Lamphun province and town
"Thailands oldest city?"
We rented a small car for a day in Chiang Mai (only THB 1000 low season rate), and made a tour including Lamphun. We selected some attractions from the TAT Lamphun info booklet, in no way could we see everything. So here are a few tips that are not yet on other Lamphun pages.
Our visit happened to be in the rainy season, after Northern Thailand had suffered some flooding. Above is a picture of the still very high water level of the Mae Kuang.
Back at home doing some research on the internet, we found that Lamphun was the capital of one of Thailand's oldest kingdoms, Haripunchai or Haripunjaya. It predates Chiang Rai, capital of the Lan Na kingdom, by maybe 600 years. According to legend Lamphun was founded in the Buddhist year 1204, i.e. 661 AD. The first ruler was legendary queen Chamma Thewi, a memorial of whom adorns the western entrance to the old city centre.
But modern research places the foundation of Lamphun in 750 or even 950 AD. However that may be, the final year of Haripunchai is certain. The founder of the Lan Na kingdom, king Meng Rai, conquered Lamphun in 1281 AD.