In your world, how long you would allow yourself to feel being incomplete with whatever choices you have. Whatever it is, try embracing what you have now and enjoy your present moment. Today, I would like to share my 1st happy time in Lamphun. I feel fulfilled with my choice, even it was only a half day in Lamphun as it is regarded as my starter kit, meaning I shall somehow fill it up later for the other half or even more when time permitted. That is my promise!
Lamphun is a small and charming ancient city, formally called as Hariphunchai. The location is only 26 km. from Chiangmai and around 670 km. from Bangkok. Most people have heard so much of the beauty of historical Chiangmai (founded in 1296) as the former capital of the Kingdom of Lanna (1296-1768). Lamphun is somehow being forgotten maybe due to its relatively small size and the more quiet ambience.
If you are already in Chiangmai, do not forget to give yourself a chance to pamper your soul a bit with a glimpse of Lamphun. To give a fairness in term of its historical glory, the legendary Lamphun as an ancient city of Hariphunchai has always been my dream destination to wander around and to appreciate the slow, and quiet ambience. My true feeling can be compared with my wandering mode in Modena, Italy. If you know me, I am a huge fan of a smaller size, a true compact city with a history. Lamphun’s history was dating back to over 1400 years old as a historic Capital of the Mon Kingdom of Hariphunchai.
Wat Phra That Hariphunchai is a reason of my visit and I also was planning to pay a homage to the Queen Chamthewi , the first ruler of Hariphunchai at the Queen Chamthewi statue, not far from a local fresh market.
How all of this has been started ?
I have seen the charming, lovely scenic road of the very tall giant gum trees leading to Lamphun in Chiangmai for some times. My rough plan was to feel the ride, to explore the old city, to see the local market and to find something to eat (Lamphun style, my way..). Let’s see from the photos for what I got without prejudices.
My advice is to take a traditional Songthaew ( blue color indicating a specific route ) from Chiangmai or otherwise riding a motorbike would serve your life’s purpose well. In June, I stayed at Baan Den area in Chiangmai where I could catch this unique songthaew easily. You can look for this type of songthaew near Nawarat bridge. I felt that I was really getting a feeling of the past when looking out from sitting at the back of Songthaew. Also, feeling the present moment was right from seeing the locals traveling together. Early bird travel mode recommended.
This songthaew stops often and is regarded as the symbol of traveling mode between the 2 cities. Its fare is far less than a cup of Italian caffè latte in Milan for going back and forth from Chiangmai to Lamphun. Apart from its amazing price tag, you also have a chance to practice appreciating the slow life from seeing peaceful view from a scenic trip to Lamphun via route 106.
When traveling with songthaew, you shall be in adventurous mode as you can not imagine how many stops they have made especially for you. It all depends on whom you are traveling with. It is like a magic moment. Enjoy the ride as you know the final destination is worth your time. You only do not know how many stops along the way.
I opted to go back by a taxi van (air-conditioned van for 20 THB) in front of the Hariphunchai National Museum with 15 others. Since it became hot during noon time and the driver said driving back would be in different way from that scenic route 106. There was no plan for this choice and I just let it flow this way for a change.
Food-wise, I felt hungry all day on that Saturday as I cannot find anything to eat, except something sweet. I am a good friend of many animals in this world so don’t blame me for this. You can see what I ate. Cherry tomatoes were from Rimping, my love! The rest I sourced from around Wat Phra That Hariphunchai. I imagined myself traveling in the past eating dried longans. Impressively I was told that dried longans can be added to give a sweet natural favor for a hearty soup too.
Strolling around was my 1st option and then I paid 200 THB to support a local to take me around a small city via his tricycle. You can imagine my slow life mode with dried longans ! Every time when I am in an old city whether here in Thailand or overseas, I can’t help imagining what it was like 1000 years ago and of course wondering where I was back then. Cloud Atlas symptom!
What I have planned already for my re-visit to Lamphun :
1. Hariphunchai National Museum (established in 1927) ‘s visit , 2. The more early bird market re-visit , 3. Wat Phra That Hariphunchai (again), and 4. my dream destination in Lamphun – I will tell you once again when I can wake up there!
The land of longans, Lamphun celebrates the Longan Fair in August. If you love to embrace the glory of the past and its history as well as something sweet, visit Lamphun in August and treat yourself with tasty longans while strolling around.