Window to Chiang Mai Thailand
To Doi Khun Tan National Park by Train
(1 or 2 Days. Morning departures from Chiang Mai at 06:45 only (see also: Timetable). Journey time to Khun Tan Station is about 80 minutes: Return the same day via Lampang only at 16:17 h.
For a day trip take a pack lunch and a change of clothes for the return journey. Park accommodation may be reserved. Tents are available from park officials.)
The railway passes through rural scenery for almost the whole of its route along the valley. The line climbs right to the National Park at Khun Tan Station before entering Khun Tan tunnel through to the Wang River Valley.
Though only established in 1975, the park was formerly a small hill station. As a result the relatively easy trail from the station to the summit is well established (8.3 km. climbing 793 meters). Trails are clearly marked, and historical as well as ecological information is provided at the Park HQ visitor centers (1 km. on foot from station).
The vegetation varies according to altitude and the second half of the trail goes through some lovely mixed evergreen forest. As with all parks, however, to see anything of the wildlife requires perseverance and overnight stays. For those who would just like a pleasant brisk hike, the trail to the top may be reasonably done in a day.
In the rainy season, the only small restaurant that serves a variety of food to order is slightly up the slope above the station ticket office. In the park itself, stalls at the camping areas serve food during weekends in the cold and hot seasons, when numerous groups of students come to camp in the park.
South on H106
See location at Google Maps: Pasang
(16 km. from Lamphun)
Chao Kawila stayed here for several years while repopulating Chiang Mai after it was deserted in the late 18th century. Wat Pa Sang Ngam the middle of town has an interesting scripture repository that dates from the 19th century.
The area is well-known for its cotton weaving.
Wat Chang Khao Noi Tai
See location at Google Maps: Wat Chang Khao Noi Tai
A Burmese-style chedi sits on the west side of the road. The main viharn on the opposite side of the road was renovated in 1955, but the attached chedi and reliefs look much older.
Wat Phrabat Tak Pha
See location at Google Maps: Wat Phrabat Tak Pha
(H106 24 km. from Lamphun)
Wat Phrabat Tak Pha is a revered Buddhist site that may be included in a full-day trip to Lamphun.
(KM 136 east turn - 2 km.)
Many Thais make the pilgrimage to this Buddha footprint. The temple got its name from a legend which stated that the Buddha hung his robes to dry on the hill site. The footprint is in a viharn in the middle of a large open ground. The temple became notable under its abbot, Khru Ba Phroma Jakko, who died at the age of 87 in 1984. A wax effigy of the monk occupies a kuti to the south of the open ground. The hill-top chedi honors his father and two brothers, who all became senior monks in the Mahanikai sect. To enjoy the views without climbing the 469 steps to the chedi, use the road up at the back.
Wat Ban Pang
See location at Google Maps: Wat Ban Pang
This temple sits on a low rise overlooking the birthplace of Khru Ba Srivichai. In addition to some unusual religious structures, the temple contains a museum which contains personal effects belonging to the famous monk. These include the Venerable's car, the first vehicle to go on the road up Doi Suthep. The fifty kilometer drive south from Wat Phrabat Tak Pha is not particularly interesting, however.
Singha The Naga and the Garuda
South from Lamphun