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LAMPANG Overview



Lampang, located 100 kilometres southeast of Chiang Mai and 600 kilometres north of Bangkok and is famous for its house-drawn carriages and with a rooster as its provincial emblem. The horse and carriage, a mode of local transportation that has survived the introduction of automobiles to Lampang, is a fun way to explore the surprisingly large town, which features a number of beautiful old temples. Set in the Wang River basin, the province has less spectacular highland landscapes than Chiang Mai, and its main attraction is cultural rather than scenic.

The area has a long history of settlement and is rich in archaeological and architectural evidence reflecting the ancient civilization of Hariphunchai, Lanna and Myanmar. Indeed, the town of Lampang, sited on the banks of the Wang River, possesses considerable historical interest. It has been a cultural hub since the 7th century, when it was part of the Mon Kingdom of Hariphunchai and in the early 20th century was the centre of the then all-important, teak trade, during which time Burmese influences were prevalent.
Sights today include several well-preserved temples that display a blend of Thai and Burmese architectural styles, while a short distance outside town is Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang, arguable the single most fascinating temple in the North.

Moreover, Lampang is in its relaxed atmosphere and lifestyles more typically and traditionally Thai than Chiang Mai, and shows little change in spite of the growth of tourism. Blending cultural interest with nature conservation is Lampang’s remarkable Elephant Conservation Centre. Elephants played a major role as beasts of burden during the heydays of the teak industry, and although that era has passed, a number of the elephants have been given a new home at the centre, where visitors can see demonstrations of their forestry skills, as well as the more recent accomplishments of elephant as painters and musicians.

Lampang is the only province in Thailand still retaining hours-drawn carriages as means of transport within city limit. Visitors can hire such vehicles to tour places such as markets, traditional houses along the river bank and the numerous temples in town.


The charming city of horse drawn carriages and province with the king’s stable of white elephants at the Thailand Elephant Conservation Center.


Most visitors simply visit Lampang to see the Thailand Elephant Conservation Center, bypassing Lampang town on their way to Chiang Mai and provinces farther north. However, while the elephant center is certainly a must-see attraction, those willing to spend some time in the provincial capital are generally surprised by the charming and somewhat unusual town and province of Lampang.


Famous for its horse-drawn carriages and sporting a rooster on its provincial emblem (the bird also honored with a large statue in the center of town), Lampang boasts a long history of human settlements within the Wang River basin, some of which date back more than 1,000 years. Lampang is rich in archaeological evidence from the kingdoms of Hariphunchai, Lanna, and Burma.


The horse and carriage, a mode of local transportation that has survived the introduction of automobiles to Lampang, is a fun way to explore the surprisingly large town, which features a number of beautiful old temples. The rooster statue, which you are likely to pass along the way, is a much older symbol of Lampang, dating back to the city’s former name, Kukutthanakorn, or City of Roosters, a name that was derived from a local legend about a white rooster that was sent by the Brahmin God Indra to wake the local inhabitants so they could give alms to the Lord Buddha, who was purportedly visiting the town.


On the road from Lampang to Chiang Mai is the Thailand Elephant Conservation Center, the oldest and only government sponsored elephant center in Thailand, where the King’s white elephants are housed, visitors can learn about elephants, and elephant demonstrations are regularly performed.
Lampang city is the capital of the province of the same name, a city that features horse drawn carriages, relaxing riverside bars and restaurants, a number of spectacular Buddhist temples, and a friendly, laid-back local population. Just outside of the city, on the road to Chiang Mai, the Thailand Elephant Conservation Center is one of the premier venues for visitors to learn about elephants and watch elephant demonstrations.