Best things to do in Lamphoon, Thailand
When it comes to northern Thailand, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Pai (in Mae Hong Son Province) usually top the list of popular destinations. However, there are many amazing places in this land that are worth taking a closer look at.
Among the towns comparable to the precious treasures of the country is the small and very cozy Lamphun. It's only an hour's drive from Chiang Mai and is famous for its unique cultural sites, from the golden temples of Lanna to the centers of tribal hearths. The locals associate Lamphun with longan fruit: gourmands will appreciate the dishes made from this fruit offered by local restaurants.
Some culinary masterpieces will surprise even the most sophisticated public. Try the delicious noodles made of these fruits to discover a new taste. Charming Lamphun will give you a calm and friendly atmosphere. It is ideal for those who want to take a break from the noise of the city and discover a new destination.
Take a dip in the seven-level waterfall of Ko Luang, which changes color depending on the season
The waterfall of Ko Luang is a real gem of these places. It is part of Mae Ping National Park, which extends over a vast green area and covers the provinces of Chiang Mai, Lamphun and Tak.
7-tiered Koh Luang Waterfall
Located 20 kilometers from the center of the national park, the picturesque waterfall of Ko Luang stuns nature lovers with its serene greenish-blue water and many fish. This natural masterpiece is 20 meters high, with falling streams washing over 7 levels before hitting a bowl of blue water. You can see intricately shaped stalagmites and stalactites in the limestone.
In summer (mid-February-May), the water is turquoise, and when it gets colder (November-February), it takes on a cerulean hue. During the rainy season, the water turns murky green, and visitors are usually forbidden to swim for safety reasons. But if the weather does permit a dip in the clear water, you'll be forced to wear a life jacket. Even experienced swimmers are not immune to the possibility of cramps in the cold pool.
2. Become a vegetarian at Baan Phra Bat Huay Tom and learn about the life of the Karen tribe
Like Ko Luang Falls, Karen Baan Huai Tom Village is located in Ampho Li (Li District), about an hour and a half drive from the central district of Lamphun. The 2,000 residents of Karen Village are vegetarians and work in a local textile center, preserving traditions in the production of unique items.
The creation of Backstrap textiles is a fascinating spectacle. The weaver has a tight leather belt on his body: he controls the process by moving his body relative to the stretched strings. Similar technologies are developed in some South American countries, such as Guatemala and Peru. But the distinctive feature of the woven products of different countries are unique textile prints and techniques, which are carefully handed down from generation to generation.
The villagers wake up very early to give alms to the monks. If you happen to be here on a Buddhist holiday when most locals are resting from work, take a chance to join them in the offering ritual (Sangkatarn) at the Phra Bat Huai Thom temple. Unlike other similar rituals in Thailand, here the monks are presented with vegetables.
3. See the golden heritage of Lanna - Wat Phra That Hariphunchai
This magnificent golden pagoda holds parts of the Buddha's skull bone. Legend has it that an ancient king ordered his people to build a palace on the site of the present temple. But every time he came here, a bird swooped down on him. Enraged and irritated, he finally caught the crow.
Wat Phra That Hariphunchai
Later, an angel appeared to him in a dream and advised him to take the 7-day-old baby and leave him with the bird for a while. Nine years later, having mastered the bird's language, the child revealed the veil of mystery and told him that there were relics of Buddha under the palace. The pious king was astonished at what he heard, did as he was commanded, replaced the earth with a fertile layer, and performed a ceremony of worship.
4. Visit local markets
Despite the small size of the city, there are two main markets. Experienced tourists know that you should buy food where the locals shop. The markets are full of reasonably priced Thai street food.
1) Nong Doc Market (Night Market)
In addition to appetizers, main courses and desserts, there is a large assortment of brightly colored chili, eggs and other interesting products. From midnight to 5 a.m., wholesale customers come here to buy provisions for the next day.
2) Wat Chai Chanuek Market
Locals go here for cheap and delicious food.
5. Explore Luang Pa Wiang Cave
Named Tum Lhuang in North Thai dialect (Tum means cave, Lhuang means big), this huge limestone cave has been revered by Thais since ancient times. It is filled with stalagmites and stalactites, divided into nine rooms and equipped with lights and guides for safe passage. Inside is a statue of Buddha and other religious sculptures of various sizes.
Luang Pa Wiang Cave
6. Get some time alone with nature in Doi Khun Thanh National Park
Lovers of romance and adventure rush to the park to admire its natural treasures, meet the sunrise, get a portion of fresh air. Those who wish can stay overnight in the park by reserving a bungalow or camping under the open sky.
Doi Khun Tan National Park
The entrance fee is 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for children. The park is open daily from 6:00 to 18:00.
7. Cross Thailand's longest railway tunnel, Khun Thanh, by train
Located near the national park, the Khun Than Railway Tunnel runs through a giant mountain between Lamphun and Lampang. It is not only the longest railway tunnel in Thailand. It is also the longest construction project: it took 14 years to complete.
Khun Tan Railway Tunnel
The scenery around the tunnel is beautiful, but the history of the construction is full of sorrow. Chinese workers spent eight hours a day underground, doing impossible work by hand, without machines. Sick and weakened, many took opium, which helped them survive the terrible conditions. The slaves of Isaan (Thai northeasterners) endangered their health here in order to buy their freedom.
8. Enjoy longan-based dishes and visit Longan Farm
Longan, which is the signature fruit of Lamphun, can be found everywhere. This sweet and juicy fruit is used as part of various dishes in famous restaurants in the province.
The Longan noodles are worth trying, where the fruit gives the dish a tantalizing flavor without overpowering its main flavor. The restaurant also boasts its own rendition of Longan and Pumpkin Salapao (Chinese steamed bun). You won't find these recipes anywhere else, not even in Bangkok's Chinatown.
If you go to Lamphun, make sure you stop at the Longgang Home Farm. Its owner, Khun Fai, always welcomes guests. At the farm's restaurant, located right in the garden, you will be treated to homemade northern Thai cuisine. You'll try a northern Thai omelet grilled in banana leaves and rare sticky rice with longans and coconut cream.
You can also enjoy a trip to one of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, Wat San Pa Yang Luang. We've told you about the most interesting places in Lamphun. Explore its best attractions and don't forget to check out the surrounding area: there's more to see. Thailand is a land of endless possibilities for those who like to explore new horizons.