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Thailand - North Region - Lamphun Province - Lamphun (Lamphoon) City
Lamphun Province is known for its arboriculture and orchards, as well as the ancient temples.
Lamphun City is about 670km from Bangkok but only 35km from Chiang Mai, so if you're in Chiang Mai, Lamphun can be visited on a day excursion quite easily. We recommend you hire a taxi and travel along the yang tree lined highway route 106, Lamphun town has a reputation in Thailand for beautiful Thai women!
We visited Lamphun city in December 2007 and found a low-rise, walled and moated city with some general tourist interest, The town was part of the Kingdom of Lanna and known as Hariphunchai many years ago and part of the local culture is based on this. We entered the city through the northern 'Elephant Crush Gate'. Lamphun old city is much smaller than old Chiang Mai.
There is a small, slightly academic, Hariphunchai National Museum - small admission charge applies. The museum had a collection of the earliest known Thai language inscriptions as well as artifacts including; prehistoric evidence, religious objects, pottery, bronzes and tools etc. Allow about half an hour or so.
Amongst the many Wats in the town, two are ranked as national treasures; Wat Phra That Hariphunchai (pictured left) a large temple complex by the River Ping, close to a covered bridge, renowned for its Buddha relics and gold covered chedi, and Wat Chamthewi* or Chamadevi AKA Wat Chamma Thewi (Suwan Changkot Chedi), where the remains (ashes) of Queen Chamma Thewi (Chamadevi) are interred.
There is a record and recognition of the Queen Chamma Thewi, the first ruler of Hariphunchai a national historic icon, commemorated in the town with a park, statue and shrine where women (particularly) visit from all over Thailand to pay their respect and make offerings to Queen Chamma Thewi's spirit and visit the shrine for good luck. Besides theadjacent flower and incense sellers there is musician nearby that will play some traditional Thai music for a few Baht that adds to the atmosphere of this pleasant area.
*Please forgive us for repeating the different spellings of particular place and persons names, as there is (at the moment) no definitive Anglicised spelling of many Thai places, objects or people.
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