To complete my limited circuit of northern Thailand, I stopped in Lampang. At first glance, the city appears to cater to tourists, the streets of the central old city patrolled by horse-drawn carriages. Yet it’s also a city that doesn’t seem to care that tourists are in their midst, a sprawling modern den of noise, traffic, fumes, and people. I prefer Lampang like this, as if I showed up an unexpected house guest and she shrugged, opened the door, and threw together a last-minute guest room and party.
My daily routine for 3 days gave me an artificial sense of belonging. I would walk through the morning market down the road from my guesthouse, haggling over fruit and watching the monks make their early morning alms rounds lugging their massive bowls. Across the river, a brief conversation with the lady selling me the Bangkok Post who greeted me like a regular on my last day, and an espresso at the local coffee shop. After a leisurely stroll of old temples and shophouses, by day’s end I was mixing with people of all ages at the night market, not a tourist in sight, and sighing at the sunset over the river, a lone man wading into the blazing orange waters to check his fishing nets.
To view my photos of Lampang, including the pilgrimage temples 18 kilometers out-of-town, click on the link: Lampang 2015