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CHIANG MAI

LAMPANG - LAMPHUN - CHIANG MAI

TRIP DONE IN NOVEMBER 2002


ACCOMMODATION

ASIA LAMPANG HOTEL
229 Boonyawat Rd
Lampang
Tel: 054/227844-7
Fax: 054/224436
E-mail:
asiahol@cscoms.com
Site:
www.oocities.org/asia_lampang
Rate: 420 Baht (double room)

BAAN KAEW GUEST HOUSE
142 Charoenprathet Rd
Opp Wat Chaimongkol
Chiangmai  50100
Tel: 053/271606
Fax: 053/273436
E-mail:
baankaew_gh@hotmail.com
Rate: 550 Baht (double room)


VISITED PLACES

LAMPANG

Famous for its horse-drawn carriages and with a rooster as its provincial emblem. Lampang boasts a long history of human settlements on the Wang River basin, some of which dating back to more than 1000 years. It is rich in archaeological evidence reflecting ancient civilisations of Hariphunchai, Lanna and Burma. Lampang is administratively divided into the following districts: Muang, Thoen, Mae Phrik, Ngao, Ko Kha, Wang Nua, Mae Tha, Chae Hom, Sop Phrap, Seom Ngam, Hang Chat, Mae Mo and Muang Pan. Lampang is the only province in Thailand still retaining horse-drawn carriages as a means of transport with in city limit. Visitors can hire carriages to tour the city.

WAT CHEDI SAO LANG

Wat Chedi Soa Lang is located about 5 Km from town on the Lampang-Chae Hom Rd. The temple has 20 chedis in its compound, each made in the combined Lanna-Burmese style. A Chiang Saen style bronze Buddha statue is also enshrined here, commonly referred to as "Phra Chao Than Chai" by the local people. The door panels of the Ubosot are of ancient vintage with elaborate design.

WAT PHRA THAT LAMPANG LUANG

The temple in Lanna style is prominently sited on a hillock surrounded by a wall. The entrance arche, called Pratu Khong, is adorned with fine plaster designs. The wall-less main Wihan houses a bronze Buddha statue called the Phra Chao Lan Thong. To the back is a golden Chedi in Lanna architectural style containing a Holy Relic. Also in the back is another vihara with beautiful murals on wooden walls, said to be the oldest in the north. The temple has a large collection of ancient wooden utensils.

WAT PHRA THAT CHOM PING

Wat Phra That Chom Ping is situated 26 Km south west of Lampang. The temple was built by Queen Chamtewi after she had built Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. Nanthapayana, King Tilokarat of Chiang Mai's brother made some restorations afterwards. An unique feature is the reflections of the Chedi in natural colours which appear on the floor within the dark interior of the Ubosot (the same feature can be seen at Wat Phra That Lampang Luang..


LAMPHUN

The Haripunjaya (Mon) kingdom (called Hariphunchai in Thai) of the upper Menam valley was an important kingdom in northern Thailand (750-1281 AD). It is said that the king of the city of Lopburi sent his daughter Cham Thewi (Cammadevi, Camadevi) to become the ruler of Haripunjaya. After leaving her husband, she came to Haripunjaya in the second half of the seventh century AD with soldiers and 500 mahatheras who were well-versed in the Tripitaka. Lopburi, the home of Cham Thewi, was already an important centre of Theravada Buddhism and Ramannanagara, her husband's kingdom, which was located between Lopburi and Ayuthia in the lower Menam valley, was also a centre of Theravada Buddhism. In this way, towards the second half of the seventh century AD Theravada Buddhism was introduced into Haripunjaya. Its characteristic iconography of the seated Buddha in the Bhumisparsa mudra (mudra were the right hand touches the ground while the left rests in the lap. The position symbolises the point in Buddha's life when he meditated under the banyan tree while Mara tried to interrupt his meditation by a series of distractions. By touching earth he called on nature to witness his resolve) became the dominant image type and continued to remain so till this day. Haripunchai succeeded in remaining independent of both the Khmers and the Chiang Mai Thais. In late 12th century, King Mengrai overran the town and subsequently integrated it into the Lanna Kingdom. Today, Lamphun still retain its enchanting ambience of a small but old community. It is some 670 kilometres from Bangkok and only 26 kilometres from Chiang Mai. Located on the bank of the Kuang River, its attractions include ancient sites and relics as well as forests and mountains and delightful lakes. Lamphun is famous for producing the sweetest longan (lam Yai) of the country.

WAT PHRA THAT HARIPHUNCHAI

Sited in mid-town, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai was built during the reign of King Arthitayarat, a descendant of Queen Cham Thewi some 800 years ago. It was built on the site of Queen Chama Thewi's palace in 1044. The principal landmark is the 46 m tall Chedi Suwan in Haripunchai style, dating from 1418 and surmounted by a 9-tier umbrella made of 6.5 Kg gold. It has long been regarded as a major place of worship. Other architectural works include the ancient-style brick arch adorned with fine designs and the pair of sculptured lions at the entry. There are also a square-shaped Chedi of the original Haripunchai style and a Khmer-style Buddha statue. The world largest bronze gong hangs in a red pavilion in the compound.

WAT CHAM THEWI/WAT KUKUT

Wat Cham Thewi, commonly referred to as Wat Kukut, is located on the Lamphun-San Pa Tong Road and built in 1298 B.E. in the Lavo (Lopburi) style. Characteristic architectural form of the time of the Mon kingdom of Haripunjaya is the pyramidal stupa in a square plan with five diminishing storeys, topped by a spire as seen here at Wat Kukut, which assumed its present form in 1218 AD by the Haripunchai Mons. Decorating the four sides of the stupa are three Dvaravati style Buddha figures on each storey, making a total of 60 Buddha figures depicted in the Abhaya mudra (One or both hands extended forward, palms out, fingers pointing upward, to symbolise the Buddha's offer of protection or freedom from fear to his followers. This mudra is most common in standing or walking posture). The head, with the typical Mon joined eyebrows executed in a ridge, has the hair arranged in spiky curls topped by a plain cone. While the form of the pyramidal stupa manifested itself in the architecture of the kingdom of Sukhothai, the typical Haripunchai style standing Buddha images appears to have exerted considerable influence on the sculptures of central Thailand. Ashes of Queen Cham Thewi are enshrined within the Chedi.

CHIANG MAI

Popularly known as the Rose of the North, Chiang Mai is blessed with stunning natural beauty and unique indigenous cultural identity. Founded by King Mengrai the Great as the capital of the Lanna Thai kingdom by merging the various city states in the region in 1296. Today Chiang Mai is the economic, communications, cultural and tourism centre of Northern Thailand. About 700 kilometres from Bangkok, Chiang Mai is situated on the Mae Ping River basin some 310 metres above sea level. Surrounded by high mountain ranges, it covers an area of approximately 20,107 square kilometres. The terrain is mainly jungles and mountains, parts of which are within national parks which are still fertile and verdant with plentiful flora and fauna. There are many sites and locations where tourists prefer to visit to study the lifestyle of the tribal people who live on high hills.

WAT PHRA SING

Located on Sam Lan Road, this lovely temple dates from 1345 and is one of the focal points of Songkran festivities each April 13-15 when people bathe the revered Phra Phutthasihing Buddha image. The temple compound includes the lovely Lai Kham chapel with its exquisite woodcarvings and northern-style murals, and a magnificent scriptural repository with striking bas relief.

WAT CHIANG MAN

Located on Ratchapkkhinai Road, this is Chiang Mai's oldest temple and probably dates from 1296. The temple was the residence of King Mengrai, who founded Chiang Mai, and is noteworthy for a Chedi supported by rows of elephantine buttresses and small ancient Buddha image, Phra Kaeo Khao.

WAT CHEDI LUANG

Located on Phra Pokklao Road, this temple is the site of an enormous pagoda, originally 280 feet high, and which was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 1545. At one time, Wat Chedi Luang housed the revered Emerald Buddha image now enshrined in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaeo. One of the temple's most striking architectural feature is a magnificent Naga (mythical serpent) staircase which adorns the chapel's front porch.

WIANG KUM KAM

An ancient town founded by King Mengrai is located 4 kilometres on Chiang Mai-Lamphun route area of Amphoe Saraphi. The main historical remains are found in Wat Chedi Liam, Wat Chang Kham, Wat Noi and Wat Kum kam.

WAT PHRA THAT DOI SUTHEP

Doi Suthep, mountain named for Vasudea, pronounced Wa-Sutape: Ucchupabatto, Usupabatta, Uccigiri, Devapabbata, Succapabatta ('SugarCane Mountain').
This temple located on Doi Suthep mountain is Chiang Mai's most important and visible landmark overlooking the city from its forested mountain backdrop. It is 15 kilometres from town, 3,520 feet above sea level, and dates from 1383. The temple is approached on foot by climbing a steep staircase comprising 290 steps. The less energetic may ascend by funicular rail cars. The temple's golden pagoda contains holy Buddha relics, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year.

ELEPHANT CAMPS

There are riverside enclaves north of Chiang Mai which feature a daily show of elephants at work every morning. These include Mae Taman, Mae Taeng and Chiang Dao Elephant Camps on Route No. 107, and Pong Yang and Mae Sa Elephant Camps on Route No. 1096 (Mae Rim - Samoeng).

CHIANG DAO CAVES

Sacred Buddha images occupy the caves of Wat Tham Chiang Dao at KM. 72 on Highway 107. Caves are illuminated by electric lights. Deepest recesses can be explored with local guides.

SAN KAMPHAENG COTTON & SILK WEAVING VILLAGE

This equally famous village is located 13 kilometres from town. The village is the major source of all Thai silk and cotton produced in Chiang Mai. The fabrics are woven by local folk on traditional wooden looms, and are sold in a wide variety of plain lengths, plaids, brocades, stripes, prints and checks.

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