Mags and I spent a few days in a small town called Lampang on our way to Chiang Mai. Lampang is also called “Ruang Rot Ma” which is Thai for “horse carriage city” because Lampang has….horse carriages.
Lampang was previously known for its teak plantations, which were logged with the help of elephants. The teak is gone but elephants remain and many now live in a conservation project sponsored by the Thai royal family. Lampang also has a number of electricity plants, which have been controversial because of the pollution they have caused in the valley.
After a few low key days in Lampang, we hopped the train for the three-hour ride to Chiang Mai. The ride took us through beautiful countryside and a small but dramatic mountain range. We were grateful that it rained because the only seats left on the train were in third class with no air conditioning (ticket price: 70 cents). That turned out to be lots of fun. Everyone had the windows open and enjoyed the fresh air of the mountains and jungle.