Lamphun, formerly Hariphunchai, is another historical site. The town was founded in the year 1663 and the first ruler was a Queen called Chammathewi. This charming province is also noted for its beautiful women and tasty longans.
With an area of 4,506 sq. kms., the province has 7 Amphoes namely: Muang, Pa Sang, Ban Hong, Mae Tha, Li, Thung Hua Chang, and Ban Thi. The town is about 670 kilometers from Bangkok by car.
What to see and what to do in Lamphun?
Wat Phrathat Hariphunchai is located in the center of Lamphun. Itt was built in the reign of King Athittayarat and has been repaired, renewed and enlarged from time to time. Phrathat Hariphunchai Pagoda is currently 46 meters high having a nine – tiered umbrella, made of gold weighing approximately 6,498.75 grams on the top. The base is 20 meters square. On every full moon day of the sixth lunar month, there is a celebration of this Wat Phrathat in the form of the annual fair.
Hariphunchai National Museum houses numerous Lanna antiques found in the region. The museum is open to public everyday except Monday, Tuesday and official holidays from 09:00- 16:00. Admission fee is 10 baht.
Doi Khun Tan National Park is located on a mountain range bordering on both Lampang and Lamphun Provinces. There is a 1,362 meter railroad tunnel, regarded the longest in Thailand, thru the mountain. On top of Doi Khun Tan there are accommodations, which belong to the Royal State Railway of Thailand, a missionary party and the Royal Forestry Department.
Ku Kut Pagoda or Wat Chamma Thewi (Suwan Changkot Chedi) is a monastery built around A.D. 755 by Khmer artisans. The pagoda structure is of the square Buddha Gaya style as seen in India. Three standing Buddha images, in the attitudes of blessing are enshrined on each side of each level, totaling 15 images for one side for five levels, grand totaling 60 Buddha images around thepagoda. Relics of Queen Chammathewi, the first ruler of Hariphunchai, are housed inside the pagoda. The pagoda top was originally covered with gold but later, was broken and disappeared thus giving rise to the name”Ku Kut” or Pagoda without top. Other temples in the area include Wat Mahawan, noted for sacred amulets and Wat Phra Yun (or Wat Buddha Maha Sathan) built by King Thammikarat about one thousand years ago. Along Highway to Chiang Mai is located the village of Nong Chang Khun which is noted for the biggest plantations of longans in the country.
Tak Pha Buddha Footprints are located on the top of a small hill in Tambon Makok, Amphoe Pa Sang, 16 kms. from the township area. The legend says that Lord Buddha left his footprints for Lawa tribal people to pay homages to in lieu of his presence. He also dried his suffron robe on the cliff. Today,one can see a mark looking like a piece of suffron robe being dried on the cliff. Thus originating the name of Tak Pha Buddha Footprints or Drying Suffron Robe Buddha Footprints. An annual celebration takes place on the eight day of the warming moon in the sixth lunar month when inhabitants of Lamphun and neighbouring provinces flock to the annual fair.
Mae Ping National Park is located at km. 47 on Lamphun – Li – Thoen route (Highway 106), the park includes a lake and a forest above Phumiphol Dam. Attractions in the area of the park are: Ko Luang Waterfall, Tham Yang Wi and Kaeng Ko.
Langan Fair, held in August every year, features a contest to judge the best fruit and select Miss Lamyai (Langan) for the year.