Lampang: the relaxation capital of the north
Lampang is famous for horse-drawn carriages good for viewing the scenery and fast enough in taking you to your destinations.
Lampang, the third largest town in northern Thailand, is generating renewed tourist attentions. Thanks to the public opening of Wat Chalermprakiat in Cheahom district, which is an instant hit to both foreign and local tourists alike, the province as a whole is back on the tourist map.
The province is less commercialised than Chiangmai but Central, Robinson, Big C , Tesco-Lotus, HomePro and other store chains have branches here. It can be reached by air, by land and by rail.
It is a manufacturing centre of ceramic goods and is also known for mining operations. A great deal of ball clay, china stone, and lignite are extracted from the surrounding mountains.
The province is known for its horse-drawn carriage, which is still is use today for tour and sightseeing.
Tourist attractions are varied and can easily fill up a complete sightseeing itinerary: they include the Thu Pha Ancient Painting (3,000 years old), Doi Nork (the highest point of the Phi Pan Nam Range passing passing through Chiang Rai, Phayao and Lampang), the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre and Thung Kwian Forest Plantation, Chae Son National Park, Tham Nam Pa Pha Ngam (cave), Tham Pha Thai National Park, Phra Mae Wa National Park among others.
Among its renowned temples are Wat Phra Chedi Sao Lang, Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao Suchadaram, Wat Si Chum. Wat Si Rong Mueang, Wat Pong Sanook and Kasem Khemmako Dhamma Retreat (not a temple).
A number of temples in the province have strong Burmese design influence as it was under Burmese control for centuries.
It is laid-back town with its friendly people, perfect to go slow, relax and unwind.
Lampang (originally named Kelang Nakorn) was established in 680 by a hermit known as Suphrom Ruesi in honour of the town’s Prince Anantayot, son of Queen Jamadevi of Haripunchai’s Lamphun, according to Yonok historical record.
Decades of war with both the Ava Burmese and Ayutthaya in the 17th-18th century left the province severely depopulated, and under Burmese control.
Nan Tipchang fought for its independence and established himself as Phraya Sulavaluechaisongkram, King of Lampang in 1736.
Prince Kaewfa, son of Lord Tipchang, was the first ancestor of the Na Lampang, Na Lamphune and Na Chiang Mai family lines to govern the province in 1764, while Prince Boonyawat Vongmanit was its last.
Lampang officially became a province in Thailand in 1892 during the reign of King Rama V.