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History of Lampang 



Lampang is not second to any other provinces as a source of Lanna Thai civilisation. The people of Lampang possess a simple way of life with customs and traditions having been passed down from ancient times. it is a city of its own uniqueness, which comprises local architecture, temples, horse-drawn carriages, beautiful and pristine natural attractions, a former source of logging using elephants to haul logs: the elephant has become a symbol of the city, and famous kaolin pottery. All these things make Lampang be a destination attractive to travellers.


In the past, lampang had many names: Si Don Chai, Lampha Kampa Nakhon, Khelang nakhon, and Kukkuttanakhon (Nakhon Kai - city of rooster). The word 'Lampang' means Mai Pang. Legend has it that Mai Pang was a pole that Lua Ai Kon, a Lua hilltribe, used to carry a cylinder of honey, coconuts, and bale fruits as offerings to the Lord Buddha who came to visit the area. Then, the top of the pole was planted in the ground and became a Khachao tree (Holoptelea integriforia Planch.), which now can be seen next to the Wihan Luang (great image hall) at Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang. The Kachao tree is different from other trees because its branches turn down toward the earth. This auspicious tree of Lampang is over 2,500 years old.


'Khelang Nakhon' comes from a Pali word existing in legend since the 18th century. The word 'Nakhon' was changed from 'Lakhon.' The name of Khelang nakhon also appeared on inscription stones and in chronicles of the following periods. In speaking, the word 'Lakhon' was pronounced 'Lakon' and 'Mueang Lakhon' had the same meaning as Wiang lakon.


Another legend tells that when the Lord Buddha visited this city, God Indra transformed himself into a white rooster and cooed to wake up the people in time ot give offerings to the Lord Buddha. Thus, lampang got the name 'Kukkutta nakhon, ' which means the city of the white rooster. The white rooster is, therefore, a symbol of the city commonly found on road signs, bridges, buildings, or even the famous rooster-branded bowls.


From archaeological evidence, it was foudn that a community had lived in the area of the city of Lampang for more than 3,000 years. The discovereed things included painting, ancient human skeletons, and pieces of pottery from the Hariphunchai period and shards of San kamphaeng ceremics.


Geographically, lampang is a city in a wok-shaped valley, encompassed by a high and steep range of mountains. Some part of it emerges as a granite line on the Phi Pan Nam Range to the west. In the past, a severe move of the Earth's crust caused a giant plain basin and a complex of mountains. Over a long period of time, the basin turned into a large lake. With soil sediment and deposit of animal and plant fossils, it has become a plain being a source of oil and lignite in Amphoe Mae Mo in the middle part of Lampang city.