Ko Phangan Beaches ,  Ko Phangan is one of the famous islands in the Gulf of Thailand, that also include Ko Samui, Ko Tao and Koh Chang. While Ko Phangan has the the loveliest beaches among those 4, there is no comparing with the beautiful western beaches (Andaman sea); the ones on the western side are simply more impressive.

Ko Phangan coastline is much more curved than its neighbor, Ko Samui’s. This created many little bays with intimate beaches and so, this island has a different appearance and atmosphere than Ko Samui.

Importantly, in the Gulf of Thailand, there’s a strange phenomenon that appears in very few other bays in the world – there is only one cycle of high and low tide in 24 hours. These special conditions mean that for 6 months there’s high tide all day long (and low tide throughout the night); in the second half of the year there’s low tide every day all day long (and high tide throughout the night). So, in shallow beaches it’ll be impossible to bathe during the low months, and in the narrow beaches, no strip of beach will remain for you to sit on during the high months.

Follow this link to read more about the unique high/low tide conditions in the Gulf of Thailand => click here

In the western beaches of Ko Phangan (such as Haad Salad), you’ll get to see beautiful sunsets – which you won’t see on the eastern side. Also keep in mind that traveling in Ko Phangan isn’t simple or cheap (there’s no reason to drive anyway – other than get to parties). You’ll be mostly by the beach area – as captive audience, ‘bound’ to stay around the beach which means that prices will be high due to the lack of other options.

This review will cover Ko Pangan beaches while focusing on those suitable for families. I’ll start with the western side of the island then move clockwise towards the southern part (the beach map will be helpful to you).

Salad beach (Haad Salad):

The small, magical bay is on the western side of the island, north of Haad Yao beach which is larger and wider. This beach is 20 minuets away (by car) from the Thong Sala pier and some 40 minuets from Haad Rin beach (for those seeking Fool Moon parties).

Along the beach (600 meters) you’ll find resorts of all sorts – some simple and humble and others of higher class (such as Green Papaya). You’ll also find here some restaurants, shops and massage centers.

The sand is white and soft, but the beach is rather narrow and its waters rather shallow, so you cannot swim during the low season yet it’s suitable for children. During the high season you can swim yet some of the beach will disappear underwater.

Please consider that some 150 meters from the beach there’s a coral reef where you can do some snorkeling. Be careful as you enter the water, so you don’t step on coral reefs as you might get hurt. The bay is beautiful though, has a pleasant atmosphere and wonderful sunsets.

Note: Haad Salad is pictured and seen in the clip which was taken on May, in the beginning of the low tide season (when there’s low during the entire day).

Mae Haad beach (Haad Salad):

This beautiful calm bay in the north western corner of Ko Phangan, is located slightly north of Haad Salad. This wide, quiet and pastoral beach has several humble resorts, bungalows, some restaurants and massage parlors.

This beach is 800 meters long, and it’s one of the very few beaches in Ko Phangan that hasn’t been harmed yet by the increasingly developing tourism. Bathing in the bay is good throughout the year, but it may get a bit stormy in the Monsoon season (September – December).

This beach is one of the quietest ones in Ko Phangan, and unlike Thong Nai Pan Noi beach which is packed full of tourists – things are rather serene and chill here – which is perfect for those seeking relaxation, peace and quiet away from the crowds of tourists.

Near the beach there’s a small island called Ko Ma which is connected to the beach by a narrow strip of sand, so you can walk there during the low season. The bay features coral reefs and the small island area is actually a marine park, which is considered as the best snorkeling spot in Ko Phangan. Since the beach is on the western side of Ko Phangan – you can still enjoy beautiful sunsets.

Chaloklum:

This wide, large bay in the northern part of Ko Phangan, is crowned by towering mountains that protect it from the winds, and so it is an ideal base for fishing trips – and indeed you’ll find here a fishermen village and fishing boat pier.

The beach is 2.5 km long and you’ll also find here restaurants that serve fresh local sea food. The fisherman village and pier are in the center, between long wide beaches.

Bottle beach (Ao Khuat):

This secluded beach in the northern part of Ko Phangan can be accessed mainly in longtail boats as driving there would be hard and dangerous. The boat typically departs from the nearby regions of Thong Nai Pan or Chaloklum but consider that if the sea is too stormy you cannot get there or get out!!

The wide beach stretches across some hundreds of meters, the sand is soft and white, and the water are clear. This beach has few humble resorts with beach restaurants, beach chairs and hammocks – but nothing other than that.

While some argue that this is the most beautiful beach in Ko Phangan, I think this claim is an exaggeration. Though the beach is lovely, it won’t leave you with open jaws and there are far more impressive beaches on the western side of Thailand (Andaman sea).

Thong Nai Pan Bay(Ao Khuat):

This large bay at the east/north of Ko Phangan has two little bays just next one another Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Ya; the latter is larger and located more in the south.

Thong Nai Pan bay is one of the most beautiful bays in Ko Phanga, with lovely, pleasant beaches and great atmosphere for families.

The beach isn’t surrounded by a coral reef, so it isn’t shallow and has no sand pits (as often occurs in the west and northern side). The wide beaches and deep-enough water enable you to bathe and swim here throughout the entire year.

Thong Nai Pan is one of the most beautiful and enjoyable bays in Thailand and hence very popular. Its high demand inspired me to write a separate article that’s more detailed and you can read it here => click here for a detailed review of Thong Nai Pan

Than Sadet:

Than Sadet beach at the heart of Ko Phangan’s eastern beach is a small bay with a lovely wide beach next to a river pour, that flows to the sea (on the southern part of the beach). Like the other beaches on the eastern side of Ko Phangan – there is no coral reef here to surround the bay, so the unique high/low tide conditions of the Gulf of Thailand have little influence on the beach.

This quiet and calm beach offers good swimming conditions throughout, and you’ll find here several humble resorts and bungalows as well as some restaurants on the beach. This is a great spot for those who wish to stay away of the crowds, and enjoy a relaxing, peaceful time on the beach.

This beach is historically important to locals as since the 18th century some of the Thai Kings (Rama 9, 7 and 5) visited here (king Rama 5 visited many times) and so the place was recently declared as a nature reserve.

Haad Rin:

The beach, in the south eastern corner of Ko Phangan, is mostly known for the Full Moon parties that are held here every month, when the moon is fool.

We are talking about two beaches here to be exact – the Haad Rin Nai (Sunset beach) and Haad Rin Nok (Sunrise beach) which is the larger and wider and features thos famous full moon parties.

Between the two beaches there’s a small town with narrow, crowded alleys featuring guesthouses, restaurants of all sorts, shops, pubs, bars, live music clubs, tattoo parlors, hair salons and more. It takes about 10 minutes to walk from one beach to another.

For an extended review of Haad Rin and the two beaches follow this link => click here

Conclusion: Of the 4 famous islands of the gulf – Ko Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Phangan and Koh Chang – Ko Phangan features the loveliest, most pleasant beaches. This review covered most of the local beaches and I hope to review the rest of them soon.

I’d like to remind you again that the most beautiful parks. impressive waterfalls and enjoyable attractions in nature are on land – in the north, center and south of Thailand – rather than in the islands, that are more suitable for laid back vacations of leisure and relaxation (rather than traveling).

To enjoy the best of Ko Phangan and make the most of your time on the island – make sure to pick the right season to visit (better to avoid the Monsoon season from October to December), and choose the beach that’s most suitable for the vacation type you seek. Also, pay attention to the high/low tide issue, considering the special conditions at the Gulf of Thailand, as it can harm your stay at some Ko Phangan beaches. ♦ For a detailed review of the high/low tide => click here

 

♣ Check out the attached clip I took on site while visiting… enjoy!

 

Ko Phangan Travel Guide, Ko Phangan is one of the 3 famous islands on the eastern side of Thailand (Gulf of Siam). It is located south of Ko Tao and north of Ko Samui which is also closer. Ko Phangan is the 5th largest island in Thailand, located some 70 km away from the land, 15 km away from Ko Samui and 35 km from Ko Tao.

Ko Phangan became famous for its Full Moon parties that appeal to tens of thousands of young visitors every month. The island is also known for its pleasant beaches and calm atmosphere that is much different from the heavily crowded, commercialized and busy island of Ko Samui.

Ko Phangan’s economy was largely based on mines, fishing and agriculture in the past, but the mines have been long closed, and most of the Island’s income is now based on tourism – roughly 500,000 tourists visited Ko Phangan in 2017.

Generally, most of Ko Phangan tourists can be classified into 3 groups:

♦ Party tourists – young crowds who come for a very short time to the island, to attend Full Moon and Half Moon parties on the beach (Haad Rin) or in the forests (Baan Tai).

♦ Relaxation tourists – both young and older tourists who come here for a chill vacation on the beach and stay for a longer time than the party crowds. Their goal is to stay longer while paying less – and such tourists are typically yoga enthusiasts, often into tantra and such activities that are common in certain parts of the island.

♦ Couples and Families – these tourists arrive at Ko Phangan for vacation purposes, as they prefer a quite island with beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere – unlike the commercialized and busy Ko Samui. My articles on Ko Phangan mainly serve these tourists.

The Weather

Most visitors to Thailand are aware of 2-3 seasons in the country including the Monsoon season. You should keep in mind that on the eastern islands (Ko Samui, Ko Pangan and Ko Tao), the Monsoon season starts and ends in different dates than the rest of Thailand!! While in the rest of the country it begins around July and ends in October – the Monsoon season in the eastern islands starts and ends later – from October to December.

Of course, you can travel and explore Thailand throughout the year – regardless of seasons; the nature is at its best in the rainy season, which is good for hiking. However, when it comes to laid-back vacations on the beach (what you usually do in the islands) – the weather may intervene and change your plans.

For further information on the seasons in Thailand’s different regions, follow this link => When should I travel to Thailand?

The high tide and low tide – many tourists plan a fun vacation on one of the islands in Gulf of Thailand, lying on the beach and bathing in the sea – but once they arrive at the beach they find an unpleasant surprise: the water either cover the beach (high tide) and leave a narrow strip of sand, if at all, or retreat back hundreds of meters (low tide), leaving a wide, murky strip of mud, that is both unpleasant to see and makes bathing impossible. Most people are unaware of this issue, that may disrupt their vacation.

The reason to that is the strange phenomenon of high tide and low tide in the Gulf of Thailand.

The following review will elaborate on high tide and low tide and suggest what to do => click the link

Ko Phangan Beaches

Ko Phangan coastline is much more curved than its neighbor, Ko Samui’s. This created many little bays with intimate beaches along the shore and so, the island has a different appearance and feel than Ko Samui. On the other hand, some of the island’s beaches are very shallow, which is problematic in months of low tide throughout the entire day.

Follow this link for a detailed review of Ko Phangan beaches, with many pictures and videos => Ko Pangan beaches (to be posted soon)

Ko Phangan’s Natural Attractions and Outdoor activities – Thailand’s most impressive natural attractions, such as waterfalls, rivers, lakes, unique temples etc., are mainly in land, at the north, center and south of the country, whereas the islands are more suitable for laid-back vacations.

Pay Attention – If you’d like to travel and enjoy Thailand’s lovely nature – do so on land and afterwards move on to the island of your choice for vacation. Other than Full/Half Moon parties that attract young visitors rather than families – Ko Phangan has little to offer families.       There are some average snorkeling spots, few observation points, typical beach cruising and the only special attraction here is sailing to Ang Thong National Marine Park (the 42 islands archipelago). Also consider that Ko Phangan doesn’t feature water sports like Ko Samui does.

Arriving at Ko Phangan: building a private airport in Ko Phangan is something that’s been discussed for years, but up to now (July 2018) there isn’t a local airport and the only way to get here is by sailing from Ko Samui or one of the piers on land (Chumphon, Surat Thani or Don Sok).

For a detailed review of how to get to Ko Samui. Ko Phangan and Ko Tao => Follow this link

Ko Phangan Travel Guide Conclusion: the most beautiful beaches, snorkeling and diving spots in Thailand are on the western side (Andaman sea), and less on the eastern Gulf of Thailand. However, of the 4 famous islands of the gulf – Ko Samui, Ko Tao, Ko Phangan and Koh Chang – Ko Phangan features the loveliest, most pleasant beaches. On the other hand, the island has little to offer families, other than laid back relaxation on the beach. While Haad Rin beach attracts younger visitors and party people, the other beaches offer only few restaurants, perhaps some shops and massage parlors in the hotels area (if at all).

So, please consider that Ko Phangan is mostly a destination for laid back beach relaxation, the ‘traveling’ you’ll be doing here is mainly from the hotel room to the pool, dining room or beach. Families who look for the quiet atmosphere would love at here, but those who seek action, shopping, activities and bubbly culinary sites will probably be bored and disappointed.

Ko Phangan Travel Guide tip :

When picking the hotel and beach destination, don’t forget to choose the right season to visit Ko Phangan, and pay attention to the high/low tide issue, considering the special conditions at the Gulf of Thailand,

 

 

 

 

 

Lampang – The Temple Wat Phra That Lampang Luang

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is a Lanna styled temple; it is one of the most impressive temples in Thailand, and one of the most famous, popular attractions in town, for both locals and foreigner tourists that come here on their day trips from Chiang Mai.

♣ At the end of the review, you will find a video I took on site.

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is some 15 km from the town of Lampang, on a small hill surrounded by a brick wall which gives it a fortress look.

The temple is one of the most impressive examples in the country for a Lanna styled shrine; its prayer halls (Viharn) are open from all sides, which characterizes the style.

The impressive entrance features two lion guards and a wide staircase with snake shaped banisters leading towards the impressive complex gate.

Wat Phra That Lampang Luang was built in the 15th century and is considered one of the most ancient wooden structures in Thailand. Unlike many temples that were renovated and adjusted to more recent times – the temple remained as is in excellent condition, and so it gives visitors a nice, interesting look into Thailand’s history and culture.

Inside the temple complex you’ll find several impressive structures including the Viharn Luang (prayer hall) – this large building is open from the sides and its 3-level roof is supported by massive pillars in black varnish and golden decorations. Another impressive structure is the ancient Chedi that towers up to 45 meters high. Its roof is made of bronze and copper that changed its colors during the hundreds of years that passed. The Chedi features one of the Buddha gates and it isn’t open to the public.

The temple has ancient wall drawings and Buddha statues that were created hundreds of years ago, and so the visit here provides an experience that has both historic and aesthetic values. One of the ‘gimmicks’ is a tiny room with a tiny opening in the wall that enables light to come through, creating an image of the Chedi – an optic phenomenon known as Camera Obscura.

Phra That Lampang Luang is admired by many Thai people so that at any time you can watch and partake in many rituals on site – which further enhances the visit experience.

The temple is also a popular destination for tourists coming on their day-tours from Chiang Mai so it may be crowded in certain times, and it is recommended to visit before of after the tour busses of the arranged day tours arrive.

Conclusion: Wat Phra That Lampang Luang is an ancient Lanna styled temple that is considered one of the most beautiful in northern Thailand and I highly recommend visiting there.

♣ Click here to watch a video I took on site.. Enjoy (will be uploaded soon)

Ko Phangan – Thong Nai Pan Bay

Thong Nai Pan Bay is one of the greatest and most beautiful bays of Ko Phangan. It is located in the north-eastern side of the island and divided into 2 small bays – Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. Both bays are beautiful yet very different from one another.

Thong Nai Pan Noi

Noi means small in Thai, and indeed this is the smaller bay, though it is more developed, busy and popular than Thong Nai Pan Yai. You’ll find here 6 hotels – some of them considered rather fancy for Ko Phangan; while Burirasa is simpler and inexpensive, Anantara is luxurious and so are Santhiya and Panviman.

The beach here is narrower (mostly in its southern part) than in Thong Nai Pan Yai beach, yet it’s wide enough to allow beach chairs to be scattered along, and has enough space to host festive dinners, sports games etc.

The sea water is clean and pleasant and other than during the Monsoon season (October till December) – the sea is calm and great for swimming and kayaking. You won’t find here any jet skis, banana boats and such.

Much like other beaches in the eastern side of Ko Phangan, there is no coral reef here to create a shallow beach (like in the northern and western beaches); there are no rocks or coral remainders either. The beach declines comfortably towards the sea depth, creating a bay with the deepest water in Ko Phangan, which makes it ideal for swimming all year long.

Unlike many other beaches in Ko Phangan, the beaches of Thong Nai Pan bay are barely affected by the unique high and low tide of the Gulf of Thailand – which is a great advantage!!

One of the few disadvantages however, is the fact that several hotels were established on a relatively small piece of land, creating a busy beach that doesn’t allow intimacy, peace and quiet. You can’t watch beautiful sunsets either – as Ko Phangan’s western beaches allow.

Right next to Thong Nai Pan Noi  beach (around Burirasa hotel), there’s a small village, and from both sides of the road you’ll find a nice variety of shops, restaurants, pubs and massage parlors. It seemed to me that the shops were rather pricey and the massage was disappointing but I did find a lovely restaurant called JipShop restaurant, where we enjoyed a lovely welcome and great service of delicious Thai food.

In the evenings, you can pick one of the restaurants in the village or at the hotels – where dinners are held on the beach, accompanied by nice, short fire shows.

Thong Nai Pan Yai Bay

Noi means big in Thai, and indeed this is the larger, wider bay of the two. Though it is located right next to the small bay, the atmosphere, beach and resorts are very different.

This beach is longer and far wider. You’ll find here similar sand, soft and pleasant, quite a few resorts and very clear water, just like in Thong Nai Pan Noi. However, the fact that the beach is larger and more spacious, creates some distance between the resorts, so the beach is much quieter and calmer; its pastoral atmosphere is nothing like the busy feel of Thong Nai Pan Noi. The resorts here are hardly as luxurious, but rather simple and humble – and of course much cheaper.

There’s no village around with shops and restaurants either, so if you choose this beach – you’ll get to enjoy a pastoral and calm experience and eat in simple resort restaurants on the beach.

Conclusion: Thong Nai Pan bay – its two small bays Yai and Noi – is definitely one of the loveliest Ko Phangan bays. The beaches are great and hardly affected by the unique high/low tide conditions of the Gulaf of Thailand (while many other Ko Phangan beaches are greatly affected).

Thong Nai Pan is a great choice for families. Consider that Thong Nai Pan Noi is crowded and busier with resorts and hotels of higher quality, while Thong Nai Pan Yai is more spacious and quieter but offers simpler (and cheaper) accommodation.

♣ Check out the attached clip I took on site while visiting… enjoy!

Petchabun Travel Guide, Petchabun is one of the provinces in Northern Thailand. Located in the southern part of the northern area, it is the point where 3 regions meet – the north, the center and north-east Thailand (Isan area).

The name Petchabun originates from the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit and means the “perfect diamond”.

In this article, I will gladly introduce you to this beautiful, mountainous area, a part of the beautiful, authentic Thailand that many tourists seek and wish to experience.

As I mentioned – Petchabun province is in its southern lowlands of the Northern region, in the area between Northern Thailand and its center. It is located about 400 km north of Bangkok and away from the ordinary tourist routes, so that when visiting there, you will hardly meet tourists – the area is very popular with inland tourism but is not well known to foreign tourists.

Pa Sak river crosses the province, thus forming a most fertile valley surrounded by mountain chains – and indeed, Petchabun province is known for its rich agriculture, especially sweet tamarind, but also coffee, stevia and more.

The most impressive attraction in Petchabun is by far Wat Pha Sorn Kaew Temple – a wonderful and rare work of art that is reminiscent of Gaudi’s works in Barcelona and considered by many to be the most impressive and beautiful temple in Thailand.

♦ For a detailed review (with a video, of course) of Wat Pha Sorn Kaew => Click the link

Personally, I think that this marvelous temple, Wat Pha Sorn Kaew , is a sufficient reason to visit Petchabun, but the province has several other attractions that I will review in separate articles:

♦ Lovely Morning Market – for the article and video => Click here (will be posted soon)

♦ Sridit Waterfalls – for the article and video => Click here (will be posted soon)
♦ Pino Latte – – for the article and video => Click here (will be posted soon)

Petchabun Travel Guide Summary: Petchabun is one of the northern provinces that is unknown and thus hardly visited by foreign tourists.

For those who wish to experience the magical, authentic Thailand, that no longer exists in many areas – particularly in the heavily toured northern Thailand – this is the place to visit. Of course, you should also visit the nearby provinces of Sukhothai and Lampang – that already attract quite a few tourists.

While I expected a rather empty area, I was surprised to find a lively destination with thriving internal tourism as you can see for yourself in the attached videos that accompany the different articles on Petchabun. There were even some non-cheap resorts where you would struggle to find available rooms. I believe that in the not-so-far future, Petchabun province and its lovely landscapes, with the pleasant weather and authentic Thai experience it provides – will become a popular destination in northern Thailand, attracting many foreign tourists.

 

 

Petchabun – Wat Pha Sorn Kaew

The most impressive attraction in Petchabun province is Wat Pha Sorn Kaew – a unique and marvelous piece of art that brings to mind Gaudi’s work in Barcelona. Many – I included – consider this the most beautiful and impressive temple in Thailand.

Scroll down to the end of the article for a video I took on-site

Petchabun Province is in the southern part of Northern Thailand, approximately 400 km from Bangkok and away from the usual tourist routes. When you visit the area, I doubt that you will encounter tourists at all.

It is a mountainous, green, and beautiful province, with very fertile soil for various crops such as tamarind, strawberry and more.

The most impressive attraction in Petchabun County is undoubtedly Wat Pha Sorn Kaew – an amazing temple with a rare beauty that is different from all the temples you will see in Thailand. It is considered by many to be the most impressive and beautiful temple in Thailand.

The temple is located on a mountain peak more than 800 meters high and offers a beautiful view of the mountains and valleys in the area. This is a new temple that was completed in 2004, and since then, serves as a center for Buddhism and meditation studies – which blends well with the charming and pastoral landscape of the area.

In the square near the pagoda, there is a huge statue, spectacular in its beauty, featuring 5 Buddha figures in a meditation pose, with each figure smaller than the other (reminiscent of Babushka). All figures are peacefully watching over the valley and surrounding mountains that together form the beautiful scenery of the area. The statue symbolizes the 5 Buddha who went down to earth. And its base is all decorated with white lotus flowers.

The main pagoda was also built in a unique style – a 5-story lotus-shaped structure, covered with 5 million colored mosaic stones combined with various pottery works – all together creating a wonderful and rare work of art that is somewhat reminiscent of Gaudi’s works in Barcelona.

Summary: An incredibly unique modern styled temple – completely different of all the other temples in Thailand. This is a stunning work of art that will leave you mouth-watering and fascinated. Nowadays, visitors to this wonderful temple are almost only Thais, but I have no doubt that in the future, this wonderful place will become a popular tourist attraction.

My Opinion: A stunning temple in its beauty. I recommend making every effort to visit.

 

For your convenience – I took a video on-site that hopefully will bring you a glimpse of the experience in this marvelous place

Wat Bang Thong Temple – Krabi

Wat Bang Thong temple in Krabi is one of the most beautiful and spectacular temples in Thailand that is unknown to tourists. When I first visited there, I planned to spend half an hour there, take some pictures and be on my way – but I was very surprised by the stunning appearance and ended up staying more than two hours there. After that, I even came back for a second visit, so I highly recommend it!!

♣ Scroll down to the end of the review for a clip I took of this marvelous temple.

In the district Ao Luek at Krabi Province, near the main road (#4) connecting Krabi and Pang Nga and Phuket – there’s a marvelous temple, and in it’s center a golden Cheddy towering to some 70 meters high. You can see it from afar – one of the highest Cheddys across Thailand.

The temple’s full name is Wat Mahathat Wachirammongkhon, but everyone calls it Wat Bang Thong. It is relatively new, and its building was almost exclusively funded by donations of locals who wanted to have a spectacular temple near them. The cost of building the structure amounts to nearly 100 million baht.

The spacious, well-kept complex has an impressive beauty. It features a very wide path, with decorated pillars on both sides and elephant statue leading you to gates. Once you pass through them, you can enter the internal temple space, where the golden Cheddy is located.

The impressive, spacious internal space features a long line of beautiful statues aligned with the walls. At the end of the statues line, you’ll get to the temple at the base of the tall golden Cheddy at the heart of the complex.

The temple is built in Putthakaya / Buddhagaya style (like Mahabodhi temple in Gaya, India), and brings to mind Aztek temples. The temple pillars are decorated in gold and black; the walls and ceiling are adorned with beautiful paintings and statues.

The visitors here are mostly locals who partake in rituals and prayers with the local monks, guests and tourists are also welcomed to join.

Scroll down to the end of the review to watch the video featuring the ceremony.

On the right side of the complex, there is a giant statue of Luang Pu Thuad together with King Kobra. The monk Luang Pu Thuad is a famous, sacred monk to many Thai and Asian people. He was born 400 years ago at the end of the Ayutthaya period in Nakhon Si Tamarat (southern Thailand), and was known as a miracle-maker, who was able to save people from disasters or evil eye. Many believe that mascots with his image (Amulet) can defend one from harm’s way, calamities, and other dangers.

♦ A similar statue can be found in Wat Huay Monkol, Hua Hin.

Conclusion: Wat Bang Thong is a unique, spectacular temple located in Krabi Province, not far from Ao Nang, Rylee beach, and all the other famous tourist spots in the area. However, this beautiful architectural and cultural gem is unknown to most tourists. Even those of you who aren’t particularly fond of temples will not be able to enjoy this marvelous beauty. Highly recommended!!

Click here to watch a video I took on-site.. Enjoy the beauty of the temple from inside out

Lampang Weekend Market , Lampang weekend market is a pedestrian walking zone active on weekends only. Similarly to the city of Lampang, it is known to be unique by its setting and special atmosphere, rather than the commodities sold here.

Scroll down to the end of the review for a clip I took on the Weekend Market.

The Market is known as Kad Kong Ta – the market by the pier (in northern Thailand dialect). It is located by Ratchadapisek bridge that stretches above Wang river; it’s one of the city’s most famous bridges.

The Lampang Weekend Market parallels the river, on Talat Gao Thanon street (old market street) – and it is old indeed, exists over 100 years ago, from the time of king Rama 5.

Back then, Lampang was a local trading center, and particularly teak wood. Many companies and merchants from neighboring lands have built their homes and offices there. There were companies from England, Burma and many Chinese, so the market is also known as Talat Chin (The Chinese Market).

These companies and merchants have built their houses and businesses in the styles of their home cultures, and these houses were kept from one generation to another while maintaining their unique architectural characters.

Therefore, the weekend market has such unique setting, featuring various ancient buildings that are well kept in their differing styles – colonial, Burmese, Chinese and more. These structures are on both sides of the walking zone, creating a unique setting for visitors.

Lampang Weekend Market opening hours : Every weekend (Saturdays and Sundays) around 4 PM, the street closes for vehicle traffic and turns into a pedestrian walking zone, with various stands offering different foods, handcrafts and souvenirs. On the market sides, in those ancient, well kept buildings, you’ll find small coffee shops, pubs and restaurants.

You should keep in mind that most visitors are locals, so the atmosphere is very different here and so is the commodity sold – compared to tourist packed markets in the north. There aren’t many fake brands here – t-shirts, watches etc. – but rather an entirely different atmosphere, that’s more authentic and local than commercialized, tourist packed markets like Chiang Mai’s night market for instance.

Operating Hours: Saturdays and Sundays only between 5 to 10 PM.

Conclusion: Lampang Weekend Market is different than any other Thai market visited by tourists. The atmosphere is very different here and the market is very authentic, serving mostly locals. It has an innocent and genuine feel, that you can only find in the non-commercialized areas of Thailand. The setting is different, the atmosphere is different and so is the entire experience.

 

Click here to watch a videos I took on site.. Enjoy (will be uploaded soon)

Lampang Horse Carriages, One of the most extraordinary things you won’t find in any other city in Thailand – but only in Lampang – is the use of horse carriages as means of transportations.    This prominent symbol made the city known as “The Horse Carriages City” (in Thai Muang Rot Ma).

♣ Scroll down to the end of the review for a video I took of the horse carriages.

There are many stories about the origin of the phenomenon, and how the horse carriages use came to be common specifically in Lampang. Some stories mention an influence from Macao, Portugal, while others ‘blame’ the Burmese and British who ruled over Myanmar.

What we do know for certain is that the horse carriages appeared in Lampang back in 1916, during the time of king Rama 5 rule, when the train rail was extended and reached all the way to the city.

Back in the days, the city of Lampang was a busy commercial center, receiving commodities from neighboring Laos and Burma. The merchants needed a convenient means to transfer the goods from the train station to local shops, storerooms, and warehouses; they also needed a good means of transportation across the developing city. This is where the horse carriages came into play, becoming the city’s unofficial symbol (its official symbol is a white rooster).

At the time, horse carriages were in use in several other areas in the north, but they disappeared with time, and today you’ll only find them in Lampang – nowhere else in Thailand.

This unique means of transportation became a fun tourist attraction – you can travel across Lampang in different routes in a decorated horse carriage that even the locals enjoy. This interesting attraction is recommended to every tourist visiting Lampang.

I recall reading an entertaining story (3 years ago) about a test taxi meter installed in several carriages, attempting to allow the passenger to choose between a fixed price tour or a taxi meter priced tour.

The last time I got to take a horse carriage tour in Lampang was in December 2018 and I haven’t seen any taxi meter, so I can’t tell what happened with that experiment. What I did see was a shiny statue of a horse carriage in local festivities – which highlights their centrality in the city life to date.

Conclusion: the Lampang Horse Carriages are one of Lampang’s famous, prominent symbols, and a tour across the city in a decorated horse carriage is an inseparable part of the visit.

♣ Click here to watch videos of the horse carriages I took in Lampang.. Enjoy (will be uploaded soon)

Lampang City and its attractions ,  The city of Lampang is a unique, extraordinary city that was once rendered a large trade and commercial center of the north area, and nowadays allows for an interesting combination of the old and new. It’s the only city in Thailand where horse carriages are still in use, and have thus become one of the city’s symbols, and is certainly a place worth a visit.

♥ The city and its attractions are included in our private luxury tours to the area.

The populated history of Lampang dates back 1000 years back, and during this long period the rule has been moved from the Kamer kingdom (Kambodia) to Lanna, the Burmese (Myanmar), and then the kingdom of Sukhothai

Each culture that ruled the area for some time has left its mark is through temples, special structures, arts etc. – so to this day, the various influences ae evident in the city, giving it a unique nature not to be found elsewhere.

The city’s official, the commercial symbol is a rooster, so you can easily find rooster decorated ceramic-shaped designs across the city, as well as local kitchenware adorned with the motif – that are produced in one of the many modern factories.

In the city of Lampang, you’ll find a unique attraction that’s not available anywhere else in Thailand – the horse carriages – along with other attractions as the Weekend Market, Ban Sao Nak – an impressive teak-wood structure on pillars – and an ancient, beautiful temple – that is known as one of the most impressive in Thailand.

In recent years, Lampang city saw the opening of places to hangout, pubs and modern restaurants, so the old/new traditional/modern mix gives the city a unique vibe.

 

Lampang Attractions

Horse Carriages – one of the most exceptional things you will not find elsewhere in Thailand is the use of horse carriages for transfer, which made the city known as Muang Rot Ma (the horse carriages city), as it became a prominent symbol.

♦ For my extended review of Lampang Horse Carriages, including a clip and some pictures -> Click this link

♥ A horse carriage tour is included in our private luxury tours to Lampang

The Weekend Market – Much like the city, the market known as Kad Kong Ta is one of its kind not because of the commodities offered, but thanks to the unique atmosphere and surrounding setting. one of the most exceptional things you will not find elsewhere in Thailand is the use of horse carriages for transfer, which made the city known as Muang Rot Ma (the horse carriages city), as it became a prominent symbol. This pedestrian zone is available only on weekends.

♦ For my extended review of Lampang Weekend Market, including a clip and some pictures -> Click this link

♥ We would love to take our travelers to the weekend market, and thus include it in our private luxury tours to Lampang. The unique market is active only on weekends.

Ceramics Factories and Outlets: Lampang and its surroundings are heaven to ceramics enthusiasts who adore decorative and kitchenware sets – all with beautiful, modern designs. The area features many factories exporting their products to Europe, as well as outlet shops to feast the eyes and purchase in affordable prices.

♦ For my extended review of Lampang Ceramics Factories, including a clip and some pictures -> Click this link

♥ A tour in the ceramics factory and shop can be included in our private luxury tours to Lampang

Phra That Lanpang Lung: This Lanna styled temple is one of the most impressive in Thailand, one of the oldest wooden structures and one of the most famous, popular attractions of Lampang city.

♦ For my extended review of Phra That Lampang Luang temple, including a clip and some pictures -> Click this link

♥ Phra That Lampang Luang temple is included in our private luxury tours to Lampang

Ban Sao Nak: This impressive teak-wood structure on pillars is more than 100 years old. The originally private house was built in 1895 and designed in a mixed style of Burmese/Lanna. Today, it serves as a museum exhibiting many products that providing a glimpse into the local life and culture of the time.

♦ For my extended review of Ban Sao Nak, including a clip and some pictures -> Click this link

Conclusion Lampang attractions: The city of Lampang is a unique, extraordinary city that was once a large northern trade center, and nowadays provides an interesting mixture of old and new. It’s the only city in Thailand where horse carriages are still in use and have thus become one of Lampang’s symbols, and is certainly a place worth a visit.