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Lampun-Lampang

The Lampun-Lampang route offers visitors an easy day trip from Chiang Mai, one which showcases the beauty of the Thai countryside. Approximately 45 minutes south of Chiang Mai is the city of Lamphun, a community especially interesting to those intrigued by history. Founded more than 1,400 years ago, the town still has a beautiful temple and pagoda beautifully preserved from the past. A further 70 km from Lamphun,passing by rice fields framed against mountains and the brilliant red and gold of temples, is the city of Lampang, famous both for its ceramics, as well as preserving Lanna and Burmese styles of architecture. In Lampang you will see many temples built in a style seen nowhere else in Thailand. Wat Phra Thart Lampang Luang once housed the famed Emerald Buddha, which rested there for 30 years. (The Emerald Buddha has occupied many temples over its history including the Luang Phrabang Buddhist center in Laos and Wat Chedi Luang in Chiangmai. It is now in Bangkok at Wat Phra Gaew.) Lampang is also the center of Northern Thai Ceramics and many of Lampang's kilns are situated on the road leading out of the city to the north. Unlike the Chiang Mai ceramics industry, which concentrates on glazed products and the famous Celadon, Lampang covers the whole range of items including stoneware. Blue and White glazed ceramics are the type for which Lampang is famous. Some kilns specialize in simple clay pottery, red and brown colored bowls, vases, and other vessels that are seen so much in everyday use in Thailand, while others make elegant gold-washed blue and white overglaze items. Lampang's own five-color Bencharong ware is another distinctive and attractive product. But the well known one is a white bowl with a red rooster.