Lampang, in the Wang River basin, has been occupied by various civilisations, including Hariphunchai, Lanna, and Burmese, for more than 1,000 years and has a rich archaeological record. It is also known for its nostalgic local transport: horse-drawn carriages, rather than tuk-tuks.
Lampang Airport (LPT) is currently served by three daily turboprop (ATR72) flights by Bangkok Airways from/to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) at 1.5 hours (1,800 baht and up, includes using their lounge even for the economy class), as well as by three daily flights by Nok Air on a newer and larger Bombardier Q400 turboprop from Don Mueang International Airport (promo fares from 900 baht, November 2014).
Another option is to take a low-cost flight (Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Lion Air) to Chiang Mai, then connect to Lampang by bus. But it is at least two hours by road from Chiang Mai to Lampang, plus you'll need to connect from the airport to the bus station across (13 km) the entire city.
The Northern railway line from Bangkok to Chiang Mai passes through Lampang. As such, there are several trains in either direction every day. The journey from Bangkok takes 10-12 hours; 2nd class air-con sleeper ticket costs 734-804 baht, air-con seat car is 574 baht. 2nd class fan sleeper is 150-200 baht cheaper than air-con.
From Chiang Mai, the trip takes around 2 hours. Express fan car tickets are 23 baht. Air-con car tickets are just over 100 baht.
Many buses run from Bangkok's Mo Chit terminal, most of which continue on to Chiang Mai. First-class air-con bus ticket costs around 400-450 baht, the trip takes 8-9 hours (as such, overnight buses are recommended).
From Chiang Mai (Arcade bus station), buses are very frequent, and it takes just around 1-1.5 hours to get to Lampang. The price is 40-90 baht, depending on the class (first class air-con bus costs 90 baht)
Finally, many buses going from Chiang Mai to various other destinations in central and northeast Thailand stop in Lampang, so it is pretty well connected.
From Bangkok take Highway 32 to Nakhon Sawan. then Highway 1 via Kamphaeng Phet and Tak to Lampang. Distance from Bangkok is 600 km.
There are no tuk-tuks, so either use the horse-drawn carriages or the songthaews, which can be hired like a tuk-tuk. If it is not on a fixed route, ask the driver for a price but be sure that you both understand whether the price is for the trip or per person.
- Ban Sao Nak (Thai: บ้านเสานัก) (House of Many Pillars). Century-old house in the Lanna style serving as a museum.
- Houses in the old town, Thanon Talat Gao. The old market street runs parallel to the river. This was the business center of the town. Today you can see houses in the Burmese Lanna style and Chinese businessmen's houses with wooden doors and delicately carved windows.
- Thai Elephant Conservation Center (km28-29 Lampang-Chiang Mai Hwy, Hang Chat), ☎ +66 54 247871. The proceeds from this government-run center go toward research and elephant conservation initiatives. The center is home to about 50 domesticated elephants, including the first elephant born from artificial insemination, and six of the 10 royal white elephants. The center hosts three daily elephant shows (200 baht for adults, 100 baht for children) at 10:00, 11:00, and 13:00, lasting about 30-45 minutes. During the show the elephants obey commands of the mahout, traditional logging techniques, painting, and playing instruments. After the show you can feed the elephants treats for 20 baht, and pet and have your picture taken with an elephant. You can also ride an elephant in the riding grounds for 500 baht, visit and feed baby elephants and their mothers in the nursery (free) and see sick elephants being cared for in the elephant hospital (free). You can also watch the mahouts bathe the elephants at 09:40 before the first show, or at 13:40 after the last show. A shuttle bus circles the park or you can walk. The center also has a museum, a homestay program, and a mahout training program. The center can be reached by public transport from Chiang Mai Arcade bus terminal (minibus, 1 hour, 70 baht) or Lampang. A good alternative to many of the high-priced for-profit "sanctuaries" around Chiang Mai.
In the city
- Wat Pha Fang (Samam Bin Road). Temple erected in the 19th century with a golden chedi containing reliquiaries brought here from Burma.
- Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao (Phra Kaeo Road). Temple contains Thailand's second "emerald" Buddha, the other being in Bangkok.. The temple has a big chedi containing a hair of Buddha, a mondop in Burmese style, an old wihan with a statue of the reclining Buddha, and a small museum.
- Wat Si Chum, Wat Si Chum Road. The temple has a small ceremonial hall in Burmese-style. The temple is the seat of a small community of monks from Burma.
- Wat Si Rong Mueang (In the western part of the city). a temple erected in Burmese-style in 1905 when the teak wood trade flourished and Burmese traders came into the town.
Outside the city
- Wat Chedi Sao (5 km from the city center on the road to Chae Hom). The temple has 20 white chedis and a statue of Buddha in Burmese-style.
- Wat Phrathat Chom Ping (14 km from city center).
- Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang (About 12 km from Lampang centre). Traditional Lanna architecture on the site of ancient Lampang city is famous for murals from the 19th century. The city seal features a white cockerel in the temple's gate.
- Horse carriage ride. 60-200 baht.
- Khantok Chang Fair, Elephant Conservation Center. First Fri and Sat in February, elephant shows. Elephants are fed with fruits and vegetables on the traditional Lanna Tok tablet.
- Luang Wiang Lakhon Fair, Wat Phra Keao Don Tao and Wat Phra Thta Lampang Luang. End of October, beginning of November. Festival related to the history of the city, local customs and traditions.
- Handmade Elephant Dung Paper. From the Thai Elephant Conservation Center.
- Sangchai Outlet. Lampang is a major ceramics centre of Thailand. Up and down Hwy 11 you will find ceramics factories with outlets. An especially good one is Sangchai, where you can stock up on all the cockerel-laden bowls you need, along with local goodies like khao tan biscuits. It's common to see out-of-town Thais shopping for souvenirs.
- Wood carvings from Tambon Na Khrua village in the Mae Tha district
- Sa paper, traditional paper, made of soft wood from Ban Nam Thong village
- Aroy One Baht. Excellent, mainly visited by locals but definitely advisable for tourists.
- Night Market (About a kilometre down the road from the clock tower circle). Many assorted cheap food stalls with tables and seating. On the left at the market entrance is a 7-Eleven that sells (and opens) beer bottles and soft drinks to go with your meal. 50-70 baht per serving.
- Relax Pub and Restaurant, 332 Tipchang Rd (By the river). Daily, 17:00-24:00. Traditional & local Thai food. Live music every night. Friendly English-speaking staff. A great place to hang out and have fun.
- Weekend Walking Street (near Riverside Restaurant and Aroy One Baht). On Saturday and Sunday nights, everyone turns out for the walking street.
- Grandma's Cafe (Corner of Tipchang Rd and Talat Kao). Cosy coffee shop with free Wi-Fi. Drinks, 30-40 baht.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||less than 500 baht|
|Splurge||over 1,500 baht|
- Baan Sabaidee, 218 Talad Kao Rd, ☎ +66 54 223612, fax: +66 84 4858482. Wooden colonial house, family-run, clean, great value. 200-600 baht.
- Kim Hotel, 168 Boonyawat Rd, ☎ +66 54 217721, fax: +66 54 226929. Clean rooms, central location. Often full. 330 baht..
- Lampang Guesthouse, ☎ +66 54 231101. Clean rooms, small, nice atmosphere, not many visitors. 200-250 baht..
- Riverside Guest House, 286 Talad Kao Rd, ☎ +66 54 227005, fax: +66 54 322342. Often full. Also has good restaurant. 200-1,000 baht.
- Tonnam/Tonlux Guesthouse (In front of Riverside Guesthouse on Talad Kao Rd), ☎ 0839417653. Run by a nice Thai couple. They have a small garden access to the small parking lot just in front of Please Bar and Gibbon Bar. 250 baht for double with en suite bath and fan, 300 bahts with AC.
- Asia Lampang Hotel, 229 Boonyawat Rd (Downtown, a few blocks from the Clock Tower), ☎ +66 54 227844. Quite acceptable. From the bus station, a songthaew charges 40-60 baht. The hotel is a little dated, but clean and the air-con is good. The breakfast is a choice of either two Thai dishes of rice porridge or fried noodle, or toast and jam. There is Internet at the hotel, and an Internet cafe is difficult to locate anywhere near the hotel. 540 baht with Thai breakfast.
- Ma Chic & Cozy, 258 Tambon Phrabaht (Near Srichum intersection, Tesco Lotus, and Central Plaza Lampang. From the bus station, a songthaew charges 40 baht per person), ☎ +66 54 011 110, +66 91 068 8686, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 13:00. A new modern accommodation. Safe, clean rooms and friendly staff. Breakfast buffet 07:00-10:00. Free Internet and welcome drink. 590 baht for a double room. Breakfast 100 baht per person.
- Lampang River Lodge, 330 Moo 11, Tambon Chompoo (South of Lampang between the highway and the Wang River), ☎ +66 54 336640 and 41, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cabins in a forested area between a large pond and the river. Safe, clean and friendly staff. Nice swimming pool next to the pond. Standard room 1,850-2,350 baht.
- Wienglakor Hotel, 138/38 Phaholyothin Rd, ☎ +66 54 228095, e-mail: email@example.com. Charming wooden style hotel. Very well maintained. No buffet breakfast, just a la carte. 1,800+ baht.
- Hang Chat
- Doi Khun National Park
- Chao Pho Prato Pha Shrine, 50 km from Lampang
- Kiu Lom Causeway
- Tham Pha Thai National Park, 60 km from Lampang
- Ban Chang Luang, woodcarving center. 33 Mu 9, Ban Khoi, Tamboon Bang Rong, neare the road from Phayao to Lampang
- Chaeo Son National Park, Mueang Pan District
|Routes through Lampang|
|Chiang Mai ← Lamphun ←||N S||→ Uttaradit → Bangkok|
|Chiang Rai ← Phayao ←||N S||→ Tak → Bangkok|