Lampang, also known as Nakhon Lampang, is the capital of Lampang Province and Lampang District, in Northern Thailand. Known as a trading and transportation centre, Lampang is the third-largest city in Northern Thailand. Geographically, Lampang is situated in the valley of Wang River, which is bordered by Phi Pan Nam Range and Khun Tan Range on the east and west respectively. The city is known for its riverside charm, old Buddhist temples, and the laid back atmosphere which has always attracted tourists to Lampang.
The city is known by many names like ‘The City of Roosters’ or ‘Horse Carriage City,’ and it also holds historical importance. It is rich in archaeological pieces of evidence from several kingdoms like Hariphunchai, Lanna, and Burma. Besides historical significance, Lampang is also known for waterfalls, natural hot springs, caves, a ceramic museum, elephant conservation centre, and a variety of shops, including two of the best markets in the North. Despite being a lesser-known tourist spot, this destination is indeed worth discovering.
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Places to Visit in Lampang
1. Thai Elephant Conservation Center The Elephant Conservation Center was founded in 1993 under the Royal Patronage and is one of the government-funded conservation centres. Here you will find around 50 Asian elephants as well as ten white elephants in the Royal Elephant Stables. These white elephants are known to belong to HM King Bhumibol. On your visit to the centre, you will see elephants being bathed by their trainers and also learn a few interesting facts about elephants.
2. Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
This temple holds a legend in itself because of which devotees consider it as a very sacred place. According to legends, Buddha graced this land and gave it the name Lampang by tossing a bamboo cane to the North. It is also said that he gave a tuck off his hair to a male devotee who then placed it in a golden container and built a stupa over it. Every Lampang successor is supposed to take care of the temple. You can visit the temple anytime between 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
3. Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum is best for those who would want a sneak peek into the lifestyle, traditions, or customs of people in the past. This museum is one such place where people can witness artists painting on fresh ceramic bowls. You will end up visiting this place for more than an hour as the beauty of the artworks gets so appealing from the start of your visit. You can visit the site from Tuesday to Sunday between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
4. Chae Son National Park If you are looking for some natural hot springs, then you can visit Chae Son National Park, which is situated in the Mueang Pan district. The 17 kilometres of lush forest, rocky terrain, and mountainous region have natural hot springs with a temperature of 73℃ provides a perfectly picturesque scene in a misty morning.
5. Pha Thai Cave National Park
Pha Thai Cave National Park is a nine million-year-old cave which is full of stalactites and stalagmites. The one-kilometre long passage of light guides curious explorers. Take a walk through the cave and smell the limestones present over millions of years in the cave.
6. Wat Phra Bat Pupha Daeng Also known as Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat, this temple is located in Chae Hom County of Lampang. It is a sheer paradise for Buddhist devotees as well as nature enthusiasts. Situated at the hilltop with human-made white stupas, the Wat Phra Bat Pupha Daeng is surrounded by a green forest cover where you can breath fresh and clean air. There is a 300-step staircase leading to the temple which cuts through the middle of the forest.
7. The Ma-O Cultural Road If you want to walk through the streets and feel the charm of Northern Thailand then, walk down The Ma-O Walking Street. You will find local Thai food stalls, toy shops, traditional Northern outfits, and maybe Northen Thai dancers performing too. However, you should know that the market operates only on Fridays between 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
8. Ban Sao Nak
The name translates to “house of many pillars.” because you can find as many as 116 pillars inside the house. It is a wooden house built in 1895 which is now a private museum. One can find antiques, silverware, ceramics, woven handicrafts, and a perfect amalgamation of Burmese and Lanna architecture. Entry fee to this place is THB 30.
Food in Lampang
Since Lampang is located in Northern Thailand; you will find a predominance of North Thai dishes in all the food joints. Even the bars are well-stocked with the right cocktail menu. You can have simple noodles, Kap Khao dishes, fried rice, steaks, or fried chicken for a quick lunch which can cost you around THB 50 (INR 110). You can also have a filling pizza, which will cost you THB 300 (INR 655). Also, if you are looking for some seafood, then you can get a plate of prawn tempura and a whole fried fish both for THB 100 (INR 218). Lastly, you can also get a cold beer for THB 75 only (INR 164).
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Lampang is in January, February, and July when the temperatures are moderate as compared to other months of the year. Precipitation and humidity are present throughout the year, but it is comparatively lesser during these months, which favours tourism.
You only need to remember to dress modestly before visiting the temples in Lampang.
By Air Currently, Lampang is served by two airports daily; Nok Air and Bangkok Airways. There are flights twice a day to Lampang, which is approximately a journey of 90 minutes and can cost between THB 2,200 to THB 2,600.
By Train Lampang lies between the Bangkok and Chiang Mai station hence you can find trains from either direction every day. From Bangkok, it takes around 10 to 12 hours to reach Lampang and costs between THB 150 to THB 800. Whereas from Chiang Mai it takes only two hours and costs between THB 23 to THB 100.
By Bus Buses are available from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phrae to Lampang. You can take a bus from the Mo Chit Bus Terminal in Bangkok which will take you to Lampang in 8 to 9 hours. The bus ride will cost around THB 400 to THB 450. From Chiang Mai, it takes only 2 hours to reach Lampang and costs THB 40 to THB 80. Also, know that a minibus leaves from Phrae to Lampang at a regular interval of 45 minutes, which would cost approximately THB 80 and take around 1.5 hours to reach Lampang.
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