Lamphun, among the oldest cities in Thailand, was called Hariphunchai before it was besieged in the 13th century by a Thai kingdom.
Your private guide will greet you at your hotel at 8:30am and transfer you to the Chiang Mai railway station for a local train departing at 9:30am. Enjoy the scenic 30-minute ride before arriving in Lamphun, where a private driver awaits. The first stop on your private sightseeing tour is Wat Phra Yuen, one of oldest temples in northern Thailand. Here, you’ll find four tall Buddha images standing within a chedi (stupa) amid the palm trees.
Your guide will point out Ku Chang, a chedi containing the relic of the war elephant of Chama Thewi, the first queen of Hariphunchai. Climb the old city wall before continuing to Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, the most venerated temple in Lamphun. Dating back to the Mon kingdom, the temple was built on the site of Queen Chama Thewi's palace in the 11th or 12th century.
Walk with your guide to a nearby market where you’ll find many locally made and marketed OTOP (One Tambon One Product) items for sale. Learn about this unique entrepreneurial program, which improves the quality of local products from village communities in each tambon (subdistrict).
Enjoy a steaming bowl of khao soi, a Thai noodle dish that contains pickled cabbage, shallots, lime, ground chilies and meat in a curry sauce with coconut milk—delicious! After lunch, visit a museum with exquisite Tai Yong textiles on display. Your guide will share historical and cultural information about Lamphun’s inhabitants, most of whom descend from the Tai Yong, an ethnic group from northern Burma (Myanmar). Then continue to the local fresh food market of Lamphun for a snack of local specialties and a chat with the vendors.
Leaving the market, you’ll have the opportunity to burn some incense and candles at the statue of Queen Chama Thewi before making your way to Wat Chama Thewi (Wat Kukut), one of the oldest religious structures in Lamphun. Once you spot multiple standing Buddhas peeking from the niches of the temple’s tall chedi, hop back in your private vehicle for the scenic drive back to Chiang Mai.
Your driver follows the railway line to Ban Umong for a final stop at a shop, where you’ll enjoy a tasting of the famous longan wine, made from the longan or lam yai—the area’s prolific fruit, similar to lychee. Visit a longan-processing factory and a longan plantation before returning to Chiang Mai, following the scenic Ping River back. If time allows, make a final brief stop at a lively local market along the way before drop-off at your hotel.