Snack vendor at Kad Tung Kwian
Snack vendors sell various interesting food: garlic, dry dural, dry banana, rice cookies, coconut ball etc.
3 big bags cost 100 THB only. The vendor had sweet smile. She spoke good Mandarin because she worked 6 years (2 terms) in Tu-Cheng, Taipei before. It's nice to talk with her. : )
A slightly soured experience.
I have put this tip in the "off the beaten path" section prely because it is at some distance from Lampang, although the path is very well beaten with travellers and Thais alike.
I do not like to make, broadly speaking, political comments on VT and I know the website rightly bans them. This is a travel website not a political forum. However, in the boradest sense of the term "political" I have to make comment here. You need to read this tip in conjunction with my tip on the FAE Elephant Hospital nearby for all this to make sense. Like most people, I love elephants. An evolutionary quirk, they are hugely intelligent (as I shall show) and, despite their huge physical size, the gentlest of creatures except in extreme circumstances.
On reading of the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre near Lampang (about 35 km. distant) I set off on my trusty little scooter to visit. I shall allow an entry from my blog to describe the scene.
"A very interesting day out is the Thai Elephant Conservation Centre (TECC) which I scootered to. I was slightly confused to see signs pointing one way for the TECC and other signs pointing the other way on the same track to the Elephant Hospital which all very clearly stated they were nothing to do with the TECC. More of this later. I bought my entrance ticket and was then transported in a bus to the area where the elephant bathing and show were to take place. The bus was packed, predominantly with Thai primary school kids and their teachers. I was sitting beside a middle aged man, a teacher as it transpired. First, at his insistence, I was treated to a song and then had to conduct an impromptu English lesson along the "Hello, how are you, my name is Fergy" variety, great fun.
We arrived at the large pool, small lake really, and were treated to the display of elephant bathing. It took me back to when I had done the same thing in Nepal some years ago. After that, a short walk to the "arena" for the show. I am always a little uneasy about performing animals. I certainly do not like dolphin shows as I do not think they should be in captivity at all. However, there are very few wild elephants in Asia and much of the show involved the skills they employ when working, mostly in the lumber industry. The TECC, a Government run organisation, also runs conservation programmes and even an artificial insemination operation. In fact, the smallest elephant, a lovely little thing of just under three years, is somewhat frankly named A.I. Boy. Work it out yourself.
The show itself lasts about 45 minutes and is really great fun. Apart from all the mounting, dismounting, picking up the mahouts stick and the pushing, pulling and piling of logs I spoke about there is a really fascinating display which involves elephants painting, I kid you not. The mahout gives them a brush in the trunk and these huge lumbering beasts are so intelligent they manage to draw pictures. There were three elephants involved in this and two of them produced creditable depictions of elephants under trees with rainbows etc. It was the third beast, a seven year old male named SriSiam that really got my attention. He does abstracts and they really are, to my untutored eye, very good. My artist friend Dino dragged me to the Tate Modern in London a few months ago and I am tellng you that the things produced by this elephant are vastly superior aesthetically to most of the garbage (in some cases literally) displayed there. I would dearly have loved to buy one of his works which are on display but carrying it even in a protective case would have been too much of a hassle.
Back to the carpark in the bus and I needed to use the loo. There is another elephant stable there (is stable the right word?) and when I emerged from the facilities it was to the sight of an elephant doing, well doing the same thing. They have trained them to defeacate in a specific concrete structure bearing the rather prosaic legend "Elephant Dung". Bearing in mind an adult animal eats up to 250 kilos of food a day, it was quite some pile!"
This is what I wrote in my blog, and I had been led to believe TECC was a Governmant organisation but it's website, as shown has a .com suffix rather than a.gov.th, so I wonder. Certainly an enjoyable day but please read my FAE Elephant Hospital tip for the full story.
Wat Si Chum
It's the largest Burmese temple in Thailand built by Kyaung Daga U Yo in 19th century. First constructions were wooden, laters they used bricks; works were completed in 1901 with help of Mandalay and Northern Burmese carpenters. Fire in 1990ies destroyed some parts of the buildings but it's now nicely restored. It used to be surrounded by bodhi or banyan trees (which means 'si chum' in Lanna language) in past. There are ordination hall for monks, golden stupa and dining room in the compound and nice yard in shade of trees. Behind the temple there is rectangular pond with hungy catfish and a few hens and cocks. One of the nicest temples in Lampang.
Wat Phra That Lampang Luang - Wihan Nam Tam (2)
On this picture of the interior of Wihan Nam Tam you can see the exquisite gold ornaments on the columns and walls.
The most beautiful wall paintings date back to the 16th century and depict scenes from every day life and so-called Jataka stories (from the life of Buddha). I did not take a picture of those since the light in that corner was so bad and I wasnt sure about using a flash.
Phra Keaw Don Tao temple
Situated on a small hill outside Lampang city.Originally ,this temple used to housed the Emerald Buddha (for 32 years) which is now housed in Phra Keaw temple in BKK.In the legend described about one woman named Suchada donated a water melon (ma tao in local) to Thera monk.When he cutted it ,he found emerald stone inside.Then he brought that emerald for carving to Buddha image and called this temple Wat Phra Kaew Don Tao.Some buildings in this temple was built in Burmese style which 's so beautiful in wood carving and iron decorated such as Mondop which is in Burmese and Victorian style with a multi tiered roof called Pyathaat style.Inside housed Bua Khem Buddha image in Burmese style.Others interesting things are :
Chedi - housed the hair relic of Buddha
Viharn - used to housed the Emerald Buddha,now housed Phra Chao Tan Jai Buddha image.
Viharn Phra Putta Saiyas - housed reclining Buddha image
Viharn Phra Chao Thong Thip - housed one holy Buddha image which built by Queen Chamathevi of Lamphun
Museum of Lanna - Beside main Viharn, collected all local stuff from the past,a miniature wooden viharn and some ancient parts of building in temple.
In the same area is a former Suchada temple. A wooden viharn is a beautiful one.