Discover the most beautiful Buddhist temples of Lamphun and Lampang. Both towns have a long and rich history and house temples from various eras in Thai history. First stop is Lamphun, about 45 minutes drive from Chiang Mai where we will visit two ancient temples. Second stop is Lampang about 1½ hours from Chiang Mai where we will visit the town’s most worthwhile temples.
Lamphun is one of Thailand’s oldest towns. Founded in the early 9th century it was the capital of the Mon Kingdom Hariphunchai. The town houses temples and historic sites from various eras like Hariphunchai, Lanna and Rattanakosin.
The town’s most important temple is the Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, which is depicted on the Lamphun provincial seal. The temple houses one of the last remaining examples of Mon architecture in Thailand, a stepped pyramidal chedi with receding tiers named the Suwanna chedi.
The nearby 12th century Wat Ku Kut houses two Hariphunchai style chedis as well as several more recent buildings.
A little further South is Lampang, another very old town, believed to have been founded in the 7th century. The city played an important role in the Mon Kingdom Hariphunchai and later became part of the Lanna Kingdom.
During the late 19th and early 20th century the Lampang area was a center of the Thai teak logging industry.
Shown on Lampang’s provincial seal the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a large and impressive fortified temple and an excellent example of Lanna architecture. Its chedi enshrines a hair relic of the Buddha who visited the area some 2,500 years ago.
Burmese temples in Lampang
Lampang houses a great number of Burmese style temples that were built around the late 19th to early 20th century when many Burmese came over to work in the teak logging business. Wealthy Burmese built temples in their native style to gain Buddhist merit.
Wat Si Rong Muang
A beautiful example of Burmese Shan architecture is the Wat Si Rong Muang. The gables of the teak wood viharn’s multi tiered roof are adorned with delicate typical Burmese ornamental metal sheets. Inside are several Burmese and Lanna style Buddha images.
Wat Sri Chum
The 19th century Wat Sri Chum is another Burmese style temple. Highlight is its ordination hall, a small structure topped with several Pyatthat Burmese roofs consisting of several very richly decorated receding tiers. Its chedi is a mix of Burmese and Lanna styles.
Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao
Sharing the same grounds are the Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao and the Wat Suchadaram. In the 15th century the Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao housed the Emerald Buddha image, Thailand’s most highly revered image of the Buddha, now enshrined in the Wat Phra Kaew temple at the Grand Palace in Bangkok. On the grounds is a Burmese style mondop topped with a 7 tiered very ornate Pyatthat roof, a large chedi and several other buildings.
The adjoining Wat Suchadaram shows Lanna, Burmese and Lao influence.
Another worthwhile Burmese style temple in Lampang is the Wat Pongsanuk on the banks of the Wang river. Highlight is its teak wood viharn which was restored over a period of four years. The restoration project was given the UNESCO award for cultural heritage conservation.
Lamphun & Lampang temple Tour
Full day private tour including transfers, entrance fees and lunch