Lampang is one of the largest towns in Northern Thailand. It is known for its historical trading zones and horse carriages. It also preserves a lot of the Lanna culture. The Walking Street (Night Market) is filled with local handcrafts and delicious food. The benefit of being a tourist free destination is that everything is high quality and cheap. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the best street food and shopping for crafts and clothing.
I have a local friend who has been living here for 7 years. We met in Chiang Mai back in July, when it was my first time going to Thailand. She told me about Lampang, that it’s a quiet destination with great surroundings. It sounded perfect to me and I said that I might stop by on this trip.
After spending a lot of time in Chiang Rai (10 days) I was ready for something new. I made my way south to Lampang by bus. When I arrived at the bus station, I could immediately tell that there’s barely any tourists here. Most of the locals do not know any English. I picked up some small sentences along the way and I know the numbers. It’s just enough to gain a little bit of trust, point at things and get the right price.
I’m staying in Memmoth Hostel. There aren’t many hostels around in Lampang. But this one is absolutely perfect. I just had some crazy days in Chiang Rai, I can really use to time to calm down and get work done.
This hostel is new and modern. In front they have a gorgeous coffeeshop with amazing coffee and treats. The place is so well designed. Many Thai people come here in nice clothes for Instagram pictures or some to work or write. It’s a really great atmosphere and it is perfect for me.
Friday Night Market
The night markets in Lampang are amazing. I have been to many night markets by now. Some have been really huge and overwhelming. Like the one in Chiang Mai. That market is insanely huge. The big difference is that the markets in Lampang are for locals. Chiang Mai has so many tourists and expats that it has a big influence on the culture and food.
My friend decides to pick me up at my hostel in the evening and show me the Friday night market to get food. We stop at so many different stalls and got so much food. It’s insane.
- Mini pancakes with corn
- Omelette grilled in banana leafs
- Sticky rice and fishballs
- Eggs inside fishballs
- Spicy noodles
- Ice cream
All this food comes at a total price of 110 baht (3 euro)! That’s crazy cheap. And everything was so delicious. I had so much food I could barely move.
The Walking Street
The ‘Kad Kong Ta’ (Walking Street) of lampang is amazing. It’s a historical trading zone. The trading began next to the Wang River. People build their houses there. It’s a mix of western, Burmese, Thaiyai and Chinese style. It’s very unique and beautiful. Today the Walking Street is an impressive spot for handmade goods.
I’m not really a materialistic person. It doesn’t combine with full time travel. I cannot afford to travel around with random goods bought in every destination. So I come for food! And boy was I not disappointed.
My friend came to pick me up again at Memmoth Hostel and brought me to the Walking Street. All the food from yesterday has been digested. My stomach is empty, so let’s do this thing all over again.
The first thing I notice is how huge the Walking Street is. The Friday Night Market is really small compared to this. So we wander around and get a lot of food!
- Mini pancakes
- Soy milk with sweet corn
- Coconut cake
- Thai dessert
- Pork skewer
- Strawberry smoothie
The total price of this is 130 baht (3.65 euro). This town is going to make me fat if I stick around too long.
Wat Chalermprakiat, Mountain Temple
This is the best tourist attraction of Lampang. It is also, apart from having a local friend, the reason why I came to visit. There is a gorgeous temple on the top of the mountain. It has one of the best views of Thailand.
It’s one of those most amazing structures I have never seen. How did they even put everything up there? All the stone statues on the mountain peaks. How is this even possible? It’s really remarkable.
The temple is 67km away from my hostel. It is a long drive. You can get there by car, scooter or bus. I rented a scooter for this and drove there myself. I love the freedom of driving myself. Memmoth hostel is also doing tours there. But I love to explore on my own. The drive is over 1 hour, but the road to there is beautiful.
One’s you get there, you will have to go to the parking lot and get a 4×4 taxi to drive you to the top. You also need to buy an entrance ticket to enter the national park. The prices are more expensive for foreigners. The total for me was 270 baht (7.60 euro).
The taxi will bring high up in the mountain and the rest you have to do on foot. The hike up is pretty steep, but doable. I have seen an old guy with crutches making it to the top.
The final climb is daunting. Just take enough breaks when you feel like you need it. On the way to the top are some viewpoints. This makes it easier to continue going as you get higher. There’s also a water source 50m from the top.
The water source is in a crack in the mountains. There are cups around. I think this water is potable. But I didn’t take any risks. If it is potable I bet is will be very refreshing.
Making it to the top is absolutely worth it. I spent a lot of time on the top enjoying the view and sitting close to the ledges. The view is totally amazing. It’s one of those views that are hard to capture beautifully in a picture but is stunning in real life.
Wat Doi Prachan Mae Tha Temple
This is a gorgeous temple that’s not far from Lampang. It takes about 30 minutes to get there. It’s absolutely a must do while in Lampang. The way up was over 200 steps. But I think it’s possible to drive up on the backside. I haven’t checked it myself, so don’t quote me on this. We really wanted to do the hike.
The best time to visit is during sunrise. We woke up early morning to get there in time. We arrived downstairs and it was still pitch dark. When we arrived there was a pack of 6 dogs waiting for us. They decided to guide us up to the temple. Make sure to bring a flashlight when you decide to come for sunrise. This is what it looks like when we reached the top in the dark.
We brought a bit of food while we wait for the sun to show. I had bananas and a bag of chips and my friend brought warm soy milk from the morning market. Slowly the sky is started to brighten up. We found a spot to just chill while we wait. It was at the ledge, with my feet hanging over them. Behind us were the dogs guarding over us.
The view from this temple was really good. We weren’t lucky to get the cloud views this morning. I have been blessed by those lately when I go to the mountains lately. Not this time tho. Here are some more pictures of the temple.
Here is a picture of me and our pack of dogs. They wouldn’t leave our side for a minute. They were really awesome and fun.
This is in the back of the temple. It was absolutely worth it to come here early in the morning. The dogs also came with us when we went back down.
Sukhothai – Lampang – Chiang Mai
I’m going to Sukhothai next. It’s an ancient town more south from Lampang. It’s a great destination and it’s Unesco World Heritage! Lampang is a great place to stop if you are traveling between Sukhothai and Chiang Mai. It’s great for a few days. Specially on the weekend with one of the best Walking Streets so far. There’s a lot more to explore around here. There are amazing museums and a national park with waterfalls.
Sukhothai is part of the more popular tourist routes when people travel from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. I think that Lampang deserve a spot in that route. It’s truly amazing.