outside the Old City of Lampang
- Wat Chedi Sao
Temple, whose name means "Twenty-Chedi Monastery", with numerous whitewashed chedis with golden tops.
- Wat Pa Fang
A Shan-style monastery with an impressive interior and two huge Mandalay-style Buddha statues.
- Wat Sri Chum
Another Burmese-style monastery to the west of Wat Pa Fang.
- Wat Mon Cham Sin
Wat with three Burmese-style chedis.
- Wat Mon Puyak
Another Shan-style monastery exhibiting a variety of styles.
- Wat Si Rong Muang
Yet another Burmese-style monastery with several imposing two- to three-tiered gabled superstructure
In the vicinity of Lampang
- Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
A sprawling monastic complex, one of the most important Lanna architecture in the Lampang area.
- Wat Pong Yang Khok
Another important monastery about 8 km from Wat Phra That Lampang Luang.
- Wat Lai Hin Kaew Chang Yuan
The name of this temple means "Monastery of the Standing Elephant with the Stone Shoulder". It is also called simply as Wat Lai Hin.
- Wat Phra That Chom Ping
Temple whose ubosot functions as a camera obscura.
- Thai Elephant Conservation Center
Center operated by the Forest Industry Organisation to train elephants with productive skills. Elephant performances are staged daily.
- Elephant Hospital
A veterinary for injured elephants.
- Chae Son National Park
A lush forested area with hot spring and nice sceneries.
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