Lamphun Province

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Lamphun
ลำพูน
Province
Official seal of Lamphun
Seal
Map of Thailand highlighting Lamphun Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Lamphun Province
Country  Thailand
Capital Lamphun town
Government
 • Governor Direk Konklip (since 2008)
Area
 • Total 4,505.9 km2 (1,739.7 sq mi)
Area rank Ranked 49th
Population (2011)
 • Total 403,952
 • Rank Ranked 60th
 • Density 90/km2 (230/sq mi)
 • Density rank Ranked 48th
HDI
 • HDI (2009) 0.729 (medium) (43rd)
Time zone Thailand Standard Time (UTC+7)
Area code(s) 053
ISO 3166 code TH-51
Vehicle registration ลำพูน

Lamphun (Thai: ลำพูน, pronounced [lām.pʰūːn]) is one of the northern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Chiang Mai, Lampang and Tak.

Geography[edit]

Lamphun is located in the river valley of the Ping River. It is surrounded by mountain chains, with the Thanon Thong Chai Range in the west and the Khun Tan Range in the east of the province.

It is some 670 kilometres from Bangkok and only 26 kilometres from Chiang Mai.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Lamphun (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 30.8
(87.4)
33.8
(92.8)
36.7
(98.1)
37.9
(100.2)
35.0
(95)
33.4
(92.1)
32.8
(91)
32.4
(90.3)
32.1
(89.8)
31.5
(88.7)
30.4
(86.7)
29.2
(84.6)
33
(91.39)
Average low °C (°F) 14.3
(57.7)
15.7
(60.3)
19.4
(66.9)
23.2
(73.8)
24.0
(75.2)
24.3
(75.7)
24.0
(75.2)
23.8
(74.8)
23.4
(74.1)
22.3
(72.1)
19.0
(66.2)
15.1
(59.2)
20.71
(69.27)
Rainfall mm (inches) 2.8
(0.11)
4.9
(0.193)
13.1
(0.516)
44.5
(1.752)
154.8
(6.094)
124.2
(4.89)
117.0
(4.606)
172.7
(6.799)
208.2
(8.197)
110.1
(4.335)
44.1
(1.736)
7.4
(0.291)
1,003.8
(39.519)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 1 1 1 6 15 15 15 18 17 11 7 1 108
 % humidity 70 59 54 57 72 76 77 80 83 83 80 75 72.2
Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)

History[edit]

Under its old name of Haripunchai, Lamphun was the northernmost city of the Mon kingdom of the Dvaravati period,[1] and also the last to fall to the Thai. In the late 12th century it came under siege from the Khmer, but did not fall. However in 1281 King Mengrai of Lanna finally seized the city, and made it part of his kingdom. After Burmese expansion in the sixteenth century, Lamphun was also under Burmese rule for two centuries. In the eighteenth century, with the rise of Thonburi and Bangkok against Burmese rule, local leaders from Lampang agreed to be their allies. Lamphun was finally free from the Burmese and ruled by relative of Lampang's leader, gaining vassal status from Bangkok. Eventually after the administrative reform of Bangkok government in late nineteenth century, Lamphun became a part, as a province, of Siam or late Kingdom of Thailand.[2]

Symbols[edit]

The provincial seal shows the temple Wat Phra That Haripunchai, which was already the main temple of the city Lamphun during the Mon times. The gold-covered chedi is said to contain a relic of Buddha.

The provincial flower is the Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma), and the provincial tree is the Rain Tree (Samanea saman).

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map of Amphoe

The province is subdivided in 8 districts (amphoe). These are further subdivided into 51 subdistricts (tambon) and 551 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Lamphun
  2. Mae Tha
  3. Ban Hong
  4. Li
  1. Thung Hua Chang
  2. Pa Sang
  3. Ban Thi
  4. Wiang Nong Long

Municipal (thesaban) areas in the province are the town (thesaban mueang) Lamphun and 12 townships (thesaban tambon). The non-municipal area is administrated by 45 Tambon Administration Organizations (TAO) and 2 Tambon Councils.

For the national elections the province is subdivided into 3 constituencies. Constituency 1 covers the Mueang District except Tambon Makhuea Chae, constituency 2 the districts Pa Sang, Mae Tha, and Tambon Makhuea Chae of Mueang district, and constituency 3 the districts Ban Hong, Thung Hua Chang and Li.

Tourism[edit]

Sights[edit]

The viharn and golden chedi of Wat Phra That Hariphunchai
The Dvaravati style chedi of Wat Phra That Hariphunchai

Wat Phra That Hariphunchai (วัดพระธาตุหริภุญชัย) A principal landmark is the 46-metre tall golden Chedi whose present appearance was the result of the restoration work in 1443 by a king of Chiang Mai. Other architectural works include the ancient-style brick arch adorned with fine designs and the pair of sculptured lions at the door.

Hariphunchai National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติหริภุญชัย), across the road from Wat Phra That Hariphunchai. Displays and exhibits include historical development and archaeological items found in Lamphun. Another displays ancient utensils, Lanna indigenous arts and carvings.

Phra Nang Chamthewi Statue (อนุสาวรีย์พระนางจามเทวี) is located in the Nong Dok public park in town commemorating the first ruler of Hariphunchai.

Suthewa Ruesi Statue (อนุสาวรีย์สุเทวฤาษี) - Legend has it that the Rusi, or ascetic, was the actual founder of Hariphunchai. As an ascetic refraining from worldly affairs he invited Phra Nang Chamthevi, a daughter of the King of Lopburi, to ascend the throne and helped her to firmly establish Buddhism in the land.

Wat Chamthewi or Wat Ku Kut (วัดจามเทวี หรือ วัดกู่กุด), commonly referred to a Ku Kut (กู่กุด), built in the Lawo (Lopburi) style. The Chedi is a square structure similar to Buddhagaya in India. Ashes of the queen are enshrined within the Chedi.

Wat Mahawan (วัดมหาวัน), an old temple built since the times of Queen Chamthewi. Enshrined here is a Nak Prok statue (statue with mythical serphants overhead) which was brought to the temple by the Queen. Commonly known as Phra Rot Lamphun (พระรอดลำพูน), it serves as the model for the famous votive tablet.

Wat Phra Yuen (วัดพระยืน), an old temple from 11th century about 1 km east of the old town centre. The huge chedi with a large square base and four tall standing Buddha images dates from the beginning of 20th century.

The Ku Chang-Ku Mah Chedi (กู่ช้าง-กู่ม้า), northeast of the old town, is surrounded on four directions by standing statues. The Chedi itself is cylinder-shaped and commemorates Queen Chamthewi's war elephant and her son's steed.

The Ban Nong Chang Khun (บ้านหนองช้างคืน) is the most famous longan growing area in the country. The fruits are in season during July–August. Longans were introduced to the area during the reign of King Rama V and have since spread into neighbouring provinces.

Wat Phra Phutthabat Tak Pha (วัดพระพุทธบาทตากผ้า) - Legend has it that the Lord Buddha once stayed here, leaving a trace of likeness of monk's saffron robe and his footprint on stone ground.

Ban Hong (บ้านโฮ่ง) - It has several old temples built in admirable indigenous style, e.g., Wat Phra Chao Ton Luang (วัดพระเจ้าตนหลวง), Wat Pa Puai (วัดป่าป๋วย) and Wat Dong Rusi (วัดดงฤาษี). The later two temples both maintain 100-years-old Ho Trai (scripture halls) built with wood in delicate patterns.

Tham Luang Pha Wiang (ถ้ำหลวงผาเวียง), a cave some 15 kilometres south of the district town. Inside the cavern are oddly-shaped stalactites.

Wat Phra Bat Huai Tom (วัดพระบาทห้วยต้ม) is the largest temple in the district, boasting a large Lanna-style Chedi and an extensive place of worship built in laterite by Karens living in the vicinity who were admirers of the highly revered Phra Kru Ba Chaiwongsa.

Chedi Ha Duang (เจดีย์ห้าดวง). The site is believed to have been an ancient town.

Mae Ping National Park (อุทยานแห่งชาติแม่ปิง) - Its main feature is the Ping River.

Local Products[edit]

The Pha Mai Yok Dok (ผ้าไหมยกดอก) is an elaborately woven material in traditional method. Originally used in the northern royal court, it became popular during the reign of King Rama VI. The distinctive craftsmanship and skills in producing this type of silk have endeared it to those who prefer the traditional designs.

A hand-made cotton fabric (ผ้าฝ้ายทอมือ) - It is moderately priced and of designs and colours which have been improved yet retaining the indigenous feel and tradition. It is generally made into table-cloth, plate rests, drapes and other household uses.

Wood-carving products (งานไม้แกะสลัก) are made from soft-wood into animal figurines, dolls, utensils and decorative items. The natural textures of the wood are clearly visible which add beauty to the products.

Culture[edit]

Festivals[edit]

The most well-known event in Lamphun is the Song Nam Phra That Hariphunchai (งานสรงน้ำพระธาตุหริภุญชัย), which dates back to the olden times. Held to celebrate the province's principal religious site, it takes place in May.

Another event is the Longan Fair (งานเทศกาลลำไย) in August which is designed to promote this hugely popular produce. There are the beautifully decorated Longan Parade and Longan contests.

Food[edit]

  • Kaeng khae, a spicy curry consisting mainly of vegetables with chicken, frog, fish or snails.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Historic Lamphun: Capital of the Mon Kingdom of Haripunchai', in: Forbes, Andrew, and Henley, David, Ancient Chiang Mai Volume 4. Chiang Mai ,Cognoscenti Books, 2012. ASIN: B006J541LE
  2. ^ http://www.lamphun.go.th/intro.php?topicid=1
  3. ^ Lamphun food : Kaeng Khae Kai

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 18°34′45″N 99°0′23″E / 18.57917°N 99.00639°E / 18.57917; 99.00639