"Lamphun ancient city" Lamphun by Pat_Bangkok

Lamphun Travel Guide: 35 reviews and 129 photos

Lamphun History

Lamphun is a small city in the north of Thailand, it's not far from Chiangmai, just 30 minute by car.

The present day Lamphun Province was originally known as Haripunchai, an ancient city 1,343 years old. According to the Yonok Chronicle, Haripunchai was founded by a holy man named Wasuthep, who recruited the Mon ethnic groups to work on the construction. The city was located in the space between two rivers, Mae Kwuang and Mae Ping. The first ruler of Lamphun was Queen Cham Thewi, a daughter of the King of Lawo. The last king of the lineage was Phraya Yiba, who lost the city to King Mengrai the Great of the Lan Na Kingdom. Since then, the influence of Lamphun art and culture has been apparent throughout the kingdom especially in Wiang Kum Kam, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. Lamphun was incorporated into the Thai Kingdom during the reign of King Taksin the Great. Ever since then, Lamphun was ruled by city rulers until 1922 when the last ruler, Major General Prince Chakkham Khachonsak passed away. Later, Lamphun was changed to a province ruled by a governor, which has continued to the present.

The “Haripunchai Ancient City” was the oldest and most prosperous city in the north. Its history can be divided into 5 periods: Prehistoric, Early Historic, Lan Na, Early Rattanakosin and Reformation periods.

The Prehistoric Period: Approximately 2,000 – 3,000 years ago. Archeological evidence of the period includes Ban Wanghai ancient community on the east of the Mae Kwuang River, Tambon Wiangyong, Lamphun District. The indigenous ethnic group lived there long before the new cultural influence arrived and mingled with it.

Early Prehistoric Period: From the13th – 19th Centuries B.E. The Haripunchai kingdom was established with the influence of the Thevaradi culture of the central plains along the Chao Phraya River. It prospered in terms of religion, art, culture and economy in particular. Its kings were attentive to patronize Buddhism. Its first king or ruler was Queen Cham Thewi.

The Lanna Period: From the 19th – 21st Centuries B.E. During the reign of King Mengrai, the Central Administration was shifted to Chiang Mai whereas Haripunchai became a religious center. Therefore, Buddhism was well established and continued to prosper in the area.

Early Rattanakosin Period: From the 24th – 25th Century B.E. A series of wars with Burma and Lan Na took place. People had to flee into the jungles deserting the city until King Kawila of Chiang Mai appointed his younger brother, Phraya Burirat (Khamfan) to be the ruler of Lamphun and recruited the Yong ethnic people to settle along the Mae Kwuang, Mae Ping and Mae Tha Rivers. The Yong brought with them a unique culture, art and craftsmen. It was a peaceful period.

Reformation Period: A great reformation took place with the abolishment of the city ruler system and the appointment of a governor by the Siam government. Several neighboring towns were combined into the province. The northern railway was constructed.

Information from Lamphun Provincial Website

Lanna Dancing

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  • Last visit to Lamphun: Dec 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (11)

Comments (5)

  • Jul 12, 2008 at 5:55 AM

    Great tips and pictures!

  • Balam's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2007 at 6:51 AM

    Are the relics of Lord Buddha still in the Hariphunchai Temple?

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Jun 28, 2007 at 9:27 AM

    It sounds great to live in such relaxed place! Ah, thai food... I'm so happy since they recently opened one here :) Yes, I love live concerts, the ones with my favourite musicions :) Are there any interesting concerts in Bangkok sometimes? Cheers Pat!

  • js77's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2007 at 2:45 AM

    Nice page! I regret I didn't spend more time in Lamphun. Maybe it's a good reason to visit it once more;)

  • vtveen's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2006 at 1:48 AM

    You are living in a nice city; not so overcrowded with tourists as Chiang Mai.

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