Lampang – The City of Elephant and Culture of Thailand
General Information of Lampang
In the northern region of Thailand, there are many interesting provinces that you can choose to visit, depending on what kind of things that you are looking for. However, if you are looking for a place that is rich in culture and a home to the elephants, Lampang is the province in the north that will surely fits your description the most. Lampang is also known as Nakhon Lampang in which the city is situated at the Northern River Valley of Thailand.
One of the uniqueness that this province is famous for is its horse-drawn carriages. You could rarely see this in other provinces of Thailand. As for its history, the people of Lampang have settled here for more than a thousand years on the Wang River basin. The place itself is filled with archaeological evidences of the ancient civilizations that are once prosperous here. Surprisingly, Lampang also has the biggest lignite mine in Thailand and it is really famous here.
How to travel to Lampang
City in the north is usually easy to travel to and there are lots of options that you can choose. First option is to travel by plane from Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport or Suvarnabhumi Airport which depends on your airline operator. It would take you roughly an hour to get to Lampang Airport. However, if you are not in a rush, traveling by train could be an option that will suit you. You can take the train at the Northern railway line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The journey will take around 10 to 12 hours and the costs are pretty cheap as well. Another option is to travel by bus which will take your around 8 to 9 hours to get here. An overnight bus is highly recommended for you ease of travel.
Things to do in Lampang
Let us talk about the famous attractions of Lampang. While there are many attractions you could go to, there is one attraction which is a must if you are visiting Lampang. The horse-drawn carriage is the only activity that you could find in Lampang that does not available elsewhere in Thailand. You can take a tour of the city through this amazing ride and see the beautiful city of Lampang in one trip. If you are here at Lampang and did not ride this carriage, you are not fully arrived at Lampang yet. Other than the city tour, you could also use this ride to travel to other attractions such as Burmese art temples.
Wat Pong Sanuk
The most notable temple that you could go to is Wat Pong Sanuk in which it has received an award from UNESCO for Cultural Heritage Conservation in the Asia Pacific region. The temple can be traced back to more than one thousand years. You can still see tools and many valuable items of history on display here.
Ban Sao Nak
Another place that you could visit is Ban Sao Nak which is the 100 years old teakwood house filled with many antiques. Those antiques truly reflect the way of life and tradition of Lampang people and everything is almost like it has been frozen in time.
Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum
Another interesting place to visit. This place produce ceramic goods with chicken arts on the ceramics and it has a history of more than a century producing ceramics. The product is pretty famous as it originates here in the province and it really shows the art and culture that people inherited for all these years. You can learn how they produce the goods and buy it at the shop here.
Thai Elephant Conservation Center
The main highlight of Lampang is the Thai Elephant Conservation Center and it is the first elephant training center and hospital in Thailand. You can observe how the elephants are trained and watch the results at the shows offered here. The elephants can even draw a picture on the canvas! In addition, you can also ride the elephant to see the natural environment here.
Above are the famous attractions available at Lampang, but there are more interesting places that is worth mentioning about here.
Wat Chalermprakiat Projongklao Rachanusorn.
The first place is Wat Chalermprakiat Projongklao Rachanusorn.
This place is truly an unseen of Thailand and not that many people know about it. You can observe the pagoda on top of the mountain and there are zones that you can literally go inside and pay respect to the Buddha statues. Once you are inside, you can go up to the sightseeing spot where you can have 360 degrees view of the scenery up top.
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
Next is Wat Phra That Lampang Luang which is also one of the places mentioned in the motto of Lampang.
The temple has been here with Lampang since the beginning. You can indulge yourself with the ancient architecture and the beautiful Buddha relics. The unseen of this place is that you can see an upside-down shadow or reflection of the Buddha relic in more than two places. A reflection is pretty much a mystery, but definitely contains a scientific explanation to this magnificent phenomenon.
Wat Phra That Doi Pra Chan
Next temple is called Wat Phra That Doi Pra Chan which is situated on top of a peaceful mountain.
It was built with a modern Lanna architectural style and you can overlook the views and atmosphere from here. If you come here in the rainy season, you will be able to see the sea of mists in the morning as well.
Pra That Arunvas Monk Camp Site
Looking for more temples? Pra That Arunvas Monk Camp Site is the only place that contains a Buddha statue that glows in the dark.
Normally, the statue is white, but you will see its magnificent emerald green color once all the lights has been turned off. Once you are done traveling, you should also have something to bring back with you from the trip. It is highly recommended to visit the old walking street with various unique architectures and you can buy some souvenirs here as well. Be sure to take pictures while you are here!
Living in Lampang
The motto for Lampang is “Widely Known Coal, Renowned Horse-Drawn Carriages, Famous Ceramics, The Well Known Pra That and Elephant Conservation Center”.
To get around the province
you can use the minibus that goes around town or use the horse-drawn carriages in the inner city. There are motorcycle taxis you can use but be sure to ask about the price first. Alternatively, you can rent your own car to drive which is fairly cheap and with good services provided.
You can take a rest or sleep at budget hotels which mainly include guesthouses and small hotels. If you are looking for something better, there are many different mid-range hotels you can choose to stay in. They might not be able to speak English that well, but they will surely provide you with a great service for the money spent. Unfortunately, there are no high-end hotels here, so you might have to stick with the mid-range hotels. Enjoy your trip in Lampang!
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