Sunday, 22 May 2016

chiang mai day trip: to lamphun for longans

Dipterocarpus Alatus - the majestic rubber trees that line the route from Chiang Mai to Lamphun.

Just a short and sweet travel post today, about our day trip from Chiang Mai to Lamphun. After several days in Chiang Mai we thought it would be interesting to experience a change in scenery. Lamphun is one of Thailand's oldest towns, it seemed charmingly quaint from what I read on the internet, it is known for its tasty longans, and it is pretty close to Chiang Mai - less than an hour away on a scooter. So, Lamphun it was.

The journey there was quite lovely in parts, particularly this stretch pictured above - flanked by gorgeous rubber trees, we felt a little thrill as we zoomed down the road - which wasn't particularly wide, but felt so fresh and spacious - delighting in the greenery, the small town feel, the morning breeze in our faces.

I will confess that we didn't really do much research on Lamphun, so when we got there, we just wandered around aimlessly. This indoor bazaar caught my eye, and in we went.

The OTOP indoor market/bazaar in Lamphun.

We noticed that many of the stalls had the "OTOP" sign on them - this stands for "One Tambon One Product", a program that encourages the marketing of local products of each sub-district in Thailand.

I didn't end up seeing any fresh longans while we were in Lamphun, but here, I purchased dried longans and candied dried pomelo peel - such delicious snacks! I also couldn't resist getting some longan incense sticks - the incense is made from dried, finely-ground longan shells, and I thought that was such a clever way of using the part of the fruit that is usually discarded.

The stalls inside Lamphun's OTOP shopping centre.

We also meandered onto some temple grounds. And ate ice cream. You know you're a food blogger when you only have a picture of the ice cream in focus while the pretty temples are relegated to blurry background material. But not even a diligent food blogger, because I don't remember what flavour of ice cream this was. Given the pale green colour, though, I'm thinking that it is most likely pandan ice cream.

Ice cream and temples in Lamphun. I think the temple is Wat Phra That Hariphunchai.

As I write this post, the internet tells me that there are a few more temple compounds in Lamphun, some that are quite ancient and intriguing. Due to the under-researched, unstructured nature of our day trip (or, let's make it sound better by saying it was casual and spontaneous!), we did not visit those while we were there, but if we ever find ourselves in Lamphun again, I'll make sure we explore the area more thoroughly. We did have a relaxed, leisurely time sauntering around the town, though, so even if we missed out on some significant historical sites and really didn't do a whole lot, it was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon!

Young monks in Lamphun.


  1. I tend to never do enough research when I travel and work it out when I'm there. I need to get better at that! Paid off for you, looks like a lovely day :)

    1. I think more research could possibly have made this trip better, but indeed, it was lovely anyway! :)


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