From Lamphun Province

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.

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 Mahawan

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 serpents overhead) which was brought to the temple by the Queen. Commonly known as Phra Rot Lamph, it serves as the model for the famous votive tablet.

Wat Phra Yun

Another ancient site related to the old history of the town is Wat Phra Yun. The Ku Chang-Ku Mah Chedi at the temple is surrounded in four directions by standing statues. The Chedi itself is cylinder-shaped and commemorates Queen Chamthewi’s war elephant and her son’s steed.

The Ban Nong Chang Khun

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.

Pa Sang District

is a handicraft centre and famous for its handmade cotton materials which are produced mainly in Ban Nong Nguak. Also at this village is an ancient temple noted for its beautiful arches in indigenous Burmese-influenced style.

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 on stone ground.

Ban Hong

is the site of a 1400-year-old community dating back to the Hariphunchai Kingdom. Located some 40 Kilometres to the south of Lamphun, it offers a scenic and delightful vista of green fields and mountains. It also has several old temples built in admirable indigenous style, e.g., Wat Phra Chao Ton Luang with its 600-year-old Buddha statue, Wat Pa Puai and Wat Dong Rusi. The latter two temples both maintain 100-year-old Ho Trai (scripture halls) built with wood in delicate patterns. Some of the natural attractions in the district include Tham Luang Pha Wiang, a cave some 15 kilometres south of the district town. Inside the cavern are oddly-shaped stalactites. There are accommodation facilities for tourists in the district town.

Mae Ping National Park

Covering an area of over 1,000 square kilometres is the Mae Ping National Park. Its main feature is the Ping River, which floes through the forests in the park. On both sides are fertile forest-lands with sheer cliffs providing beautiful natural scenery. Certain parts of the waterway spread out to form reservoir-like bodies of water with numerous small islands and rapids. Another attraction is the 7-level Ko Luang Waterfall which is fed from lime streams. It is just 20 kilometres from the park headquarters and accessible by road. Fascinating stalactites and stalagmites are to be found inside nearby lime caves.

Tourists wishing to stay overnight are recommended to contact park headquarters; which is located some 20 kilometres off Highway No. 106 at Km. 47.

Wat Phra Bat Huai Tom

is the largest temple in the district, boasting a large Lanna-style Chedi and an extensive place of worship built in laterite by Karens living in the vicinity who were admirers of the highly revered Phra Kru Ba Chaiwongsa. The temple is about 5 kilometres off Highway No.106 at Km.47.