It took us a whole month to decide on venturing the outskirts of Chiang Mai. We settled on going to Lamphun for a day trip as it didnot seem to be too far out.
You could either take the Bus (actually a Van) or Train to get there. For us the bus was walking distance so we choose that.
Chiang Mai Van to Lamphun
From Chang Phueak Bus Terminal (Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 1) there are regular aircon vans going to Lamphun leaving every 30 mins. It’s an hours journey and cost only 25฿. The van will take 14 people plus 2 extra sitting on stools in between 2nd and 3rd row seats. The van normally does not get packed at this station. It will make its first stop outside Warorot Market (Kad Luang) near Ping River to pick-up more passengers. This is where they will collect the journey fare. The bus normally gets full here although they will make couple more stops for pic-up and drop-offs. We were given a ticket at the Warorot Market stop but didnot receive any on our return journey. You could also ask the driver to drop you off en route if needed. You can also take a bus from Chiang Mai Bus Terminal 2 & 3 (The Arcade Bus Terminal). A better option is the train from Chiang Mai Railway Station to Lamphun which is cheaper (although we’ve not tried it). We got off at the last stop Lumphun Bus Station.
Lamphun Bus Station
Lamphun Bus Station (Lamphun Provincial Provincial Transport Station). Nice and clean. Fairly big station with loads of seats to sit. There are few ticket counters to buy your onward journey ticket. There is a small stall here to buy some crisps and sweets. They also have pot noodle with hot water if you are hungry. Although if you just step out 3 mins walk to the road you’ll find a noodle-soup corner very famous with locals. There’s a public telephone booth and a paid toilet 3฿ entry. You can get your bus back to Chiang Mai from counter number 14. The buses come and go very quickly and sometimes stop at a different counter. It would be best to check with the information counter lady (just opposite the toilet on the right). She will let you know when the van arrives.
Lamphun Out and About
Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan
To have a feel of the place we decided to stroll the place around the river. Our 20 minutes walk led us to Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. The surroundings are quite and peaceful. Almost everywhere you will see lanterns hanging. At the center is the huge golden stupa which is supposed to be originated from the 9th century. The Chedi Suwanna pyramid and the big golden Buddha statue in the temple are stunning.
Just across the Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan there is a small sheltered shopping complex, Kua Mung Tha Sing with beautiful trinkets and women clothing.
Phra Nang Chamathewi Monument
Within 10 minutes walk from the Wat Phra That we reached the Phra Nang Chamathewi Monument.
We then wondered a bit more to find this beautiful place. There were some benches in the shade. A good place to relax and people watch. (Apologies I dont know the name.) Do you know it? Let me know in the comments below.
To sum-up we had a lovely day out with a cool ride to Lamphan and return that costed us only 50฿ per person, of course the food and shopping was extra.
A reminder for us: Always carry few small change, 1฿ coins.