Lampang province is located in the north of Thailand, roughly 516 km northwest of Bangkok, in the Wang River valley and is surrounded by a chain of mountains. Previously called Khelang Nakhon, the province was under the Mon rule starting with the 7th century. The Burmese controlled the area until the 18th century, when Siam’s kings rose against the Burmese rule and, as a consequence, a relative of Lampang’s leader became the ruler of Lampang.
Finally, in 1892, Lampang became one of Thailand’s many provinces. Now, its ceramic goods and mining operations are what makes the province well-known around the country, especially for the extraction of ball clay, china stone, and lignite.
When visiting Lampang province, be sure to stop by these five breath-taking destinations:
- Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
- Thai Elephants Conservation Centre
- Namtok Wang Kaeo Waterfall
- Chae Son National Park
- Lampang Trains and Horse Carriages Day
Lampang Destination #1: Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a Buddhist temple known for its original Lanna-style 15th century construction that hasn’t been changed to fit in with more modern designs. It is said that the temple holds the Buddha’s relics, which have been kept kept in its main stupa after the cremation. When you first enter the temple you are greeted by guardian lions but you must climb a stone stairway to reach the main gates. Once on the temple grounds, you will find multiple specific-purpose buildings which you can explore and take photos of.
The temple is located about 15 km southwest from Lampang town. You can get there by taxi which you can book at your hotel. For a more memorable experience, you can ride a horse drawn carriage which will cost around you 300 baht. The temple is open from 8 am to 5 pm and there is no entrance fee, although donations are highly appreciated.
Lampang Destination #2: Thai Elephants Conservation Center
The Thai Elephant Conservation Center, located at 60 km from Chiang Mai, is home to more than fifty Asian elephants, as well as six of King Bhumibol’s ten white elephants. The Center provides many activities that you and your family can enjoy together, such as watching elephants bathe, go on a ride, watch an elephant show, and get a chance to see the baby elephants. However, you will need to pay for each activity.
If you want to get the full experience, you should visit early as activities start from 8 am and last until 3:30 pm, but the center is open until 6 pm. There is an entrance fee of 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. If you choose to stay overnight, you can stay in the Homestay which will cost 500 baht per room for three persons or at the Elephant Resort which will cost between 1000-1500 baht per room for two people.
Lampang Destination #3: Namtok Wang Kaeo Waterfall
The Namtok Wang Kaeo Waterfall is a great spot to spend a peaceful day outdoors with your family. The limestone waterfall is the largest waterfall in the province and consists of many levels, making the water flow relaxing. The area around the waterfall makes a perfect picnics spot. The waterfall is located in the Doi Luang National Park in the Wang Kaeo subdistrict, which makes the trek to the waterfalls even more enjoyable as you will pass by many villages. The villager’s wooden houses will make the perfect photography object, so be sure to bring your camera along.
The road to the waterfall will eventually reach a dead end, so you will need to remember your way back, making this experience even more thrilling. The waterfall is located 178 km south of Lampang Town and can be reached after a 2-to-3 hours ride. There is an admission fee of 20 baht per person.
Lampang Destination #4: Chae Son National Park
Located 75 km north of Lampang town, Chae Son National Park is the place for you and your family to witness the scenery northern Thailand has to offer. The park includes waterfalls, a hot spring, a thriving forest, and caves. Its highest waterfall, the Chae Son Waterfall, has six tiers reaching up to 150 meters above the ground, followed by Mae Peak which is three-tiered and reaches up to 100 meters. But there are even more waterfalls for you to enjoy, just ask the rangers how to find them.
The hot spring is made up of nine boreholes with water that heats up to around 73 degreed C (163 degrees F). Many species live in the park’s forest, including deer, green pigeon, Siamese hares, Malayan flying lemurs, and many more. These animals will be something worth remembering, so be sure to bring a camera with a zoom lens along in case you’re lucky enough to spot them out. The park has an entrance fee of 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children, and opening hours are from 8 am to 6 pm.
Lampang Destination #5: Lampang Trains and Horse Carriages Day
When travelling to Lampang, scenic destinations aren’t the only things you should look forward to. Every year, the province organizes the Lampang Trains and Horse Carriages Day which is held between 1st and 5th of April at the Nakhon Lampang Railway Station. The 5-day festival is meant to celebrate the first royal train that arrived at the station in April 1, 1916. It includes a huge market, cultural performances, and a parade where locals dress up in traditional costumes that were used 80 years ago when horse carriages were “in fashion”.
You can also take a ride around the city on the horse carriages provided. This extravagant festival attracts many visitors who cannot resist joining the fun, so don’t miss out on it.
Wrapping it all up!
Lampang Province is not often spoken about in travel shows or written about in blogs and magazines, but the journey to this northern Thai province will definitely be an unforgettable experience with temples, an elephant conservation center, waterfalls, and national parks on your itinerary. Of course, the 5-day locally flavoured festival will be a plus if you visit during the first week of April.
To get to Lampang Province from Bangkok, you can drive for about 7 hours and a half if you go at an average speed of 80 km/h (50 mp/h). If you wish to speed up this long journey, you can take a flight from Bangkok to Lampang Airport and it will only take 1 hour and 25 minutes to get there. There are 7 flights per day and you can choose between Nok Air and Bangkok Airways, with the earliest flight taking off at 6 am and the latest flight being at 5:30 pm. There are also buses and trains that leave regularly from Mo Chit Bus Station and Hua Lamphong Strain Station respectively in Bangkok.