Lampang

See life in a traditional Lanna town

(elephants included) on a day trip to Lampang from Chiang Mai

From Chiang Mai, head southeast to one of the most impressive temples in Northern Thailand,Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, on the outskirts of Lampang. A pristine example of Lanna (Northern Thai) architecture, this complex features some of the oldest and best-preserved wooden buildings in Thailand. Notable are the faded remains of exquisite mural paintings and a small pavilion which acts as a camera obscura, magically projecting the inverted image of the golden chedi (stupa) onto a sheer muslin curtain.

Our next stop, Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao, was home to the Emerald Buddha from 1436 to 1468. This most sacred Buddha image in Thailand is now housed in Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok, inside the Grand Palace. Highlights of this Burmese-influenced wat (temple) include a Mandalay-style Buddha image. \

Further on, Wat Si Chumis an excellent example of Burmese temple architecture, with its tiered wooden roofs and delicate woodcarvings on the roof gables.

Visit Baan Sao Nak, the House of Many Pillars, a traditional Northern Thai teakwood mansion filled with Thai and Burmese antiques and handicrafts.

Wat Chedi Sao, includes 20 white-washed chedi surrounded by a menagerie of colorfully painted animal statues. The treasure of this temple is its tall, solid-gold seated Buddha image, inlaid with precious stones.

Lampang City is known as the Horse Cart City, so no visit would be complete without a quick trot around the town in one of its charming horse carriages. Then, back to Chiang Mai early evening.

If you are weary of temples you can ask your guide to make a stop at Lampang's Elephant Preservation Center. It is not only a working elephant training camp, but also a rehabilitation center for injured animals. They developed the first prosthetic limbs for elephants who lost legs or feet when stepping on land mines.

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