Legend handed down for more than 1,400 years refer to this ancient town as Hariphunchai. Its first ruler was Queen Chamthewi who was of Mon extraction. In late 12th century, King Mengrai overran the town and subsequently integrated it into the Lanna Kingdom.
Today, Lamphun still retain its enchanting ambience of a small but old community. It is some 670 kilometres from Bangkok and only 26 kilometres from Chiang Mai. Located on the bank of the Kuang River, its attractions include ancient sites and relics as well as forests and mountains and delightful lakes. Lamphun is the most famous producer of longans.
How To get To Lamphun
From Bangkok, take Highway No. 1 to Nakhon Sawan via Sing Buri and Chai Nat, then turn into Highway No. 11 and proceed to Lamphun, a total distance of 670 kilometres.
Both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned buses departs from Bangkok’s Mochit 2 Bus Terminal to Lamphun daily. Travelling time is about 9 hours. Call 0 2936 0852-66 or visit www.transport.co.th for more information. Indra Tour which is a private bus company also operate air-conditioned bus to Lamphun. Call 0 2208 0840 for information.
Trains leave Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Raialway Station every day. Call 1690 for more information.
Visitors can fly from Bangkok to Chiang Mai and then connect a Chiang Mai-Lamphun bus which leave Chang Phueak Bus Station every 15 minutes. Travelling time from Chiang Mai to Lamphun is 45 minutes.
Distances from Amphoe Mueang to Other Districts
Pa Sang 11
Wiang Nong Long
Thung Hua Chang
Another event is the Longan Fair in August which is designed to promote this hugely popular produce. There are the beautifully decorated Longan Parade and Longan contests.
Song Nam Phra That Hariphunchai
The most well-known event in Lamphun is the Song Nam Phra That Hariphunchai, which dates back to the olden times. Held to celebrate the province's principal religious site, it takes place in May.
Hand-made Cotton Fabric
A hand-made cotton fabric is also very much preferred by tourists. It is moderately priced and of designs and colours which have been improved yet retaining the indigenous feel and tradition. It is generally made into table-cloth, plate rests, drapes and other household uses. The market at Pa Sang offers a large collection to choose from.
Estimate price : -
Pha Mai Yok Dok
The Pha Mai Yok Dok is an elaborately woven material in traditional method. Originally used in the northern royal court, it became popular during the reign of King Rama VI. The distinctive craftsmanship and skills in producing this type of silk have endeared it to those who prefer the traditional designs. The main production centre is at Tambon Wiangyong of Muang district.
Estimate price : -
Wood-carving products are made from soft-wood into animal figurines, dolls, utensils and decorative items. The natural textures of the wood are clearly visible which add beauty to the products. The main production centre is in Mae Tha district which is some 25 kilometres from town on the way to Lampang.
Estimate price : -
Ban Nong Chang Khuen
The Ban Nong Chang Khuen is the most famous longan growing area in the country. The orchards are located some 8 kilometres before Lamphun and with a further 7 kilometres after a right turn. On both sides of the road are numerous longan orchards. The fruits are in season during July-August. Longans were introduced to the area during the reign of King Rama V and have since spread into neighbouring provinces. There are several species today which are popular among consumers.
Hariphunchai National Museum
Located on Inthayongyot Road almost opposite Wat Phra That Hariphunchai is the Hariphunchai National Museum. Displays and exhibits include historical development and archaeological items found in Lamphun. These include prehistorical human skeletons and objects of arts from the Dvaravati, Hariphunchai, Lanna and Rattanakosin periods. A chamber in devoted to a collection of inscription stones in Mon and Lanna scripts. Another displays ancient utensils, Lanna indigenous arts and carvings. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
Phra Nang Chamthewi Statue
The Phra Nang Chamthewi Statue is located in the Nong Dok public park in town commemorating the first ruler of Hariphunchai.
Suthewa Rusi Statue
In front of the Town Hall is the Suthewa Rusi Statue. Legend has it that the Rusi, or ascetic, was the actual founder of Hariphunchai. As an ascetic refraining from worldly affairs he invited Phra Nang Chamthevi, a daughter of the King of Lopburi, to ascend the throne and helped her to firmly establish Buddhism in the land.
Wat Chamthewi, commonly referred to a “Ku Kut”, is located on the Lamphun-San Pa Tong Road and built in 1298 B.E. in the Lawo (Lopburi) style. The Chedi is a square structure similar to Buddhagaya in India. Around the Chedi are levels of arches holding a total of 60 Buddha statues. Ashes of the queen are enshrined within the Chedi
On the road parallel to the old city wall to the west of town is Wat Mahawan, an old temple built since the times of Queen Chamthewi. Enshrined here is a Nak Prok statue (statue with mythical serphants overhead) which was brought to the temple by the Queen. Commonly known as Phra Rot Lamphun, it serves as the model for the famous votive tablet.
Wat Phra That Hariphunchai
Sited in mid-town, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai was built during the reign of King Arthitayarat, a descendant of Queen Chamthewi some 800 years ago. A principal landmark is the 46-metre tall golden Chedi whose present appearance was the result of the restoration work in 1443 by a king of Chiang Mai. It has long been regarded as a major place of worship. Other architectural works include the ancient-style brick arch adorned with fine designs and the pair of sculptured lions at the door. There are also a square-shaped Chedi and a Khmer-style Buddha statue.
Wat Phra Yuen
Another ancient site related to the old history of the town is Wat Phra Yuen. The Ku Chang-Ku Ma Chedi at the temple is surrounded on four directions by standing statues. The Chedi itself is cylinder-shaped and commemorates Queen Chamthewi's war elephant and her son's steed.
Wat Phra Phutthabat Tak Pha
About 7 kilometres away on the route to Li district is Wat Phra Phutthabat Tak Pha. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha once stayed here, leaving a trace of likeness of monk's saffron robe and his footprint of stone ground.