Lampang: Discovering the Hidden Gems of Thailand’s Northern Province

Lampang is a charming city located in Northern Thailand. Known for its laid-back riverside vibe, Lampang offers travelers a chance to experience the beauty and culture of the Lanna region. As the third-largest city in Northern Thailand, Lampang is often overlooked by tourists in favor of more well-known destinations, but those who take the time to visit are rewarded with a unique and authentic experience.

The city of Lampang is steeped in history and tradition, with a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in its architecture, food, and festivals. Visitors can explore ancient temples like Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang, which dates back to the 15th century and is one of the most revered temples in the country. Lampang is also famous for its horse-drawn carriages, which can be seen trotting through the streets of the city, offering visitors a glimpse into a bygone era.

Travelers to Lampang will find a warm welcome from the locals, who are known for their hospitality and friendliness. The city is a great base for exploring the surrounding countryside, which is dotted with picturesque villages, lush forests, and scenic waterfalls. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or nature, Lampang has something to offer everyone, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Northern Thailand.

Getting to Lampang

Lampang is a charming town located in Northern Thailand, approximately 100 kilometers southeast of Chiang Mai. There are several ways to get to Lampang, including by bus, car, or songthaew.

By Bus

If you’re coming from Chiang Mai, there are frequent buses and minibuses that depart from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal (Arcade 2). The journey takes about 1.5 hours, and tickets cost around ฿70-100. If you’re coming from Bangkok, there are several bus companies that operate daily trips to Lampang. The journey takes approximately 9 hours, and tickets cost around ฿500-700.

By Car or Taxi

If you prefer more flexibility and convenience, renting a car or taking a taxi is a great option. There are several car rental companies in Chiang Mai and Bangkok that offer a variety of vehicles at reasonable prices. The journey from Chiang Mai to Lampang takes around 1.5 hours, while the journey from Bangkok takes approximately 9 hours. If you’re taking a taxi, it’s recommended to negotiate the fare beforehand.

By Songthaew

Songthaews are a popular mode of transportation in Thailand, especially in rural areas. They are essentially pickup trucks with two rows of seats in the back. If you’re traveling from Chiang Mai, you can take a songthaew from Chang Phueak Bus Terminal to Lampang Bus Terminal. The journey takes around 2 hours, and tickets cost around ฿50-70.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, getting to Lampang is relatively easy and straightforward. With its rich history, beautiful temples, and laid-back charm, Lampang is a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Northern Thailand.

Top Attractions in Lampang

Lampang is a beautiful city in Northern Thailand that offers a wide range of attractions for travelers. From ancient temples and monuments to national parks, museums, and markets, Lampang has something for everyone. In this section, we will explore the top attractions in Lampang, categorized into Temples and Monuments, National Parks, Museums and Galleries, and Markets and Walking Streets.

Temples and Monuments

Lampang is famous for its ancient temples and monuments that showcase the rich history and culture of the region. Here are some of the must-visit temples and monuments in Lampang:

  • Wat Phra That Lampang Luang: This ancient temple is one of the most important and revered temples in Northern Thailand. It features a stunning Lanna-style chedi and beautiful murals that depict the life of Buddha.

  • Wat Chaloem Phra Kiat: Perched on a hilltop, this temple offers breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. It is famous for its intricate wood carvings and beautiful architecture.

  • Wat Chedi Sao: This temple is known for its unique architecture and features 20 chedis that represent the 20 disciples of Buddha.

  • Wat Srichum: This ancient temple is home to a beautiful golden Buddha statue and features intricate murals that depict the life of Buddha.

National Parks

Lampang is blessed with several national parks that offer a chance to experience the natural beauty of the region. Here are some of the top national parks in Lampang:

  • Doi Khun Tan National Park: This national park is home to beautiful forests, waterfalls, and hiking trails. It is a great place to explore the natural beauty of Northern Thailand.

  • Chae Son National Park: This national park is famous for its hot springs and mineral streams that blend with natural rocky reefs. It is a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Museums and Galleries

Lampang has several museums and galleries that showcase the art, culture, and history of the region. Here are some of the top museums and galleries in Lampang:

  • Dhanabadee Ceramic Museum: This museum showcases the history and art of ceramics in Lampang. It features a wide range of ceramics, including traditional and modern designs.

Markets and Walking Streets

Lampang is famous for its markets and walking streets that offer a chance to experience the local culture and cuisine. Here are some of the top markets and walking streets in Lampang:

  • Walking Street: This walking street is lined with food stalls, shops, and hidden gems. It is a great place to explore the local culture and cuisine.

  • Old Buildings: Lampang is home to several old buildings that showcase the rich history and architecture of the region. Some of the must-visit old buildings in Lampang include the Baan Sao Nak, Baan Sao Ching Cha, and Baan Sao Tiang.

  • Restaurants: Lampang has several restaurants that offer a wide range of cuisines, including Thai, Chinese, and Western. Some of the top restaurants in Lampang include the Baan Sao Nak Restaurant, the Baan Sao Ching Cha Restaurant, and the Baan Sao Tiang Restaurant.

  • Touristy: Lampang is a popular tourist destination, and there are several touristy attractions in the city. Some of the top touristy attractions in Lampang include the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, the Lampang Horse Carriage Tour, and the Lampang Ceramic Festival.

In conclusion, Lampang is a beautiful city in Northern Thailand that offers a wide range of attractions for travelers. From ancient temples and monuments to national parks, museums, and markets, Lampang has something for everyone. Whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or cuisine, Lampang is a great place to explore and experience the beauty of Northern Thailand.

Lampang Province

Lampang Province (จังหวัดลำปาง) is a vast, mountainous area in Northern Thailand known for its natural beauty, emblematic Buddhist temples, and rich cultural heritage. The province is located in the broad river valley of the Wang River, surrounded by mountains that form part of the Phi Pan Nam Range. Lampang is the third largest city in northern Thailand and capital of Lampang province and the Mueang Lampang district.

Geography and Climate

Lampang Province covers an area of 12,534 square kilometers and is home to a population of over 800,000 people. The province is located in the northern part of Thailand and shares borders with Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Tak, Sukhothai, and Phrae provinces. The climate in Lampang is tropical with a distinct rainy season from May to October and a dry season from November to April.

History and Culture

Lampang has a rich cultural heritage that dates back to the Lanna Kingdom, which ruled northern Thailand from the 13th to the 18th century. The province is home to many ancient temples and historic landmarks, including the Wooden Lanna Temple, which is one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in the region. The temple is famous for its intricate wooden carvings and traditional Lanna-style architecture.

Another cultural landmark in Lampang is the Chicken Bowl Museum, which showcases the province’s unique pottery heritage. The museum is located in a traditional Lanna-style house and features a collection of over 1,000 chicken bowls, which are a type of pottery that was once used to serve food in northern Thailand.

Economy and Industry

Lampang’s economy is driven by agriculture, mining, and ceramics. The province is known for its production of lignite, kaolin, rice, and pineapple. Lampang is also home to several mining operations, which have been a source of controversy due to their impact on the environment. The province has been plagued by issues of pollution and deforestation, which have led to calls for greater environmental protection.

In recent years, Lampang has developed a reputation as a center for ceramics production, with many local artisans producing high-quality pottery and other ceramic products. The province is also home to several markets, including the Th Talad Gao, which is one of the largest and most popular markets in northern Thailand.

Overall, Lampang Province is a must-visit destination for travelers who want to experience the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty of northern Thailand. With its ancient temples, historic landmarks, and vibrant local culture, Lampang is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone.

Tips for Travelers

Best Time to Visit

Lampang is a great destination to visit throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the cool season from November to February, when the weather is pleasant and dry. The rainy season from June to October can be a bit challenging for travelers as there might be heavy rainfall and flash floods. The summer season from March to May can be quite hot and humid.

Where to Stay

There are plenty of accommodations available in Lampang to suit different budgets and preferences. For mid-level travelers, Villa Rassada Nakorn Lampang is a great option, located less than 6 minutes from Kad Kong Ta Walking Street Market. For luxury travelers, Baan Suchadaa Chiangmai is a beautiful boutique hotel located in the heart of Lampang. Budget travelers can find a variety of affordable guesthouses and hostels in the city.

Where to Eat

Lampang is famous for its delicious local cuisine, and there are plenty of restaurants and street food stalls to choose from. Some of the must-try dishes include khao soi (curry noodle soup), sai oua (northern-style sausage), and gaeng hung lay (pork belly curry). For a unique dining experience, visit Baan Sao Nak, a restored teakwood mansion that serves traditional Thai cuisine.

How to Get Around

The best way to explore Lampang is by renting a scooter or a car, which can be easily arranged through a local rental company. Scooters can be rented for as low as 250 THB per day, while car rentals range from 800 THB to 1000 THB per day. Taxis and songthaews (shared taxis) are also available, but they can be more expensive and less flexible than renting your own vehicle.

When visiting temples and other attractions, be sure to dress appropriately and remove your shoes before entering. Some temples may require an entrance fee or a donation, so be prepared to pay a small amount. During the winter months, the mist can be quite thick in the early morning, so plan your activities accordingly.

Before your trip, it is recommended to check out travel blogs and Facebook groups for the latest information and recommendations from fellow travelers. You can also consult a reliable travel guide for more detailed information about Lampang and its attractions.