DSCN0768Mags 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.


We resisted riding in one of these but did something more unusual — after being unable to find any local restaurants open on a Monday night we went to the mall and had corporate Korean and Japanese food.  I hate to admit that it was pretty good.


Mags in front of our guest house which had nice architecture and icky breakfasts.



I visited the Elephant Conservation Center in the hills outside of town, and got elephant hugs in trade for bunches of bananas.


The elephants demonstrated their logging techniques — and their painting skills!











Young Buddhist monks at the temple’s ice cream cart for an afternoon break.

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.




“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” –                              Matsuo Basho


  1. The train in the picture looks like it came out of a Thomas and The Train Engine series. Gabe will love any other pictures of it you took!

    And Kim, whatever you do DO NOT bring home that elephant. I don’t have enough room for him/her!!!

  2. Okay, so who are the guys hanging out of the train? No photo tag line? I’ve heard of those elephants who paint before – incredible! Bet hanging out with the elephants was cool!

    1. The guys hanging out of the train were just some tourists on the train, happy like all of us for the break in the sweltering heat and the amazing scenery out the window.

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